Minimum Wage Increase to reduce homelessness (fwd--NCH)

Tom Boland (
Fri, 12 Dec 1997 20:06:06 -0800 (PST)

FWD from National Coalition for the Homeless

                                   Minimum Wage Increase


The leading cause of homelessness in the United States is the inability of
poor people to afford housing.  Housing costs have risen significantly over
the last decade, while the incomes of poor and middle-class Americans have
stagnated. The millions of Americans who are unemployed or work in
low-paying jobs are among the most vulnerable to becoming homeless. The
connection between impoverished workers and homelessness can be seen in
homeless shelters, many of which house significant numbers of full-time
wage earners. The U.S. Conference of Mayors 1996 survey of 29 U.S. cities
found that almost one out of five homeless persons is employed in full- or
part-time jobs.

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) has introduced legislation, The American
Family Fair Minimum Wage Act (S. 1009), to increase the minimum wage by 50
cents an hour in each of the next three years, and by 30 cents an hour in
each of the following two years. Under this bill, the minimum wage would
increase from $5.65 an hour to $7.25 an hour by 2002. While this new wage
would still be insufficient to cover the costs of housing in many
communities (see the new report, "Out of Reach," by the National Low Income
Housing Coalition), it is a step in the right direction.


Please call your Senators and urge them to support this critical
legislation.  All Members of Congress may be reached through the U.S.
Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.