Study Says Help for Homeless Is Key to Solutions

Grassroots Media Network (gnn@grassrootsnews.org)
Wed, 08 Dec 1999 22:39:05 -0600


Study Says Help for Homeless Is Key to Solutions

In a basement meeting room of a family shelter in Southeast Washington, HUD
Secretary Andrew Cuomo and actor William Baldwin today released a
comprehensive, government survey of the causes that lead people to become
homeless.
Standing before a a dozen television cameras at the House of Ruth, Cuomo
said arresting homeless people or sending them out of town are not
solutions to this nationwide problem. Citing the two-inch thick report, he
said the answer instead is to give homeless men and women the assistance
they need and help them move out of shelters and into the main stream.
Cuomo said the study, based on government interviews of thousands of
homeless men and women in 1996, showed that 76 percent of those who
received proper assistance were able to get out of being homeless.
The report stated that homeless clients are predominantly male (68 percent)
and nonwhite (53 percent). About a third of those interviewed did not have
a high school diploma. More than half said they were unable to get food on
a daily basis.
Alcohol and mental health problems were identified as part of their
lifestyle by about a third of those interviewed. About 25 percent said they
had a problem with alcohol. Physical or sexual abuse as children was also
cited by 25 percent of those interviewed.
Although the study, titled "The Forgotten Americans," was not conducted to
count the homeless, the figure of 600,000 was cited.
Baldwin is president of the Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan
social and political advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment
industry. He said he would use his celebrity status to promote humane
treatment of the homeless.
The study is available at <a
href="http://www.hud.gov/news.html">www.hud.gov/news




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