Our donors are instrumental in the mission to end homelessness. So, whether your support comes in the form of funding or handmade clothing, you can rest assured knowing that your contribution is making a difference.
In recent years, federal policy has been driven by narrow interest groups instead of demanding that funding address homelessness on a national scale. Join NCH as a member to be a part of pushing for the resources we actually need to house our communities!
is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: To end and prevent homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights are respected and protected.
If you are not homeless yet, it may be possible to avoid becoming homeless by finding out about prevention or emergency assistance programs in your area. Often these programs can help in paying rent, utilities, or bills.
Donald Hugh Whitehead Jr. is recognized as a leading expert on homelessness, having served as the Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, Assistant Director at St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Program Director at Ohio Valley Goodwill, Grant Manager at Goodwill of Greater Washington, and Director of Communications at Greenpeace Ohio. Donald served two terms as President of the Board of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless, two terms on the Board of Directors for Faces and Voices of Recovery, and two terms on the Georgetown Center for Cultural Competency.
Kelvin was raised in a middle class family in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Life challenged him early. The death of his mother sent Kelvin into a very dark space fueling a drug addiction. Nearly three years of homelessness challenged him further. Just when Kelvin considered giving up, a minister entered his life that believed in him and decided to help him. Reverend J.C. Melvin worked with Kelvin and helped him with recovery. In 2009, Kelvin began his homeless advocacy with the National Coalition for the Homeless. He also wrote and self-published two self-help books. Kelvin and his wife of 15 years currently reside in Washington, DC.
Want to know what VA is doing to end Veteran homelessness? Join us each month as we explore how our country is working to ensure that every Veteran has a safe and stable place to call home.Learn more
If you are a Veteran who is homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness, we strongly encourage you to contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at (877) 4AID-VET (877-424-3838) for assistance.
The rights of people suffering from the devastating effects of homelessness also vary from country to country. United States government homeless enumeration studies also include people who sleep in a public or private place, which is not designed for use as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. Homelessness and poverty are interrelated. There is no methodological consensus on counting homeless people and identifying their needs; therefore, in most cities, only estimated homeless populations are known.
In 2005, an estimated 100 million people worldwide were homeless, and as many as one billion people (one in 6.5 at the time) live as squatters, refugees, or in temporary shelter, all lacking adequate housing.
In 2004, the United Nations sector of Economic and Social Affairs defined a homeless household as those households without a shelter that would fall within the scope of living quarters due to a lack of a steady income. The affected people carry their few possessions with them, sleeping in the streets, in doorways or on piers, or in another space, on a more or less random basis.
In 2009, at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Conference of European Statisticians (CES), held in Geneva, Switzerland, the Group of Experts on Population and Housing Censuses defined homelessness as:
The ETHOS Typology of Homelessness and Housing Exclusion was developed as a means of improving the understanding and measurement of homelessness in Europe, and to provide a common "language" for transnational exchanges on homelessness. The ETHOS approach confirms that homelessness is a process (rather than a static phenomenon) that affects many vulnerable households at different points in their lives.
Recent[when?] homeless enumeration survey documentation utilizes the term unsheltered homeless. The common colloquial term "street people" does not fully encompass all unsheltered people, in that many such persons do not spend their time in urban street environments. Many shun such locales, because homeless people in urban environments may face the risk of being robbed or assaulted. Some people convert unoccupied or abandoned buildings ("squatting"), or inhabit mountainous areas or, more often, lowland meadows, creek banks, and beaches. Many jurisdictions have developed programs to provide short-term emergency shelter during particularly cold spells, often in churches or other institutional properties. These are referred to as warming centers, and are credited by their advocates as lifesaving.
After the American Civil War, a large number (by the hundreds or thousands) of homeless men formed part of a counterculture known as "hobohemia" all over the United States. In smaller towns, hobos temporarily lived near train tracks and hopped onto trains to various destinations.
The U.S. Great Depression of the 1930s caused a devastating epidemic of poverty, hunger, and homelessness in the United States. When Franklin D. Roosevelt took over the presidency from Herbert Hoover in 1933, he passed the New Deal, which greatly expanded social welfare, including providing funds to build public housing. This marked the end of the Great Depression.
How the Other Half Lives and Jack London's The People of the Abyss (1903) discussed homelessness and raised public awareness, which caused some changes in building codes and some social conditions. In England, dormitory housing called "spikes" was provided by local boroughs. By the 1930s in England, 30,000 people were living in these facilities. In 1933, George Orwell wrote about poverty in London and Paris, in his book Down and Out in Paris and London. In general, in most countries, many towns and cities had an area that contained the poor, transients, and afflicted, such as a "skid row". In New York City, for example, there was an area known as "the Bowery", traditionally, where people with an alcohol use disorder were to be found sleeping on the streets, bottle in hand.
In the 1960s in the U.K., the nature and growing problem of homelessness changed in England as public concern grew. The number of people living "rough" in the streets had increased dramatically. However, beginning with the Conservative administration's Rough Sleeper Initiative, the number of people sleeping rough in London fell dramatically. This initiative was supported further by the incoming Labour administration from 2009 onwards with the publication of the 'Coming in from the Cold' strategy published by the Rough Sleepers Unit, which proposed and delivered a massive increase in the number of hostel bed spaces in the capital and an increase in funding for street outreach teams, who work with rough sleepers to enable them to access services.
Scotland saw a slightly different picture, with the impact of the right to buy ending in a devastating drop in available social housing, something that has never recovered. The 1980s and the 1990s resulted in an ever-increasing picture of people becoming homeless, with very few rights to provide access to allow change.
This picture changed in Scotland in 2001, as the Scottish Parliament came into place. It was agreed by all parties that a ten-year plan to eradicate homelessness by the end of 2012 would be implemented. The minister of housing met with the third sector and Local Authorities every six weeks, checking on progress, whilst consultations brought about legislative change, alongside work to prevent homelessness. There was a peak in applications around 2005, but from there onwards figures dropped year on year for the next eight years. However, with a focus on the broader numbers of people experiencing homelessness, many people with higher levels of need got caught in the system. Work from 2017 started to address this, with a framework currently in place to work towards a day where everyone in Scotland has a home suitable to meet their needs.
In the U.S., the government asked many major cities to come up with a ten-year plan to end homelessness.[when?] One of the results of this was a "Housing First" solution. The Housing First program offers homeless people access to housing without having to undergo tests for sobriety and drug usage. The Housing First program seems to benefit homeless people in every aspect except for substance abuse, for which the program offers little accountability. An emerging consensus is that the Housing First program still gives clients a higher chance at retaining their housing once they get it. A few critical voices argue that it misuses resources and does more harm than good; they suggest that it encourages rent-seeking and that there is not yet enough evidence-based research on the effects of this program on the homeless population. Some formerly homeless people, who were finally able to obtain housing and other assets which helped to return to a normal lifestyle, have donated money and volunteer services to the organizations that provided aid to them during their homelessness. Alternatively, some social service entities that help homeless people now employ formerly homeless individuals to assist in the care process. 041b061a72