On any given night, there are 2 million homeless people in America, and the numbers are rising fast.
Instead of raising taxes on billionaires who don't work for their money (there aren't enough hours in the day to work for that much), States are cutting services because their budgets have tanked with the economy.
Just as more people are becoming homeless because of our ruined economy and wars (veterans are at a high risk for ending up homeless), services to them are being cut, and more of them will die in the streets of the richest nation on earth just so that the super rich can keep from being taxed more on their obscene amounts of money they have locked away from our economy (it don't trickle down).
Here's part of a transcript to a PBS NEWS story last night about a medical van project to help the homeless.Â It's getting completely cut from the budget in Colorado:
GWEN IFILL: Next: tough choices for states facing record budget shortfalls.
"NewsHour" correspondent Tom Bearden reports from Colorado.
(here's a bit of the story)
DR. AMY ALPER-PANEYA: Sometimes, we will get that person who just wants some ibuprofen. And so they will come on board. And then, as we sit and we talk to them and we hear their story, we find that there's a whole bunch of other things going on, whether it is socially or mentally or medically.
And, so, I feel like we are a first front-of-the-line kind of van or organization that can help connect people to further services that they may need.
TOM BEARDEN: Ritter (the Gov.) says he understands the problem, but has no choice.
Three-point-four million dollars is pocket change in the state budget. Are you down to making decisions about amounts of money like that, that are so small?
GOV. BILL RITTER: Well, yes. And then that's -- this has been a surgical exercise. And the reason is because those small amounts ultimately can build to a big amount.
TOM BEARDEN: The cuts come just as the need for these services is increasing. More people are showing up at soup kitchens, because the Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates the number of homeless families has gone up almost 10 percent in just the last two years.
MELINDA PATTERSON, director, Father Woody's Soup Kitchen: Any emergency for anything of that nature, you just go to the emergency room, and you can't rely on the van any longer.
TOM BEARDEN: Melinda Patterson is the director of Father Woody's Soup Kitchen.
MELINDA PATTERSON: So, this time a couple years ago, even last year, we probably had 100 people, and now we are seeing about 400 a day.
That entire news story is here:
- single men comprise 44 percent of the homeless, single women 13 percent, families with children 36 percent, and unaccompanied minors seven percent.
- the homeless population is about 50 percent African-American, 35 percent white, 12 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Native American and 1 percent Asian.
According to the 1996 National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (NSHAPC):
- single homeless individuals in 1996 reported an average income of $348 during the last 30 days, about 51 percent of the 1996 federal poverty level of $680/month for one person.
- 28 percent said they sometimes or often do not get enough to eat, compared with 12 percent of poor American adults.
- 44 percent did paid work during the past month.
- 21 percent received income from family members or friends.
- 66 percent of the homeless have problems with alcohol, drug abuse, or mental illness.
- 22 percent have been physically assaulted.
- 7 percent have been sexually assaulted.</small>
- 30 percent have been homeless for more than two years.