In the world, more than one hundred million people homeless,” says the UN. If the figure is accurate, that means that approximately 1 in every 60 human beings do not have adequate housing. The true extent of the problem, however, is difficult to pinpoint. Throughout American history, there existed in the United States a significant segment of the population consisted of homeless. In colonial times, the homeless and the poor were entitled to very little compassion and sometimes they were driven out of towns and villages where they had to travel from town to town to avoid becoming a heavy burden on public relief.
The most striking difference is the visibility and the number of homeless people today. Far from being confined to poor neighborhoods, people who live and sleep in the streets or in public places like bus terminals and railway stations have become a common phenomenon in most cities. In the past, the “homeless” were organized in one way or another to find a refuge at night, but it is clear that the new homeless suffer disproportionately from the housing shortage.
Another difference is that the homeless today are on average much younger and that this population includes more women and representatives of various ethnic groups. According to the study by O’Flaherty (1996) on the homeless in Chicago, women accounted for about 3 little p. 100 inhabitants of the slums (p. 64). The study conducted in 1985-1986 in the same city showed that the proportion was nearly one quarter, statistics confirmed by other recent studies.
The racial composition of the homeless population has also changed considerably over time. The old slums of Chicago were predominantly white, but there are now more racial diversity. Among the new homeless, racial and ethnic minorities are heavily represented. A study in Chicago found that 54 per 100 homeless were black (Hopper, 2003). In most cities, other ethnic minorities – mainly Hispanic and Native American – are also overrepresented among the homeless and the ethnic states seem to depend on that of the poor of the place.
无家可归的人口的种族构成也发生很大变化随着时间的推移。老芝加哥贫民区主要是白色的，但现在有更多的种族多样性。新的无家可归者中，种族和少数族裔的严重表现。芝加哥的一项研究发现，54 / 100无家可归的黑人（料斗，2003）。在大多数城市，其他少数民族主要是西班牙裔和美国原住民也过多的无家可归者和民族国家似乎取决于地方的穷人。