Friday, January 29, 2016
Two Homeless People Killed in Seattle
On Tuesday, two homeless people were shot and killed in a homeless camp in Seattle, Washington. The Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray, had just declared a state of emergency over rising homelessness in the city. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, at least 45 homeless people died last year in Seattle.
Homelessness follows an interesting trend in the U.S. In the last 10 or so years, homelessness has been on a decline, with a reported 610,000 homeless people in 2013, compared to 763,000 in 2005. However, homelessness has been rising since the 1980s, when several government budgets for affordable housing were slashed. It also rose slightly after the 2008 recession.
I think we need to devote more resources towards creating affordable housing, such as Section 8 housing and other projects to help impoverished people have places to live. Since there are actually very few homeless people as a percentage of the population - only about 0.2% - this is actually a fairly feasible problem to tackle, when compared to a more widespread problem, like unemployment or poverty.
What do you think? How should we approach the problem of homelessness? Can we eradicate homelessness? Will it require us to solve larger problems first (In other words, is homelessness just a symptom of a larger problem)?