Economy Drives Increase in Homeless Count
(Afro) — High rates of unemployment among minorities, foreclosures, the rising cost of rent, utilities and fuel and extreme budget cuts are behind a rise in the area’s homeless population, local homeless advocates say. An upcoming report by the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments indicates the Washington region’s homeless has increased to 11,988 persons, mostly among families and African Americans, and that’s largely due to the hobbled economy. Jewel Stroman, 22, stands outside a temporary housing facility in Northwest D.C. with her daughter, hoping one day for a place to call her own. Hamilton Jones, 47, a researcher, writer and former substance abuser has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Jones survives on a meager income of $20 a week and $200 in monthly food stamps.