The "It Should Be Zero" campaign is raising awareness on the number of people in Troy who are turned away from homeless services due to a lack of room and resources. The number of people turned away should be zero! Every human being deserves a place to sleep safe and warm.
The World 420 Class did some campaigning of our own...
Placed in bathroom stalls around campus are papers and short blurbs called "Stall Stories". We created our own story which includes facts about homelessness. One more way to increase awareness!
Who is Homeless?
According to the Stewart B. McKinney Act, 42 U.S.C. 11301, et seq. (1994), a person is considered homeless who "lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence; and... has a primary night time residency that is: (A) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations... (B) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or (C) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings." The term homeless individual does not include any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained pursuant to an Act of Congress or a state law." 42 U.S.C. 11302(c)
How Many People Experience Homelessness?
Many people call or write the National Coalition for the Homeless to ask about the number of homeless people in the United States. There is no easy answer to this question and, in fact, the question itself is misleading. In most cases, homelessness is a temporary circumstance -- not a permanent condition. A more appropriate measure of the magnitude of homelessness is the number of people who experience homelessness over time, not the number of "homeless people."
Why Are People Homeless?
Two trends are largely responsible for the rise in homelessness over the past 20-25 years: a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in poverty.
2007 Joseph's House Statistics
Through September of 2007, Joseph's House and Shelter in Troy, NY had sheltered 193 single adults and 25 families (58 individuals). The occupancy rate for the shelter was in excess of 95%.
Substance abuse and mental illness represented the most frequently reported circumstances for single adults leading to homelessness, followed by criminal justice issues, evictions, and following hospital discharges. Many of these guests reported no current income sources (39%), or limited public assistance.