59% of Americans are Just One Paycheck Away from Homelessness – Invisible People


You’re a reader of Invisible People, a noble do-gooder, a thoughtful humanitarian, an activist, an advocate, or perhaps just a quiet observer. You read the homeless education news because you agree with it or because you oppose it, but certainly not because you are part of it, isn’t that right?

What if I told you it’s wrong?

I recently did a piece on pallet shelters and found these so-called “homes”:

  • Are no bigger than a jail cell
  • Lack basic privacy
  • Most are constructed from highly flammable materials

Despite these lackluster features, the overwhelming majority of our readers claimed that they would be grateful to live in one of those if they were homeless.

What if I said you’re about to find out whether or not that’s really true?

Entirely too many people who read about homelessness do so from a sympathetic perspective rather than an empathetic standpoint. But for most working-class Americans, homelessness is closer to home than it may appear.

A financial survey encouraging Americans to save more money was released in 2019 and exposed that 59% of Americans are currently at risk of homelessness. In fact, they are all just one paycheck away from experiencing homelessness firsthand. The COVID-19 pandemic did a great deal to expose poverty in the United States and create it. In 2020, national poverty climbed at never-before-seen rates, thrusting nearly 8 million new Americans into impoverished despair throughout one solitary summer.

What Is Driving Poverty in the United States? It Might Not be What You Expect.

One of the most baffling things about poverty in the United States is that historically, unemployment rates can drop while poverty rates continue to increase. Such was the case recently, in March of 2021.

The root causes for the spike in poverty, which is disconnected from the unemployment rate, are as follows:

  • Expiration of benefits
  • Underemployment
  • Rent burden
  • Food insecurity
  • Wage stagnation

The Urban Institute found that pandemic-related poverty hit communities of color, namely Latin American and African American communities, hardest.

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