Why Homelessness?

Did you know?

On any given night in 2018, around 553,000 people in the US experience homelessness.

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  • Of that number, 6,643 are Asian American.

    • 1,724 are families with children.

    • 4,919 are single adults.

    • 516 are unaccompanied youths.

    • 324 are Asian American veterans.

If you live in New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, it is quite evident that homelessness is  a crisis in these cities. However, what is less known is how the Asian American homeless population has been increasing dramatically within the past decade. As we head towards a census year in 2020, it will be of utmost importance to count everyone and monitor our community’s progress towards reducing instances of homelessness in the Asian Pacific Islander community. Due to the increased amount of Asian and Pacific Islanders experiencing homelessness in our communities and the significance of culturally competent services for this subpopulation, PbP decided to tackle the issue of “Asian Americans and Homelessness” for the year of 2019.

Source: The 2018 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress by The US Department of Housing and Urban Development

But, why should YOU care about Homelessness?

Many of us have seen the effects of homelessness and how it impacts individuals, and many of us may have friends or family members who might be at risk of homelessness. Beyond our personal encounters with the issue, homelessness impacts all of us through various aspects  of our community.

  • Public Health:  Many homeless households are unable to access facilities to maintain personal hygiene or proper health leading to increased exposure to health risks. For those without access to mainstream system services,quality healthcare is not available and the absence of care often leads to chronic medical conditions exacerbated by their difficult living situations.

  • Public Services:  Without a robust support system, an unsupported chronically homeless person, on average, can expend $23,000 per year in emergency room visits, incarceration, and shelter stays; however, this may be avoided with proper care and prevention services.

  • Humanity:  It’s a human tragedy to realize that a member of your community not only suffers from not having a stable place to live – which may subject them to physical distress under harsh weather conditions and potential violence – but also suffers from the emotional distress of being stripped of the right to having a place called home.

Source:  http://www.homewardboundwnc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Homelessness-Dec.-2012.pdf

These highlights are just the tip of the iceberg as we start digging into the source of homelessness –  poverty, health conditions, immigration, domestic violence and more. Through our own experiences with the economic downturns and everyday life, we all have personally connected with folks who’ve had periods of instability or other life challenges. However, hope is not lost in our City of Los Angeles, as a strong support system in our community exists and can bolster those experiencing homelessness through effective and targeted assistance.

Our Campaign Forward

The personal stories in our community are relatable and we are encouraged to lend our support those affected by homelessness to make it brief and non-recurring. This year, PbP aims to take on the issue of homelessness in the Asian American community with the same fervor and dedication we’ve shown to  our past themes. Our goal is to lead by bringing this issue to light and working to improve the lives of those who are affected by being unsheltered. Please join us in addressing homelessness as not just another statistic, but as an issue of advocacy in our community. Together, we can help move individuals, families, and communities off the streets and into safe, permanent homes.