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Why is Living with grandma or living in a trailer considered being homeless???

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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:35 PM
Original message
Why is Living with grandma or living in a trailer considered being homeless???
Christ by that definition I spent some of my childhood homeless...

Why do we broaden definitions to increase the numbers for the news but at the same time make our case weaker overall.

One child homeless is one to many... why cook the books by including mothers that move back in with their parents (for various reasons) as well as people living in trailer parks.

Am I right or am I missing the big picture here?

Please educate me

http://www.homelesschildrenamerica.org/pdf/full_report/...



Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes
referred to as doubled-up);

• Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks , or camping grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations;
• Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
• Abandoned in hospitals;
• Awaiting foster care placement;
• Using a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular
sleeping accommodation for human beings;
• Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;
and
• Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

So the answer to your question is, "yes". Note that this definition is a lot broader than that used by HUD in its homeless programs; HUD administers the only federal funds being spent on homelessness currently, under the McKinney-Vento Act.
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Living with my Grandma
would be creepy since she's dead.
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Morning Dew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. you wouldn't use much electricity. nm
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
49. I'm actually
waiting for her to turn into fossil fuel so I can fill up my truck.
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Incitatus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. some people are cool with it
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
3. if a homeless guy sleeps on my couch
he's still a homeless guy who is sleeping on my couch
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I had to re-read that...
Thought you said that you had a homeless guy sleeping on your couch. :)
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. Yeah, but if your mother-in-law is sleeping on your couch
she's still your mother-in-law sleeping on your couch.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. no
she's a homeless person using my fucking couch - she's still homeless; she wouldn't be in my home if she had a fucking place to live
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. My brother stayed with us when he was between jobs
and I didn't think of him as a homeless person, or even my homeless brother. I hope he didn't either -- because he had a home with us.



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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. but technically he's still a homeless person
the numbers need to reflect the true reality of how freaking bad things are when people are forced to live in shelters or with family
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Aha thats my point exactly...
The numbers need to reflect the truth... there is no comparison between living rent free with a somewhat loving family member and living in a shelter.

We need to help the shelter people and we do them no favors by artificially pumping up the numbers.

Cause when you do that the whole enterprise becomes suspect.

Lets stick with hard data for hardship homeless.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. I agree. It's also a cultural thing. Many families live "doubled up"
for a variety of reasons, without considering parts of the family to be "homeless."

Where do we draw the line between large extended families who live together, and a brother who lives with his sister and her family? I don't think we can.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. gawd
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 12:01 AM by Skittles
it's the same as not counting underemployed people or folk who give up looking for a job in unemployment data - it fucking STINKS - your so-called "hard data" is not true data at all
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. How many children are living at shelter in cars on on the street?
Who are they and how can we help them TODAY....

That is the only hard data I care about.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. and that would be the problem
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 12:16 AM by Skittles
REAL data reveals the extent of them problem which HELPS GET RESULTS - whitewashing stats does the opposite - it MINIMIZES THE PROBLEM
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #37
41. Assume you're right. How do you decide which "homeless" people
living in a family home to count? Was my brother homeless -- but not any members of the 12 member extended family living down the street?
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #41
43. who is talking to you?
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 12:41 AM by Skittles
I'm still trying to figure out why you assumed my family didn't have enough money
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #43
46. What are you talking about? Where did I say anything about your family
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 12:51 AM by pnwmom
and money?
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #14
83. Traditionally, once one reaches adulthood (barring a disability), they are expected
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 10:08 AM by SoCalDem
to set up their own "household"..

When they cannot, they are assumed to be "homeless". When a family member takes them in, it's also considered temporary, since many/most cannot/do not pay rent..

I also think that the term "trailer park" , used in their context, probably means places like KOA trailer parks, or the ones that are for transient people who hook up their trailers/campers for a few days.weeks, and then move on...NOT the ones with clubhouses, monthly space rent, security, etc.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
5. Some of it
might be the lack of a mailing address.

I'm stretching here to try to understand. As for the "trailer park" designation, do they mean the kind that you pull your Airstream into on a summer trip?

It's the federal government. Of course it's stupid.

I read those numbers on homeless children, and I shuddered. How can kids go to school when they're homeless? What is going to happen to those poor kids?

This is our America. This is our America. This cannot be happening to our people.
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
6. My guess is that
"trailer parkes" refers to RV parks which are transitory rather than to mobile home parks which are considerably more permanent......
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Exactly. It's not about broadening the category at all but
about including the ones where people functionally have no permanent home of their own.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #15
52. Thanks, you so frequently save me the trouble.
Now, let's see if any education took place.


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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #15
93. You are right.
The issue with doubling up/overcrowding is a lack of stability. Individuals and families tend not to function normally unless they have a stable place to live that they can somehow claim as their own. It may work differently in a few cultures left on Earth, but not many. In particular, people with mental illness find it very difficult to recover when they lack stable housing.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #6
77. That's my take on it.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. Probably because they don't have a real address?
Mom and dad move around a lot following work or trying to find opportunities for work?

My DH and I roamed around the country for ten years in a trailer, sometimes working and sometimes not. It was something we wanted to do, but we ran into families who were desperate and living in broken down old rigs grabbing any work they could and usually it was seasonal. Kids were boxed in by unsympathetic landlords and neighbors. Parents were often depressed. I don't know how homeless they want people to be to qualify for the definition?
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. Technically, you aren't in posession of any property
Not that THAT matters. "Homeless" traditionally means you have NO home to go "home" to.

And anyone who tries to redefine that reality is an asshole.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
26. Neither is someone who rents.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #26
38. Yes, but they're on the lease.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. So if a friend let you stay for free but put you on the lease would you be homeless?
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. No. You're legally in possession of a residence.
When you're talking about people with children, if you and your kids are living with a friend, you're homeless. You have no permanent residence.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #40
45. People renting apartments don't have a permanent residence either.
Also, I don't think it makes sense to call people living in an extended family situation "homeless" if their name isn't on the deed or lease.
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #45
47. Nobody has a permanent residence if they stop paying their mortgage
or property taxes.... nt
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #45
50. If you're adult family has moved back into your parent's house with your family
you are homeless. You are likely in a temporary and untenable situation. We don't live in enormous victorians anymore. We live in 2-3 bedroom ranch houses.

You know what? I'm going to leave the analysis to the people with Ph.Ds in social work who made these decisions. I'm sure there's not a conspiracy to drive the numbers of homeless children up.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #50
54. In my city there are lots of immigrant families living in large extended family
situations. And the ones I know don't consider themselves homeless, whether or not their name is on the lease or deed.

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #54
62. Here's one for you: a cousin of mine (in my extended family)
was homeless and came to stay with us while he figured out the way forward. Well, he decided to stay while he finished school, which we all agreed to. So he was homeless UNTIL we made the arrangement permanent. Same kid, same living quarters but different terms.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #54
63. My city as well. And neither does the state.
But there are certainly situations where they would be considered homeless. A family of 4 moving into the one bedroom apartment of an elderly woman may not be a tenable situation. I'm sure that category is on the form for a reason.
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rwheeler31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
9. Look at the dates. We need more cooperation not
competition.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
11. People have struggled for years to find a satisfactory definition of homelessness
so that all sorts of fiscal issues can be settled. Is the person eligible for this benefit or that? Can kids get this service or that.

A person who sleeps on someones couch is considered homeless because even though in many cases that person may have that couch for however many months it may take to get on their feet, in as many or more cases that person can be out the door at the whim of the leaseholder or owner of the couch.

Living with your parents is not cooking the books. A person still has no control of their ultimate destiny when they are not a leaseholder or owner.
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I do understand that. Maybe what we need is two classes of homeless.
The triage homeless that literally are sleeping in a shelter or a car or outdoors

And the temporarily displaced that currently have digs but are looking for a more permanent solution.

Even without the trailers (which could mean anything people live for years in rental trailers.) There is a difference between sleeping on someones couch and setting up rent free in the spare bedroom or the mother in law house.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. I see your point, but I also understand that a free rent situation
can change really damn fast in a lot of families. I could live at my Dad's, I suppose and we could be happy enough for years. However, many family situation are much more volatile and that spare bedroom can evaporate quite quickly. The people in the homeless business call it homeless because so many come right back into the "real" homeless situation rapidly and need the benefits quickly.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #13
27. I believe that term is chronically homeless.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #13
51. I don't know about that.
From your source: For example, the definition contained in the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Homeless
Assistance Act includes children in motels and those who share housing temporarily because of loss of housing, economic
hardship, or similar reasons. Many families living in doubled-up situations often move repeatedly, sometimes on a daily or
weekly basis. These living situations are often overcrowded, unstable, and sometimes unsafe for children.

Your blithe definition as setting up rent free in the spare bedroom of the mother in law's house doesn't always fit. These double up situations aren't always that neat. Not everyone has a spare bedroom. If they're moving from day to day and week to week, they could be on the streets any day. Any one of those places could be just as dangerous as the streets. It's not as easy as you make it out to be. Sorry. I think it's right to include them in the numbers. Clearly, they're homeless by definition.
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #51
91. I agree the double up situations are not always neat,,,
Hell I lived in some apartments in my twenties that made a good sized closet seem luxurious (Broke and Manhattan don't mix)

The question isn't whether the truly transient should be included the question is whether the other so called unconventional should.

We talk often of the need for multi-generational housing and yet in the same breath we label some of those people homeless.

Hard data on people that need assistance helps get a true picture of the problem and allows appropriate resources to hopefully flow in their direction. Including people with housing in the homeless statistics does no favors to anyone involved.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #11
57. a couch-sleeper I would consider homeless
but not somebody in a guest bedroom. One thing that does bug me about the welfare state is when the safety net catches people who could be helped by their families or friends. Should the taxpayers give $400 a month rent assistance to somebody who could live with his/her parents or siblings at much less cost?
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #57
68. Yeah. Because it's so common for people to be able to easily support extra mouths to feed.
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 02:24 AM by Pithlet
It's not as if they don't have their own retirements to save for or anything. It wouldn't be a burden on those families at all. Yes, let's just strain the working and middle class even further by shouldering the burden on them.

That's nuts.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 03:38 AM
Response to Reply #68
72. it's not extra mouths to feed though
presumably the person/s can pay for their own food. It is shelter that they cannot afford.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #57
78. Perhaps the purveyors of you so called "welfare state" understand
that all realities are not created equally?

"One thing that does bug me about the welfare state is when the safety net catches people who could be helped by their families or friends."

One thing that bothers me is that folks don't understand that just because you are safe living with your parents or brother or best friend doesn't mean that recipient X has those same options. Want to see some twisted power plays? Want to see kids exploited? Want to see just how bad people can be? Force down on their luck woman and children to live with families and friends when they know the situation won't work.

That is why there is a definition of homelessness that offends people's gentrified sensibilities.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
12. That would be travel trailer park, not a "moble" home park
Ie, a place like KOA or Good Sam.

As for living with grandma, if you are living with her permanently or are formally renting a room, then you are not homeless. If you are temporarily staying in her guest room or sleeping on her couch, you are. It is the context.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
16. I'll bet they're not referring to....
1) A mom and grandma that get along famously and the child spends a lot of time with the grandma just for fun and exposure to grandma (maybe the mom died and what choice did the poverty-stricken grandma have but to take the child in)
2) A lavish RV like that which my bf's cousin's parents had bought for him, which he parked near the university, & where he took his dates and had lots of fun (I'm sure these trailers are not what I'd call... too habitable)
3) A grandma that has enough money to supply herself and her grandchild with all their needs (they probably live from day to day and very cheap, unnutritional food is what she can afford).
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Well one would hope...
Trailer parks are weird... I know some that are complete hellholes with weekly rent and I have seen some very nice ones that are basically apartments.

Living with grandma can have multiple reasons.

Emotional and financial support after divorce
Leaving an abusive lover
Getting the kids into a better school system
Taking care of an elderly parent
Job transfer
Saving money for a house downpaymnet
Moms in jail
ect

Now some of these are temporary and some of these are tragic reasons but I have my doubts that the government is real good with the nuance.

One homeless child is too many... I worry about the kids out on the street not those forced to share a bedroom.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Oh I agree, but by the time they're sleeping in on the sidewalk, things are near death nt
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. If I lose my house, and have to move in with a friend, I am still homeless.
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Why? How is renting from a friend and sharing a house different than
getting an apartment?

If you friend lets you stay in an apartment he owns rent free till you get back on your feet are you still homeless?
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Because I have lost my home, and am forced to stay in a makeshift temporary environment
until I can acquire housing of my own. Do you think the only people who are "homeless" are those who live on the street?
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. No and thats my point. Triage homeless that don't have anywhere to go need our help today.
People living rent free a few months till they can get back on their feet may be technically homeless but they don't need the same kind of assistance.

My concern is that we concentrate on the easy to fix homeless (the couch surfers) because that story often has a happy wending and we can still feel good about ourselves while discounting the real problem.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #25
42. Is every recent grad who chooses to sleep on a friend's couch for a while,
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 12:40 AM by pnwmom
rather than move back in with parents, homeless?

If an adult woman moves back into the family home, is she homeless? Is her child homeless if her child moves in, too?

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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #42
64. Maybe you should go into public assistance and learn these ignoramuses.
Why would a recent grad sleep on a friend's couch instead of getting an apartment? Yes. He's homeless. Especially if he can't find a job and he lives 2000 miles away from anyone who can help him.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 04:48 AM
Response to Reply #64
74. That recent grad may not be homeless. That grad may have had other options --
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 04:51 AM by pnwmom
like getting a job in his hometown and living with his parents until he could afford an apartment.

For example, if a young person chooses to move into a friend's apartment in NYC in order to seek work as an actor, is he homeless? Or just someone who left his family home and boring job in order to pursue his dream in New York?

I'm not saying that there aren't people living with friends who are homeless. I'm saying each case is different.


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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #19
28. So if you lose your home and rent an apartment are you still homeless?
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #28
65. No. There's nothing in the OP that suggests that's the case either.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. I wasn't addressing the OP.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
30. I don't think so.
Are we working with wildly different definitions of homelessness here? Sounds like it.

I'm a renter. Never owned a house. I'm not homeless. I spent pretty much all of my 20s sharing apartments with an ever-changing cast of roommates. We weren't homeless.

A home, to me, is a safe place to sleep, shelter from the elements, a place for your stuff (thanks, George Carlin), a place to shower and eat and relax and escape from the outside world a little bit, a place to cook and plug in your appliances, with SOME security and concept of "permanance" even if that's just a renter's lease or a family tie. I think if you have that, you can certainly still be poor or financially insecure or stressed out or just scraping by, but you're not homeless (You might be painfully conscious of how close to it you are, but still...you're not there yet.)
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #30
44. I agree. n/t
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Double T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
23. Single and double wides are america's new mc mansions.
We'll all me moving into one of them soon.
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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
33. Trailer Parks: There is a world of difference
between a 25' camper and a 14'x 60' mobile home. The latter is proper permanent housing, the former most likely isn't anything more than an inexpensive alternative to hotels, motels, and more comfy than the car or the street in that it generally posesses an enclosed restroom and shower.

I've lived in both. Much different. And the parks that cater to that trade are much different too, for the most part.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #33
60. most people call mobile home parks, trailer parks
since they distinguish between trailer parks and camping, it seems they are not talking about RVs. Heck, RVs are way more expensive than mobile homes anyway.
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #60
79. Yeah I caught that as well... The only thing preventing me from thinking
they mean actual trailer parks is the sheer ignorance of the statement.

But then again....
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
48. I don't think they mean people who just happen to live with grandma
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 12:55 AM by Pithlet
on a permanent basis. They're talking about people and families in a transitory position. Those people are still homeless. For instance, let's say a family's home is foreclosed on or they're evicted and they've lost everything in a very short period of time. They crash on grandma's living room floor with what few possessions they have left. They're homeless. They've been displaced. It's not the same thing as permanently moving there and setting up residence on a permanent basis, with jobs, enrolled permanently in the local schools where the kids will go the whole year, etc. Make sense? Yes, I believe they should be included in those numbers. Are they better off than being directly out on the streets? Of course. But they're still homeless. No less than a family staying in a shelter. Now, if they stay and effectively plant themselves with grandma or whomever and establish their address more permanently, then no, I would no longer consider them homeless. As for the trailer parks, I don't believe they're talking about mobile homes. So, yes, I'd categorize them as homeless too.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #48
53. The problem with your definition is that you could have two families
living in homes side by side, both with an adult child living at home -- and one adult would be considered homeless, the other not -- based solely on whether he or she considered themselves "homeless" or "planted."

Also, would you consider every new college graduate who temporarily returns to the family home to be homeless? Every underemployed Ph.D.?
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #53
55. I think the reasons behind displacement are important to consider.
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 01:31 AM by Pithlet
From the OP's source:

For example, the definition contained in the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Homeless
Assistance Act includes children in motels and those who share housing temporarily because of loss of housing, economic
hardship, or similar reasons. Many families living in doubled-up situations often move repeatedly, sometimes on a daily or
weekly basis. These living situations are often overcrowded, unstable, and sometimes unsafe for children.

That's the definition the OP has trouble with. The one he seems to think is always akin to shacking up in grandma's neat spare room. Tell me. Why should they not be considered homeless for purposes of figuring out the scope of the problem? They don't have a home.

No. Not every single homeless person is going to have the exact same situation. Some of these families might have better situations than others because they might stay a little longer, or the conditions might be nicer. But that doesn't mean you throw the whole category out so that the problem is underreported and therefore underfunded. What good does that do? If a person doesn't want to consider themselves homeless and counted among them, then by all means they don't have to be. As far as I know, no one is forced to call themselves that or represent themselves as such. And really, with this definition I don't think there's a rush of underemployed Ph.D's scrambling to be counted to throw off the numbers.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #55
58. Underreporting, not overreporting, is the problem.
Some people do not want to admit that they are homeless and will go to great lengths to avoid having to say that out loud to anyone. My ex was homeless for two years and sometimes, he still sometimes says he was not.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:31 AM
Response to Reply #55
59. I'm not muddying them up. I don't think the distinctions are as clear as you do.
My brother lived with us when he was between jobs, and neither of us considered him to be homeless. He had a home. It was with us.

But by your definition, he would be.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #59
61. Why would I define him as anything?
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 01:37 AM by Pithlet
He doesn't say he's homeless. You don't think he's homeless. That's good enough for me. If the people doing a study show up and ask, and you guys say "Hey! Not homeless!" I'd be fine with that. It's for purposes of reporting for funding. But why should you or I or anyone else say that a displaced family moving around every other week shouldn't count as homeless because they happened to be shacking up that day at on a relatives couch? They need the help. The funding is needed. It's about establishing a need and getting the funding for it. Narrowing the definition to exclude people who truly are homeless and in need because the OP thinks they're all just shacking up in Grandma's neat little den would be wrong.

ETA I changed the title of my previous post because I thought it was too harsh, but I did it while you were responding. I apologize.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #61
67. THANK you....
Goodness gracious. Let's leave loopholes so people can fall through the cracks because some woman on the internet doesn't think people who sleep on couches are homeless because her son did it after college.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #67
69. My son is still in college, and he's never slept on anyone's couch, as far
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 02:40 AM by pnwmom
as I know. (He's still our dependent.)

He'll never be homeless as long as I have a home, and neither will my siblings or mother. I do think extended families have obligations to each other, a belief that apparently not all others share.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 02:51 AM
Response to Reply #69
70. No, I don't owe shit to my homophobic aunt that I haven't seen since I was 12
or my cousins that I don't know and we don't need laws that place burdens on extended family. My extended family are complete strangers to me.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #70
71. I didn't say anything about laws. And I don't think anyone has an obligation
to hurt themselves or their own family in order to help an extended family member or friend out.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #53
56. Yes, that's right. But it's not solely "consideration". A daughter
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 01:27 AM by EFerrari
who returned to her parents home because of spousal abuse and is there temporarily is technically homeless where her former classmate next door who moved back in to stay with her widowed mom and make a household with her is not. The classification also turns on permanence.

And a new college grad home on the way to somewhere else is not homeless -- that's just normal family life. An underemployed doc who loses their apartment and who is sleeping in the den may well be.

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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 03:56 AM
Response to Original message
73. what we really need
There is something even more difficult to determine, and that is much more important to solving the problem.

Who really is and who is not callous and indifferent to the plight of the less fortunate, and condescending toward them and contemptuous of them? Who really is a "helper" and who really cares? There are so many variations, so many permutations, so many different ways that people express their inhumanity. Some make it sound so reasonable.

It is a difficult challenge. Are those who claim to care, yet talk about other human beings in more dismissive and derogatory terms then they would talk about their pets callous and indifferent to the plight of the less fortunate, or does their claim to care trump their attitude?

I think if we could figure out who is and who isn't callous and indifferent to the plight of the less fortunate, and condescending and contemptuous, if we could cut through all of the rhetoric and double talk, we would be a lot closer to successfully tackling the problem.

But as it is, many of those who say they "care" and "only want to help" give me the urge to run in the opposite direction as fast as I can. Maybe that urge can be described as a treatable condition, however, and then diagnosed so homeless people can be afforded yet another "cure." We could say that the non-compliant needy suffer from "helperphobia," and maybe some pharmaceutical treatment is available.

If we can just figure out who really is and who is not on our side, I think we will have accomplished a great thing. We need a methodology here for analyzing and categorizing the helpers, or we make our case weaker overall and can never move forward.

Why is talking about other human beings as though they were bugs, and worrying that some of the homeless are conning us considered being a helper??? I mean, Christ, by that definition, the most callous and indifferent people could be called "helpers." How can we allow the definition to be so watered down that it is no longer meaningful?

We need to get a handle on this helper problem. Something must be done with them if we are to have a sane and compassionate society.


...
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 05:16 AM
Response to Original message
75. Just use the 'Blanch DuBois Test' for judging homelessness. (I named
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 05:17 AM by acmavm
the test myself by the way.)

IF YOU DEPEND ON THE KINDNESS OF 'STRANGERS' (a shelter for example) OR OTHERS IN ORDER TO HAVE A FUCKING ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD, YOU ARE HOMELESS NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE.

edit: For the intellectually challenged here, and there is most definitely one person in that category who's been posting in this thread, OTHERS would include family members.
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #75
84. So all children are homeless?
I don't think your definition is that bad on its face... I depend on my income to keep a roof over my head... Many of us depend on a spouse to help pay the rent or mortgage...

I don't think there is anything wrong with families helping each other out...

And I really don't think that someone living with there folks or living with a girlfriend or crashing with a buddy is homeless.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #84
85. Folks, some common sense is required here. You know damn
good and well what I meant.

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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
76. I live in a mobile home and I do not consider myself homeless.
I own my trailer. No mortgage payments. I only pay lot rent of $332 a month, which includes water and garbage pickup. When I was looking to buy a house, I decided on a trailer so that I would not have to make any high mortgage payments. Boy, the way the housing market is nowadays, I am really glad I went that route. I am not poor. I work full-time and I am also collecting social security.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
80. Eh, by that defintion I'm homeless
I'm living in a camper (a nice one) parked on my daughter and son in law's property.

Technically it's illegal to do what I'm doing in our county but since the property is several acres and there is no one to complain then it goes unnoticed.

Another family member is also homeless by that definition, there are two houses here on the property with four generations living in them (in addition to my camper), one of the more distant relatives was burned out of her home a few months back and is living in one of the houses with other family that has been here all along.

We are all helping each other out, in return for my living here I take care of my grandkids when their parents are at work or have other things they need/want to do. Personally I like the arrangement, it solves multiple problems for multiple people.

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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
81. (shrug) You can go by the "home is where the heart is" definition if you want....
and call a cardboard box your home, simply because that's where you are (hypothetically).

Other people find value in another definition.

Other people think that *your grandmother* has a home, and is letting you crash there. Other people think that home are *permanent* structures, and so trailers would be excluded.

Live and let live.
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
82. Hmmm. Definitely Too Broad Of A Definition.
The way I see it, it's all about residency. I define residence as any place of true shelter that is available to the person for all 24 hours of a given day. If in any given month or whatever there are more days spent at a residence than not, I wouldn't consider the person to truly be homeless.

Someone living with their grandma most definitely isn't homeless. If someone has a residence one day, no residence the next, but a residence again on the 3rd day, they were only homeless for one of those days.

Now granted, it's a bit more complex than that, but overall that simple definition works well enough from my perspective. There likely should be sub categories of homelessness though.
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blues90 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
86. I guess that makes me a early 50's homeless child
Because when I was born as well as my older sister and younger sister we lived in a trailer in a trailer park , a long trailer that was pulled by my fathers car and I was 8 before we had a actual rented house.

So I guess this also makes me poor white trailer trash even though I had both a mother and father and two sisters and a brother who was the only one who was not trailer trash.

I never seemed to notice that trailer life was any different that life in a house other than it did not have wheels.

Mt father was a carpenter who built homes on his own so I guess this made us more mobile because we lived in a few trailer parks in IL and FL.

Also I renter a single wide mobile home in FL for a while in a mobile home park , no one there seemed to consider themselves homeless and I worked with a fellow who movered from Denver to IL and he bought a trailer in a trailer park as a home because it was cheap living and had heat and a stove and even a bathroom.

I think it's a crime and a huge mistake to judge or classify people by what they live in.

Homeless is one who has no place to live with a roof that is his or her own, rented or owned or shared.

I think the way of the future will be more people sharing a roof or moving with the parents or relatives or friends or grandparents or even a commune. Even a motor home is a home , hell my 69 ford van was mine for well over a year back in 1980 even had a toilet and sink and bed in it.

Screw the people who judge others based on what they define as their version of a home.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
87. My son was moving from one state to another, he and older daughter stayed with
us, while mom and two younger siblings stayed with her parents in 1st state. This was for about 3 months till he found a job and place for them to live. Were they homeless?
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
88. Se3lf-delete...
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 01:47 PM by LanternWaste
Self-delete.
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JitterbugPerfume Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
89. If you have to debate
over whether a person is homeless or not, they probably are.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
90. By this definition, I've been homeless 3 times in my life. Once for about 4 years.

"substandard housing," that is.









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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
92. That was my post you quoted...
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 03:48 PM by Terran
I work with federal homelessness issues for a living, and I can tell you that the definition used in the study is not the one most federal agencies use. But as far as the first item goes, what the feds normally mean by "doubled-up" is just that: not just sharing a dwelling, but a dwelling being used by far more people than it's designed to hold, AND given the fact that some of the people living there would be in shelters or on the street otherwise. It's a gray area in many ways because there are no good ways to measure exactly how many people are in that situation. The data gotten by schools only covers children 6-18, so it misses a lot of the problem.

The reference to trailer parks puzzled me too, because there's nothing inherently homeless about living in a trailer park. In my state, something like 30% of the housing stock is "manufactured".

HUD's definition of homelessness, which is the one that really counts because HUD's money is pretty much the only money funding homeless programs, is:

--living/sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (such as a car, abandoned building, park, "the street:, etc.);

--sleeping in an emergency shelter;

--living in a transitional housing facility, but having come there from a shelter or the street;

--currently in an institution (such as an in-patient drug treatment facility) for 30 days or less, but, again, having come there from a shelter or the street.

HUD's defintion used to be considerably wider, including, for example, people about to be evicted, but they've been tightening it up for the past several years.

The definition is a two-edged sword; if they widen it again to include a lot more people, that would be good and would reflect reality better; but it would possibly double the number of people who are eligible for HUD assistance, so the government would need to double the size of HUD's homeless assistance programs...which they *should* do, no brainer, but I'm not sure Obama realizes what a good idea that would be. Politicians of all sorts are notoriously clueless about homelessness.
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-12-09 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
94. Apparently our White house chief of staff may have been considered homeless under these guidelines
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-12-09 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
95. We need a new forum on DU
Questioning Whether People In Need Really Deserve Help

GD: QWPINRDH

This kind of thing is cluttering up the forums, and it's not really what I would expect from a progressive site.

Instead of playing semantics games over who is worse off, why don't we focus on meeting needs?
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