There’s never been as wide a disparity in wealth between the young and old as in contemporary America, and unemployment amongst the young is very high. Naturally, therefore, a lot of young people are ending up on the streets.
The NY Times
SEATTLE — Duane Taylor was studying the humanities in community college and living in his own place when he lost his job in a round of layoffs. Then he found, and lost, a second job. And a third.
Now, with what he calls “lowered standards” and a tenuous new position at a Jack in the Box restaurant, Mr. Taylor, 24, does not make enough to rent an apartment or share one. He sleeps on a mat in a homeless shelter, except when his sister lets him crash on her couch.
These young adults are the new face of a national homeless population, one that poverty experts and case workers say is growing. Yet the problem is mostly invisible. Most cities and states, focusing on homeless families, have not made special efforts to identify young adults, who tend to shy away from ordinary shelters out of fear of being victimized by an older, chronically homeless population. The unemployment rate and the number of young adults who cannot afford college “point to the fact there is a dramatic increase in homelessness” in that age group, said Barbara Poppe, the executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
The Obama administration has begun an initiative with nine communities, most of them big cities, to seek out those between 18 and 24 who are without a consistent home address. New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Boston are among the cities included in the effort.
Homeless people, the ones who are outright on the street in particular, are overwhelmingly male. I’ve been trying to find statistics breaking down homelessness by age and gender combined, and haven’t had much success, but I assume the ratio is pretty consistent across age cohorts. For obvious reasons, it’s easier for young women than young men to find someone to take them in. Additionally, more resources are available for the typical homeless female, despite the frequent (and predictable) complaints that they are not as well-served.
In the meanwhile, the war on men – particularly young ones – continues apace. Even as more young men fall into the abyss, the pressure is ratcheted up by our so-called pundits, who can barely contain their glee as more and more young men’s lives are marked by misery rather than stability and happiness.