Understanding Homelessness

October 11, 2023 at 10:03 a.m.
Nathan, 22, originally from Texas, who said he has been homeless since he was 16, sits with a sign along 42nd Street in New York City March 1, 2023. Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness. OSV News photo/Shannon Stapleton, Reuters
Nathan, 22, originally from Texas, who said he has been homeless since he was 16, sits with a sign along 42nd Street in New York City March 1, 2023. Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness. OSV News photo/Shannon Stapleton, Reuters (Shannon Stapleton)


• Pope Francis commented on worldwide housing issues in his 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’”: “Lack of housing is a grave problem in many parts of the world, both in rural areas and in large cities, since state budgets usually cover only a small portion of the demand,” the pontiff said. “Not only the poor, but many other members of society as well, find it difficult to own a home. Having a home has much to do with a sense of personal dignity and the growth of families.”

• Homelessness is a pervasive problem throughout the United States.  The National Low Income Housing Commission reports that “no state has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest income renters.”

• New Jersey, the eighth most expensive state to buy a house, has a typical home value of approximately $484,466, and ranked No. 47 for cost-of-living affordability.


• Pope Francis commented on worldwide housing issues in his 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’”: “Lack of housing is a grave problem in many parts of the world, both in rural areas and in large cities, since state budgets usually cover only a small portion of the demand,” the pontiff said. “Not only the poor, but many other members of society as well, find it difficult to own a home. Having a home has much to do with a sense of personal dignity and the growth of families.”

• Homelessness is a pervasive problem throughout the United States.  The National Low Income Housing Commission reports that “no state has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest income renters.”

• New Jersey, the eighth most expensive state to buy a house, has a typical home value of approximately $484,466, and ranked No. 47 for cost-of-living affordability.

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