UNCENSORED – American Family Experiences with Poverty and Homelessness

On The Record
Experts Respond to Questions about the Biggest Misperceptions among the General Public about Homelessness

What if there was a U.S. city where no families had homes? In a way, that city exists. There are 238,110 people in families who are homeless on any given night in the U.S., according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. To give an idea of what that means: a city made up of just those people would be larger than Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, and have twice the population of Springfield, Illinois. Furthermore, the figure 238,110 does not take into account those who might be called the “hidden homeless,” people who are living doubled-up with friends or family or excluded for other reasons from estimates of people without homes.

Myths and misperceptions persist about the people in this phantom city. UNCENSORED asked four professionals who work with homeless individuals in various capacities to identify some of those myths and misperceptions, reveal where they come from, and discuss ways to fight them.