The Rise of Homelessness in the 1980s

The Rise of Homelessness in the 1980s
February 22, 2017 | KCET

A special episode of KCET’s SoCal ConnectedThe Way Home — airing February 28, 2017, examines sustainable solutions for ending homelessness, including permanent supportive housing for the 254,000 homeless in Los Angeles.

As an introduction to the topic, KCET published an excerpt from the Ending Homelessness in Los Angeles (January 2007) report through the Inter-University Consortium Against Homelessness and authored by Jennifer Wolch, Michael Dear, Gary Blasi, Dan Flaming, Paul Tepper, and Paul Koegel with Daniel Warshawsky.

Most people see homelessness as a personal tragedy affecting those who cannot afford the cost of renting or owning a home. But why, in the early 1980s, did so many Americans find themselves homeless? Why did the accumulation of personal tragedies reach epidemic proportions at the same time across the nation?

The answer to these questions is rooted in both large-scale economic and political forces, as well as increasing personal vulnerability. Four interrelated dynamics were at play: declining personal incomes, loss of affordable housing, deep cuts in welfare programs, and a growing number of people facing personal problems that left them at high risk of homelessness.8

To read the extensive excerpt, click here.