HOMELESS: INDUSTRIALISED COUNTRIES
The unprecedented level of homelessness in advanced economies is one of the most visible symptoms of social change in the new era of globalisation…
Homelessness in the advanced economies has changed significantly over the past decade…
- In the banlieues of Paris, some inner-city areas of London and in the ghettos of New York, poverty and inequality have reached alarming and unacceptable levels;
- homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked: according to the US Bureau of the Census, in 2000, 11.3% of the US population, or 31.1 million people, lived in poverty. A recent Housing and Urban Development study (HUD, 2001) found that 4.9 million unassisted, very low-income households - 10.9 million people, 3.6 million of whom are children - had ‘worst case needs’ for housing assistance in 1999;
- the total estimated homeless population of Western Europe and the Unites States combined is equivalent to the entire population of Denmark.
- the old, derelict ‘wino’ on the park bench has been joined by younger men, unemployed and destitute; by the confused and mentally ill, frightened by the pace of surrounding activity; by women and children, escaping violent and destructive domestic situations; by young people, cast off by families who can’t cope or don’t care.
- recurrent racial, religious and cultural resistance continues to lead to the formation of slums. This, in turn, leads to the newly gated communities and enclosed shopping malls for the most affluent.