In his March 14, 2012 article in The Atlantic, “America’s Real Homeless Hotspots,” Richard Florida examines the problem of homelessness in the United States focusing on the factors that do and do not lead to homelessness. The recent negative backlash around the homeless people used as “hotspots” at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin has brought attention to this tragic issue.
Florida includes a map that shows metro levels of homelessness across the country and references findings from the National Alliance to End Homelessness recent report, The State of Homelessness in America, including that:
600,000 people in the United States are currently homeless;
70,000 veterans are currently homeless; and
There are 21 homeless people per 10,000 people in the U.S.
He finds that the cost of housing and unemployment impact homelessness and writes:
“Homelessness affects far too many Americans, but it’s a mistake to conflate it with crime or see it as a breeder of other social problems. It is not the exclusive province of large urban centers, but affects cities large and small, rich and poor alike.”