Poverty in Washington


Lana Vuong, Staff Writer

According to U.S. News, states on the West Coast have the highest levels of homelessness exceeding 50 people per every 10,000, while the East Coast has rates exceeding 50 people per 10,000. Washington faces 47.6% of the population homeless with 22,304 homeless and 10,621 without shelter. This is because of things like substance/alcohol abuse, mental illness(es), single parent homes, and/or falling wages and mounting housing costs which make housing difficult for many.

The different types of homelessness include chronic which is usually older or injured people who are homeless for a longer amount of time, transitional (housing) where families stay at different facilities or properties for a short period and are continuously moved, night shelters, and episodic which is due to abuse, unemployment, experiencing mental illness, or medical problems.

Homelessness has been around and recorded since 1640.

The effect of homelessness includes a lack of access to health care, mental health facilities, incarceration fees, moral and ethical challenges, local economies and tourism, and the cost of shelters vs. supportive housing.

Some ways to end homelessness might involve things like more affordable housing, more subsidized apartments (based on income, generally 30%), and easy-to-access resources because homelessness is basically the lack of housing, services, social connectedness, and prevention.