The recession has left tens of thousands of young people with inadequate or no jobs struggling to find a home, even if they possess college credits or work histories.
Americans between the ages of 18 and 24, all of whom are someone’s son or daughter, have the highest unemployment rate of adults. The “boomerang set,” those who move home with their parents, are the lucky ones. But that option isn’t available to many whose families were hit hardest by the recession. An inconsistent home address reinforces their unemployability, in addition to exhausting, distracting and discouraging them as they spend precious time and energy seeking shelter and moving from place to place. The anxiety compounds as they watch some of their peers begin their lives and enjoy the kinds of relationships and experiences that economic health enables. Many fear that what seems now to be a “temporary predicament” will become their “lasting stigma.”
According to those who provide services for the poor in many cities, the economic recovery has not reached such people. “Years ago, you didn’t see what looked like people of college age sitting and waiting to talk to a crisis worker because they are homeless on the street,” said Andrae Bailey, the executive director of the Community Food and Outreach Center, one of Florida’s largest charitable organizations. “Now that’s a normal thing.”
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
The New York Times:
These young adults are the new face of a national homeless population, one that poverty experts and case workers say is growing. Yet the problem is mostly invisible. Most cities and states, focusing on homeless families, have not made special efforts to identify young adults, who tend to shy away from ordinary shelters out of fear of being victimized by an older, chronically homeless population. The unemployment rate and the number of young adults who cannot afford college “point to the fact there is a dramatic increase in homelessness” in that age group, said Barbara Poppe, the executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
… In Washington, Lance Fuller, a 26-year-old with a degree in journalism, spent the end of last month packing up a one-bedroom apartment he can no longer afford after being laid off. Mr. Fuller said he had been unable to keep a job for more than eight months since graduating from the University of Florida in 2010.
“Thankfully, I have a girlfriend who is willing to let me stay with her until I get back on my feet again,” said Mr. Fuller, who writes a blog, Voices of a Lost Generation. “It’s really hard for people in my generation not to feel completely defeated by this economy.”
Elvert Barnes (CC BY 2.0)
A homeless youth in Washington, D.C.