Statistics & Information on Homelessness
in our Community, State, & Nation
(Click on a topic below for more information)
Local - Evansville/Vanderburgh County, Indiana
Compiled by Marie Opatrny PhD, Department of Social Work, University of Southern Indiana,
& Katrina Boyd, Master of Social Work Graduate Student Assistant
Obtained from the National Low Income Housing Corporation website www.nlihc.org
State - Indiana
National - United States
We used to think homelessness
was caused by reckless choices.
It often seemed to affect
single people with
alcohol or drug problems
or people who just didn't want to work.
Now more than ever,
we know that's not the case.
The victims of homelessness today
are working families--mothers, fathers, and children
-- who just can't stay ahead.
As the basic cost of living rises and wages lag behind,
more families are faced with evictions or foreclosures.
Right now in Evansville, there are countless
families on the brink,
one lost job,
one rent increase away
from losing their homes.
In fact, one third of Evansville's population
lives below the poverty line.
Often, for those at risk, a little help and
guidance can break the cycle
of poverty and homelessness.
We know it's not enough to offer beds in shelters.
The beds fill up, and day after day
there's still no permanent place
for the homeless to call home.
Our community is working together
to end and prevent homelessness.
Together we can empower
all community members
to reach their Destination: Home.
"Everybody who is homeless is not a drug addict or an alcoholic or even a felon." -- Will
Greg and his spouse both had great jobs with a household income of more than $100,000. Greg came home one day, and his marriage of 15 years ended. He went through a messy divorce, in which she got everything except for the bills. He ended up homeless.
Kim had an injury from work. Worker's compensation ran out before she had healed, and her injury was too physically devastating to continue at her job. She then lost her insurance and eventually lost her children as well.
Lois was purchasing a home on contract for the amount the previous owners owed. When she made her payments, the mortgagee kept the money and never paid off the loan. She was forced to move out and had no where to go.
Delilah's husband had a substance abuse problem. The money that was designated for bills was being used for his habits instead. She went out on her own, but childcare was a real issue. When she was working, her income was too high to meet eligibility for assistance.
These are real people with real circumstances that led to their homelessness. These are just a few stories of those who were currently homeless or formerly homeless at the time they participated in focus groups in 2003.