Handwriting by Marisa Mangum
At The Little Market, our mission is to support dignified job opportunities for individuals in marginalized communities all over the world. By ethically sourcing and purchasing artisan-made goods, we support sustainable income opportunities to help break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future. A core part of our mission is to raise awareness for social justice issues, such as poverty and homelessness, and share avenues in which our readers can use their voices and actions to help others. Today, we are recognizing World Homeless Day.
Since 2010, World Homeless Day has been recognized annually on Oct. 10. It presents the opportunity to shed light on the issues behind homelessness and encourage communities to come together and work toward ending homelessness. World Homeless Day began based on conversations online among individuals helping to end homelessness across the world.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines homeless as “a person who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” A key part of helping to end homelessness is to stay up-to-date on the latest statistics. Keep reading for a few facts and share your knowledge with us in the comments below.
- More than 550,000 people in the United States are experiencing homelessness, according to HUD’s 2017 report. Approximately 65 percent were in emergency shelters or within transitional housing programs. The remaining 35 percent were in unsheltered locations.
- Based on the United Nations’ 2005 global survey, there was an estimated 100 million people experiencing homelessness worldwide. Around 1.6 billion people did not have adequate housing.
- A January 2016 point-in-time report by HUD showed that out of the total population of individuals experiencing homelessness in the United States, almost half were located within a major city. One in five of the total were living in New York or Los Angeles.
- Homelessness increased for the first time in seven years in 2017; this was a little less than a one percent increase from 2016 to 2017, according to HUD’s point-in-time estimates.
How to Help
There are several ways each of us can get involved to work toward ending homelessness and supporting those in marginalized communities. Here are a few ideas to get started.
- Become educated on the latest issues and spread the word in your community.
- Volunteer in local food shelters and emergency shelters.
- Create and donate kits that include essentials such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, clothing, and cups.
- Support organizations working to end homelessness. We are proud to work with the Downtown Women’s Center. It is the only organization here in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering formerly homeless women and women experiencing homelessness. The organization operates MADE by DWC, a social enterprise that provides job training and transitional employment in product and retail environments for women transitioning out of homelessness. Together, we collaborate on a beautiful collection of soaps and bath bombs. We are always excited to work with these inspiring women.
Please join us in raising awareness about homelessness. We encourage you to add your voices to the conversation. Thank you for joining us to help support those in marginalized communities.
World Homeless Day
End Homelessness – Homelessness in America
Homeless World Cup – Homelessness Statistics
End Homelessness – Homelessness in America – State of Homelessness Report
Huffington Post – 5 Trouble Statistics About Homelessness That You Should Know
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – The 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress