Why are People Homeless?
Severe Affordable Housing Shortage
A lack of adequate
income and a lack of affordable housing are the top two reasons why
people become homeless in Rhode Island. Rhode Island is one of the
least affordable places to live in the US. Our state has experienced the
second largest increase in the nation for the largest gap between what
people earn and the cost to rent a home. In order to afford a
two-bedroom apartment in Rhode Island, a minimum wage earner must work
102 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.
Housing is simply unaffordable
to many Rhode Islanders. In 2008, nearly 25% of renters in Rhode Island
were spending more then half of their income on rent. This shortage of
affordable housing makes it more difficult for people to exit
homelessness and increases the risk of homelessness for low-income
individuals and families.
As the state and municipalities
attempt to balance their budgets, service programs have been cut
including health care, childcare, housing subsidies, and food
assistance. When families are living paycheck to paycheck, these types
of cuts can turn a stable family into a homeless family.