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The Best  Explanation of Why We Have Homelessness 

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Onward Oregon


See through media obfuscation to the truth with XRAY.fm

Ed Blackburn, retiring Executive Director of Central City Concern, told the Oregonian what he learned on the front lines of the fight against homelessness:

"Is this level of homelessness a new phenomenon?

Modern homelessness as we think about it today really started increasing in the 1980s when the federal government began de-investing in the building of low-income housing and switched mostly to a voucher system, tapping into the private landlord market, which had some efficacy and worked to some degree. But now we find ourselves decades later with a huge shortage of housing for those who are 30 percent below the median income. And the marketplace doesn't build a lot of housing for those low-income levels.

Also during that time, in the wake of Vietnam, we saw a big upsurge in homeless veterans. We saw the de-institutionalization of large mental health hospitals, which was supposed to be followed by a lot of community investment in housing and community services, but that investment was never made proportionally to the de-investment in hospitals.

The War on Drugs led to a huge increase in incarceration rates for poor people generally, but for people of color way disproportionately for the size of the population. And that led to homelessness in the 1990s for African Americans to that degree we had never seen before."

See this link to read some excerpts of the Oregonian's interview of Ed Blackburn.


The Team from Onward Oregon

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