With the increased cost of living, many people have become homeless. The Covid-19 pandemic pushed many people into poverty due to the loss of jobs. Besides, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia has also pushed the cost of living even higher. Cumulatively, all these factors have contributed to the increased rates of homelessness in the US and across the world.
We are going to look at how much money would it cost to end homelessness in America, the UK and Canada, its causes, and solutions to homelessness.
How Much would it Cost to End Homelessness in the United States?
The Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier on estimated that it would cost $20 billion to end homelessness in the US. However, it is likely that the cost could be much higher right now considering the high inflation and cost of living.
How Many People Are Experiencing Homelessness in the US?
National Alliance to End Homelessness suggests that about 580, 466 people were experiencing homelessness as of January 2020. These people were living in shelters and streets in America. The rate of homelessness is growing at an average rate of 3% per year. Covid-19 made it harder to collect data on homelessness and as such, the rates could even be higher.
How Much Would it Cost to End Homelessness UK?
The National Charity for Homeless people has a plan that would cost £10 billion to end homelessness. This amount is less than 5% of the UK budget. The charitable organization says that the money would be enough to build 100,000 social homes for homeless people every year. If well implemented, the plan can offer a long-term solution to homeless people.
How Much would it Cost to End Homelessness in Canada?
Canada spends about $7 billion Canadian dollars every year to fight homelessness. Much of this money is meant to cover costs of emergency shelters. A rough estimate of $15 billion Canadian dollars would be enough to end homelessness in Canada. The amount would be enough to build social homes for homeless people.
Is it Possible to End Homelessness?
Yes. It is very much possible to end homelessness in the US. The US government has been spending a lot more on foreign aid than it would cost to end homelessness in the US. Let’s have a look at it from this perspective:
- In 2021, the US government spent $38 billion on foreign aid
- In 2019, the US government spent $718 billion on military
Looking at the above figures, it is evident that the US government can end homelessness if it put a lot more emphasis on it.
Also read: What to give to a homeless person?
How Much Would it Cost to End Homelessness in the World?
Now that we have a figure of the cost of ending homelessness in the US, UK and Canada, you might be asking yourself; how much would it cost to end global homelessness?
It is challenging to determine the cost of ending homelessness in the world because there are no actual figures on the number of homeless people. Many countries do not have statistics about homeless people. Besides, homeless people comprise a wide category of people like prisoners.
What are the Causes of Homelessness?
The following are the main causes of homelessness in the US.
- Insufficient wages among employees
- Lack of public assistance
- Lack of affordable housing
- Unexpected job loss
- Divorces and domestic violence
- Housing discrimination
Solutions to End Homelessness in the World
The following are some approaches that governments can use to end homelessness:
1. Increase employment and income. the government should come up with programs that can increase employment opportunities and also increase income rates among low-income earners.
2. Assist the most vulnerable in society. Governments can come up with supportive housing programs for vulnerable people in society. Besides, they can also come up with community housing where people can pay rates based on a percentage of their income.
3. Permanent supportive housing for the homeless. It wouldn’t cost the US government much to house the homeless compared to how much it spends on foreign aid. Rapid re-housing could help address the problem of homelessness in the US.
Also read: Should you give the homeless money?
Summary: How Much Money Would it Cost to End Homelessness in the World?
With the US government spending lots of money on foreign aid, it is possible to end homelessness in the US. It only requires commitment and goodwill. It would cost the US government around $20 billion to end homelessness. Some of the ways to end homelessness include creating more job opportunities, assisting the vulnerable in society, and permanent supportive housing for the homeless.