'While millions of Americans celebrate Christmas this year with loved ones, carving turkey and sharing gifts, others are not so fortunate. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, over half a million of us will spend Christmas on the streets. The government agency estimates that on any given day, around 553,000 Americans are homeless. A third of those are families with young children. African Americans and those with disabilities are particularly likely to become homeless.
Yet these distressing numbers are sure to be underestimates of the true problem as they do not include the many more sleeping in vehicles or other makeshift accommodation, sofa surfing or relying on friends. Around 1.5 million people sleep at a shelter annually, according to figuresfrom the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Furthermore, the 500,000 number itself is likely an underestimate. A 2017 experiment done by The Guardian, where it placed actors posing as homeless people on the streets, found that authorities missed around one in three of them. And they were wishing to be seen, not individuals keen to go undetected.
Tens of millions of Americans are barely managing to stave off the same fate. Almost half of America is broke, and 58 percent of the country is living paycheck to paycheck, with savings of less than $1,000. 37 million Americans go to bed hungry and around 130 million admit an inability to pay for basic needs like food, housing or healthcare. After a decade of decline, the homeless population is again creeping up.'
Read more: This Christmas, Over Half a Million Americans Will Struggle with Homelessness
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