Anyone can experience homelessness. Anyone made vulnerable even for only a short episode can be missed by the current social safety nets that prevent homelessness.  Causes of homelessness in America include:
1. The gap between minimum wage and living wage.  The average difference between the minimum wage and the wage needed to prevent rent burdens of greater than 30% of total income in America is $3.60/hr.
2. The Failure of the Affordable Housing Market.  Assuming that “affordable” means that rent is less than 30% of a person’s income, More than half of Bostonians experience excessive rent burdens. This widespread market failure creates chronic vulnerability to homelessness even for currently housed persons.
3. The Rising Cost of Health Services. Even with the Affordable Care Act of 2009, over half of personal bankruptcies in the US result from the costs associated with health issues. Many people impacted by poor health are vulnerable to homelessness, and once homeless often can be denied or unable to access reliably vital treatment.
If you believe that having a stable place to sleep is a basic human right and shouldn’t be impacted by these issues please contribute to this project in the following ways:
1. reblog, like, and share.
2. submit a picture of where you sleep to accompany a future post.
3. learn more about what societal shortcomings exacerbate homelessness in America by clicking any of the links above.
SUBMISSION: As a college student, making my bed is clearly not a priority.  However many people my age and even younger don’t have a bed that they can choose to keep messy. In Massachusetts alone, there are an estimated 5,853 unaccompanied high school students experiencing homelessness. Nationally, over 1.5 million children under the age of 18 are homeless.
While homeless, youth are exposed to dangerous street economies that put them at great risk of abuse.  With an estimated 100,000 children entering the global sex trade from the United States every year, street youth are one of the most vulnerable, especially those with no social networks or family protections.
Thankfully, homelessness for youth is not always spent on the street, often youth engage in “couch surfing” - an unstable and transitory alternative to shelters that relies on navigation of social networks to guarantee a place to sleep for the night. Governed by meeting expectations of friends, family members, and those they may be doubling up with, couch surfing is not the same as having one reliable place to sleep.  Longer term stays at shelters often prove dangerous for youth as well, with most shelters not accommodating to the education and safety needs of youth.
The stability necessary to address substance abuse, past trauma, and navigating the job and housing markets can only be found when a person has access to a reliable, safe place to sleep. The current system for addressing youth homelessness lacks political efficacy and viable, stable paths out of homelessness.
f you believe that having a stable place to sleep is something homeless youth can’t afford to have missing from government budgets for homelessness programs, please contribute to this project in the following ways:
1. reblog, like, and share.
2. submit a picture of where you sleep.
3. learn more about youth homelessness in America at Stand Up For Kids
A study in Seattle shows that the average person in the shelter system costs the government $4,066 per month.  When moved into permanent housing with health and addiction services readily available, this number dropped to $2,449. In addition, with reduced need for medical attention and lower chance of criminal activity, annual savings to hospitals, businesses, and corrections facilities were estimated to be around $6,300 per person housed.
This model is called “Housing First.” Instead of Continuum of Care providers of shelter and free health services holding people experiencing homelessness in a confusing network of resources, Housing First models allow for resources to be centralized around a stable housing unit for each previously homeless individual or family.
Making homelessness easier to combat is not only making it more affordable. Having a place to sleep is essential.  The stability necessary to address substance abuse, past trauma, and navigating the job and housing markets can only be found when a person has access to a reliable, safe place to sleep.  Housing First models provide much more than a bed, they provide stability.
If you believe that having a stable place to sleep is a basic human rightplease contribute to this project in the following ways:
1. reblog, like, and share.
2. submit a picture of where you sleep.
3. learn more about how one Housing First organization is combating homelessness in Boston at Home Start
Homelessness is several forms of instability at once. On a day to day basis, time consuming and costly travel while searching for work and basic needs like food and clothing characterizes many experiences of homelessness. Others who ask for money in urban centers face a wave of criminalization, which pushes homeless populations into more dangerous, less visible, and often illegal street economies. 
On a larger scale, many shelters limit the amount of time clients can stay. Without effective case management, many individuals move out of a shelter and back onto the streets.
The stability necessary to address substance abuse, past trauma, and navigating the job and housing markets can only be found when a person has access to a reliable, safe place to sleep. A shelter bed is not that. Preventing people from entering homelessness is the best way to ensure such stability. That means addressing poverty and the failures of both the job and housing markets, not just the limitations of the shelter system.
If you believe that having stable housing is a basic human right, please contribute to this project in the following ways:
1. reblog, like, and share.
2. submit a picture of where you sleep.
3. learn more about housing first approaches to addressing homelessness in America at the National Coalition for the Homeless
Many shelters are empty during the day.  This is because 44% of adults experiencing homelessness perform some time type of work for pay in a given month. These numbers are even higher amongst the sheltered homeless.  Barriers to employment include: lack of social networks, limited education and job experience, chronic health issues, lack of transportation, bad credit, and criminal records.
The problem is not only finding jobs, but also finding a living wage. With the gap between the minimum wage and living wage in America at an all time high, employment just doesn’t end homelessness. The burden of homelessness shouldn’t fall on those experiencing it: countless market and policy failures trap people in cycles of poverty, one the most extreme being homelessness. Without stable housing, a job paying a living wage is almost impossible to keep.  Without a living wage, affordable housing in most urban environments is extremely difficult to access.
If you believe that having a stable place to sleep is a matter of economic justice please contribute to this project in the following ways:
1. reblog, like, and share.
2. submit a picture of where you sleep.
3. learn more about economic justic for the homeless in America at the National Coalition for the Homeless
On any given night, 633,782 people experience homelessness in America. Of these, 243,627 (38%) were unsheltered. 
This is one of the beds that kept that number from being higher. Shelter for many people is no more than a place to sleep. The stability necessary to address substance abuse, past trauma, and navigating the job and housing markets can only be found when a person has access to a reliable, safe place to sleep. 
Even still, procedures used to gather these “Point-in-Time” estimates continue to undercount the actual number of people experiencing homelessness by failing to visit many locations with homeless populations, due to methodological and financial constraints.
These surveys can usually only count those who are in shelters or on the streets.  Many rural homeless persons are heavily undercounted and have no access to stabilizing services. Contrary to popular belief, the number of urban and rural homeless persons counted nationwide are about equal.
If you believe that having a stable place to sleep is a basic human right, please contribute to this project in the following ways:
1. reblog, like, and share.
2. submit a picture of where you sleep.
3. learn more about homelessness in America at the National Coalition for the Homeless
This is one of the 3,270 shelter beds in the Greater Boston Area.  The 2014 Homeless Census in Boston identified 7,255 people experiencing homelessness in the city.
Having a place to sleep is essential.  The stability necessary to address substance abuse, past trauma, and navigating the job and housing markets can only be found when a person has access to a reliable, safe place to sleep.  
Many shelters, because of funding and overcrowding, are neither reliable or safe.  Most spots are full and remain that way for months and even years, when people most likely must move to a new shelter rather than having found permanent housing, as past criminal records, illness, and strict schedules stifle the ability to find and hold a steady job and leverage enough housing vouchers to combat one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.
If you believe that having a stable place to sleep is a basic human right please contribute to this project in the following ways:
1. reblog, like, and share.
2. submit a picture of where you sleep.
3. learn more about homelessness in America at the National Coalition for the Homeless