Special Report: Changing Face of Homelessness

Danielle Batist
INSP

Street papers on all continents have seen the changing face of homelessness in recent years. A recent survey, released this month by the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) reveals the scale of the problem. A total of 89 INSP street papers worldwide participated in this survey (published July 2012), mainly in Europe (50 street papers) and North America (24 street papers). The survey focused on the 4-year period since the start of the crisis. Of the street papers participating in the survey:

72% have seen a change in their vendor base

16% says more people with families have become street paper vendors

Almost 20% says more young people have become vendors

20% says their vendor numbers are growing

78% have seen a change in the demographics of homeless/ unemployed population in their city/ country

37% say more young people have become homeless/ unemployed

21% say more elderly people have become homeless/ unemployed

A quarter say that more families have become homeless/ unemployed

A third say that more local people have become homeless/ unemployed

The economic crisis at large is quoted as the main cause of the changing demographic of homeless people. 40% say that a lack of employment specifically is the largest contributor to these changes, followed by a lack of affordable housing.

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