Family homelessness is an American crisis: 2.5 million children will experience homelessness this year in the United States.
The causes of family homelessness have a simple determinant—incomes have not kept pace with housing costs. Since 1960, rents nationwide have risen by 61% while renters’ average incomes have only increased by 5%.
Low income families are facing the worst housing crisis in generations. Millions of poor households are spending the majority of their income just to meet their housing costs. This toxic equation has caused the number of evictions nationwide to skyrocket.
Matthew Desmond, author of the best-seller, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016), founded The Eviction Lab at Princeton University in 2017 when he realized the need to collect national data on evictions to address fundamental questions about poverty in America. Understanding the sudden, traumatic loss of home through eviction is foundational to understanding poverty.
As Desmond says, “Eviction functions as a cause, not just a condition of poverty.”
The videos linked out below tell the story of Eviction, putting faces to the cold, hard numbers of this epidemic. Through sharing these stories, we can begin to understand and effectively address eviction, homelessness, and poverty in America. They are perfect complements to our national campaign at Family Promise to raise awareness of family homelessness as we ask, “What Does Home Mean to You?”