For Countless Americans, Living In Their Vehicles Has Become “The New Normal”

For Countless Americans, Living In Their Vehicles Has Become “The New Normal” by Michael Snyder for End of the American Dream

Once again tonight, countless numbers of Americans will sleep in their vehicles, and this is a problem that is getting worse with each passing year.  According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the homeless population in the United States hit 552,830 in 2018, but many believe that the true number is actually a lot higher.  Because in order to accurately count the homeless you have got to find them first, and many homeless do not want to be found.  But even if the HUD figure is accurate, it is still a great national tragedy to have such a high number of homeless, and a large percentage of those homeless Americans are living in their vehicles.

Since they can move around so easily, counting those that are living in their vehicles can be exceedingly difficult to do.  But we do have a few numbers, and they are definitely alarming.

A survey that was conducted in the Seattle area last year found that the number of people living in their vehicles had risen 46 percent over the past 12 months.  And according to a report that was just recently released, approximately 16,500 people are currently living in their vehicles in the city of Los Angeles.  The following comes from the Los Angeles Times

Two years ago, Los Angeles began testing an alternative to homeless shelters called safe parking, giving people living in their cars a secure spot to sleep at night.

The first site was quickly deemed a success, so the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority agreed to fund nine more lots in the pilot program, with promises to expand.

Earlier this year, before the release of new data showing more than 16,500 people living in their vehicles, the authority put out a request to providers across the county to help them make good on that promise.

Many that are living in their vehicles don’t even consider themselves to be homeless.

In fact, if you were to ask them if they were homeless some of them would openly deny it.  For example, 21-year-old Matthew Bodo was living in his vehicle for almost two years while attending a local college in California, and during that time he “strongly disagreed with calling myself homeless”

Matthew Bodo, 21, was homeless for nearly two years while attending Foothill College in the Northern California community of Los Altos Hills. He worked 14 hours a day as a valet for Tesla, parking employees’ cars, but couldn’t meet the requirement by many landlords that his monthly income total three times the monthly rent.

“I was completely and totally embarrassed by it at first,” Bodo says. “At the time, I strongly disagreed with calling myself homeless because I thought a car could be considered a home, but now I see it as one and the same.”

Many people don’t realize this, but homelessness has become quite an epidemic among America’s college students.  Just check out these numbers

A survey of nearly 86,000 students taken last fall by The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice found that homelessness affected 18% of respondents attending two-year colleges, and 14% of those attending four-year institutions.

In the state of California alone, approximately 399,000 community college students reported “some period of homelessness in the previous year”, and 20 percent of them indicated that they had slept in their vehicles.

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Michael Snyder

I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters.  (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing those books you help to support my work.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I can only allow this to happen if this “About the Author” section is included with each article.  In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.