Activity: 24 Houses Per Homeless Person

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Via Truth & Justice’s Facebook Page.

Find a figure (or a couple of figures) on homelessness in America. Find a figure on the number of houses in America. What percentage of houses would have to be unoccupied for this to be true? Does it sound plausible?

Do a mental experiment — if we reduced homelessness while maintaining the rate of home¬†occupation, what would happen to this figure?

Do another mental experiment. What if we put half of all homeless people into an unoccupied home (e.g. number of empty houses goes down, number of homeless goes down). What would happen to this figure? Plug sample figures into a toy model.

What might be a better ratio than homeless people to homes to contextualize the level of homelessness in America compared to our wealth?