The Hidden Homeless: What You’re Not Seeing in the Statistics

Statistics on the homeless in America are sobering. More than half a million people currently meet the definition of homeless in our country, and of those — 7,000 live in Atlanta. You might already be familiar with these statistics, but what you might not realize is that:

  • Nationwide, 8 percent of homeless people are military veterans.
  • America’s youth accounts for 50,000 of its homeless.
  • Over 200,000 of America’s homeless are families with children.

It’s shocking to see the numbers in print. That’s why, at Atlanta Mission, we’re doing all we can to put an end to homelessness in our area. With our five homeless shelters that include shelters for 20160603_ATI-Mission_0207women and children, as well as shelters for men, we’re tackling this heartbreaking problem head-on.

In Atlanta, 2,000 People Sleep on the Streets at Night

You probably don’t see them. They seek shelter under bridges and inside abandoned buildings — anywhere they can feel safe enough to fall asleep. They’re America’s “hidden homeless,” and they’re not in this situation by choice.

Homelessness happens because an individual or a family can no longer afford housing. It could happen to you or me just as easily. It could happen to anyone at any given time — a job ends, an underinsured home burns down, a teen gets kicked out of the house — these are the faces we see daily at Atlanta Mission. They’re not crazy. They don’t come refusing to work. They’re not looking for handouts. They’re good people in tough situations, and your donation or your volunteer efforts help to make their lives better and set them on a path of transformation.

Statistics Show Only a Part of the Problem

Statistics are only hard numbers. They don’t show the tears on the face of a mother who can no longer provide safe shelter for her children. They don’t echo the defeat on the face of a dad who can’t find work to buy food for his family. Likewise, statistics can’t coax a smile from a toddler who sits listening, enraptured, to a story, or relief in a teen who’s eating a warm meal for the first time in days. Statistics don’t show you these extremes.

But at Atlanta Mission, we see them everyday. Every day we help to make a difference in a stranger’s life — in the lives of the hidden homeless. We could really use your help. Call us today or visit our website to find out where your efforts could help the most. Together, we can help clothe, feed and house America’s hidden homeless.