Foreclosures Leading to Homelessness, Homelessness to Violence
Despite efforts to house the homeless, homelessness has increased with the number of foreclosures. Unemployment still affects countless people, making them unable to pay their mortgage and can eventually lead to losing a home. With the loss of shelter comes vulnerability. Minneapolis has seen an increase in violence against the homeless this summer. Random attacks against the homeless can put them in the hospital with critical injuries, sometimes even fatal. Unfortunately, these attacks may be under-reported making it hard for officials to help solve the problem. The Minneapolis-Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness has a goal to end homelessness by 2016 but in January, there was a count of about 200 people living without shelter.
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has a goal to help Minneapolis homeowners prevent home loss through mortgage foreclosure prevention counseling http://www.tchabitat.org/mfpp. This is a free, federally supported service. Seeking help early is critical, and can be done as soon at the homeowner realizes they will have trouble paying their housing expenses.
Negative perceptions of the homeless can lead to the lack of action to prevent such crimes. What we have to remember is that it can happen to anyone. Predatory lending practices and incorrect publicity of the housing market in the past lead people from all backgrounds down the road to foreclosure. Many of these foreclosures landed people on the streets. If the attitude towards the homeless could change to reflect the realities of who is out there and how they ended up there, more people might take action to help stop the violence and help prevent homelessness.
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