Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Iowa’s homeless population has increased by roughly 14.5% since 1999; approximately 21,280 people were homeless at some point during 2005. The fastest growing group was made up of families with children, and for the first time women outnumbered men amongst the adult homeless population (at 56%). Lack of affordable housing, domestic violence, and job loss, were the major causes of homelessness in the state. Health also plays a role: 37% of homeless adults, and 41% of homeless school children, reported having a mental health problem, a substance abuse problem, or a disability. URP alums Elaine Ditsler and Sarah Walz worked with Peter Fisher and Heather MacDonald on the study of Iowa’s 2005 homeless population. The Iowa Council on Homelessness commissioned the study, as part of their Iowa Plan to Address Homelessness.