Hometown homeless

I do not remember the first time I encountered someone who was homeless. It is not something that entered my consciousness growing up in the suburbs of Albany, N.Y. So it comes as no surprise to me that the Albany County 10-year Plan to End Homelessness suggests that it is an invisible problem.

“Homeless persons in Albany County remain largely hidden from view, in emergency shelters and motels, where we are not aware of their presence.” – Albany County 10-year Plan to End Homelessness

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in 2007 there were 619 people in my home county without a place to call home–roughly 4 % fewer than in 2005 when the county implemented its 10-year plan to end homelessness. Though it is a start, as the plan suggests, homelessness is not a one-dimensional problem with a simplistic solution. Instead, it will require “the participation of all sectors of the community . . . to work together to end homelessness in Albany County.”

By Jennifer E. Cooper