Thomas Malinowski, 48, who lived on New York’s streets for 13 years, sits on his cot in the “Safe Haven” shelter in Manhattan on January 21, 2007.
A surge in families seeking housing aid or shelter has followed rising home foreclosures nationwide.
More families with children are becoming homeless as they face mounting economic pressures, including mortgage foreclosures, according to a USA TODAY survey of a dozen of the largest cities in the nation.
Local authorities say the number of families seeking help has risen in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Washington.
“Everywhere I go, I hear there is an increase” in the need for housing aid, especially for families, says Philip Mangano, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates federal programs. He says the main causes are job losses and foreclosures.
Other factors have been higher food and fuel prices hitting families with “no cushion,” says Nan Roman of the National Alliance to End Homelessness.