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             The Stewart McKinney Act of 1987 defines a homeless person as Aone who .
             lacks a fixed permanent nighttime residence, or whose nighttime residence is .
             a temporary shelter, welfare hotel or any public or private place not .
             designated as sleeping accommodations for human beings. Included in the .
             homeless population are people who stay with friends or family for a short .
             period of time and then decide to find shelter on the streets because of .
             conflict with the people whom they are staying with, or because of personal .
             pride. .
             In the early 1980s homelessness was determined to be a major problem in the .
             United States. These years saw a steep rise in the number of homeless, due .
             to poor economy and diminishing financial help for housing and income. The .
             homeless consist of all types, races, and ages of people. A large portion of .
             the homeless population consists of men but the number of women and .
             children living on the streets is on the rise. Current statistics show that .
             women and children now make up around forty percent of the homeless .
             population. According to John J. Macionis one third of homeless people .
             abuse drugs and one fourth are mentally ill. The current homeless population .
             is mostly non-white and has an average age of the middle thirties. Veterans .
             make up about one-third of the total number of homeless men. The homeless .
             all suffer from absolute poverty. As stated in 1995 by the United States .
             government, 36 million people or 13.8% of the population was poor. The .
             government defines a family of four as being poor if they generate a yearly .
             income of $15,569 or less, although the average improvised families income .
             was only around $10,000 in 1995. The Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics .
             states, the average annual income of the homeless in Chicago was $1198 in .
             1996. .
             Perhaps we should not be surprised that one percent of our population, for .
             one reason or another is unable to cope with our complex and highly .

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