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Am J Community Psychol. 2006 Mar;37(1-2):47-61.

Homelessness in the United States: assessing changes in prevalence and public opinion, 1993-2001.

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  • 1Research Group on Homelessness and Poverty, Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, 71 W. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI, 48202, USA.


A national survey was administered in 1993-1994 (N = 360) and repeated in 2001 (N = 435) to assess the prevalence of homelessness as well as attitudes, opinions and knowledge regarding homelessness. No significant changes in prevalence were found, despite a strong US economy during most of the 7-8 year period. Respondents in 2001 had less stereotyped views of homeless people and were more supportive of services, but came to see homelessness as a less serious problem that was less often due to economic factors. This "mixed" set of findings may reflect both beliefs on the benefits of a good economy and an increased awareness of the complexity of homelessness. Across the surveys, younger, female, liberal, and less wealthy respondents demonstrated more sympathetic attitudes towards homeless people.

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