Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

How so? Do you mean that people "would" help if they weren't racist? San Francisco, which has one of the largest homeless populations per capita, has a homeless population that is 35% caucasian (the largest represented racial group).

(Edited to add: Caucasians make up 40.2% of the city population)

https://sf.curbed.com/2017/6/16/15818104/homeless-sf-count-2... https://datausa.io/profile/geo/san-francisco-ca




Across the West (where I travel the most) see that most homeless is white. I would say too, that, even in places with much higher Mexican or migrant populations, such as Tucson, AZ - the homeless population is also mostly white. At least visibly. Homelessness doesn't seem to be related to racism, it seems to be a very white specific thing (at least in these western states - CA, WA, OR, MT, CO, UT, NV, AZ, NM, WY).


“Visible” homelessness is often quite a different demographic to overall homelessness - for instance women and children tend not to be visible. There may be a similar effect with race.


The actual counts generally back this up.

https://www.library.pima.gov/content/homelessness-statistics...

It's kinda hard to find, but Tucson's homelessness was 72% caucasian, 19% native american.

I don't think there is any interagency that is putting these numbers in one place yet... that's probably desperately needed for this country to start tackling the problem.

There may actually be a reason why white people are specifically affected- and it is probably related to family processes.


No, they don't.

To start: of course this is tracked federally, it has been for years. Here's a recent report https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2018-AHAR...

You will note that it calls out that African Americans are extremely disproportionately represented in homeless groups (13% of population, 40% of homeless people), and in the overall demographic table we can see that white people make up about 50% of homeless people vs ~70% of the population. It also mentions that among the population of unsheltered people, which are the group I'd call more visible, white people are slightly less under-represented, at 60%.

The only place '72%' comes up in the report you linked is the BoS counties, not Tucson, so I'll assume you meant that. That seems well out of proportion to the total population so I'd ask some questions about how well the counts cover tribal lands, etc (since it's actually a count used for federal assistance, which is handled differently on tribal lands). There is increasing attention given to the lack of attention to homelessness on tribal lands, and they definitely used to not be counted - this report gives some info on how they can be undercounted even if included http://www.ruralhome.org/storage/documents/rpts_pubs/na_home...


That may be true, but I was specifically talking about Western states. I definitely agree there is a huge variance as you shift east that African American homelessness is much higher.


At this point I wonder if you’re really just striking the trivial observation that the west is majority white and so are the homeless people there. In literally every state, black people are over represented among the homeless and white people are underrepresented. However, in most states, the majority of homeless people are still white, because the state population is mostly white. It is, in any state, a complete falsehood to say that homelessness is “a very white specific thing”.

Talking about Hispanic homelessness is much harder, because there are many variations on how studies count white/Hispanic, and because it’s a less visually identifiable group than black people. Let’s look at Tucson. Pima County was ~37% Hispanic in 2015 (https://www.tucsonhispanicchamber.org/uploads/5/8/0/4/580457...) Tucson homeless population in 2016 was 30% Hispanic. Among adults without children, it was much lower: just over 20%. So non-Hispanic people are actually a little overrepresented, but probably looked very overrepresented among the visible population. And if we look at why there is that difference, my first thought would be that the Hispanic population is weighted towards children (about 50% of school enrollments, from that doc above) who are less likely to be homeless. So I would still disagree that it is at all a “white-specific thing” even in that location. (calculated from here - https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/apitl/1/AOcbyEzOLNSVbwFWOs... )

And if we just look at white/not-white: you do realize that Tucson is over 70% white people, right? And the homeless population is also just over 70% white. That’s not any kind of argument for it being a “white thing”.


Anything to prevent us from feeling sorry for white men, am I right?




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: