The U.S. Census and other organizations such as National Coalition For The Homeless indicate the number of homeless in the United States is very difficult to calculate. Many individuals and families go uncounted due to the fact that they may not frequent a shelter or other facility. Both organizations point out that the number of homeless in America could be substantially higher then the actual number counted during a sample count taken at different shelters.
The Census Bureau found 5,275 people in emergency and homeless shelters in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, which stretches from Maryland to West Virginia. The region was ranked sixth, behind New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago.
Among big cities, the bureau counted more than 27,000 people in homeless shelters in New York, more than 6,400 in Los Angeles and nearly 3,800 in Chicago. Some homeless advocates criticized the bureau for not publishing more figures, including local street counts. Others did not want the count published, contending that it would be a flawed basis for policymaking.
Back to the original question, Why help? In God’s eyes one homeless person is one homeless person too many. If we are to truly model Jesus to the lost, if we are to let the light of Jesus shine through us to the world, then the statement should be “why not help.” There is nothing more profound then to help each of God’s children whenever and wherever possible.
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Sources: www.housingchoice.org/new stories/10312001.html