The Iowa City Human Rights Commission is sponsoring an event at the Iowa City Public Library at 7 pm to 9 pm tonight (Wednesday 3/21) featuring the documentary film "Homeless in America" in meeting Room A. A panel discussion will follow.
From “ A Comprehensive Homeless Strategy for Iowa” (2006)
The 2005 Iowa Homeless Study found the following:
• 21,000 Iowans were homeless and these persons were largely concentrated in Iowa’s urban
• Iowa’s homeless population is changing – a majority of homeless households in Iowa are
families with children
• Women are more likely to be homeless than men
• 40 percent of homeless Iowans had mental health or substance abuse problems or another
• African-Americans are significantly over-represented in Iowa’s homeless population.
(Although African-Americans represent only 2 percent of Iowa’s population they constituted
almost 25 percent of Iowa’s homeless population.)
• Families with children make up the majority (61 percent) of all homeless households in Iowa
• Seven percent of Iowa’s homeless meet HUD’s definition of chronic homeless
• Almost 20 percent of homeless men in Iowa are veterans
• There are 2,536 shelter beds in the state and
• The inability to find affordable housing is the top reason persons gave for their homeless
Other contributing factors include eviction/foreclosure, domestic violence, job loss, utility disconnection, family breakup/divorce, loss of benefits, institutionalization of family member (jail, hospital) and de-institutionalization (jail, hospital, foster care).