A new tool maps America’s homelessness problem

HOMELESSNESS | A new project, Understanding Homelessness, wants to make it easier for us to understand the cause of homelessness in the U.S. and strategies to alleviate it. The project includes an interactive tool that maps homelessness across the nation, along with homeless population demographics, government spending in the jurisdictions and other statistics. (Citylab, 4/7)

The first section of [Urban Planner Gretchen] Keillor’s project presents the fundamentals of the issue. It gives a brief historical snapshot of homelessness in America, and contains answers to basic questions (who qualifies as a homeless person?) as well as more complex ones (what causes someone to become homeless?). By laying out this information in short lists and catchy infographics, Keillor hopes that concerned citizens, planners, and policymakers can dispel some common myths.

“Homeless people aren’t this other demographic—they’re just people,” Keillor says. Contrary to what some may think, for example, it’s not laziness and lack of motivation that puts these people on the street, but usually a combination of systemic issues and bad luck. In fact, one of the biggest factors behind the phenomenon is the lack of affordable housing.

FOOD INSECURITYFood Security Plan Aims To Tackle Hunger in Montgomery County (Bethesda Beat, 4/7)

– A new study found that having just one Black teacher reduced low-income Black male students’ probability of dropping out of high school. (NPR, 4/10)

– States are debating tuition break for undocumented students. (WTOP, 4/10)

– Inova Health System is partnering with a local university to train its future health care workforce. (WBJ, 4/10)

– Opinion: A new hospital at St. Elizabeths could be a shot in the arm, but it won’t be a panacea (GGWash, 4/7)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Fairfax County supervisors have voted to lower the percentage of affordable housing units required of developers building condos in the county. (INSIDENOVA, 4/10)

SOCIAL JUSTICE | The local Jewish community will celebrate Passover with a focus on social justice. (WAMU, 4/10)

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