Homelessness in the United States: Assessing Changes in Prevalence and Public Opinion, 1993–2001

  • Carolyn J. Tompsett
  • Paul A. Toro
  • Melissa Guzicki
  • Manuel Manrique
  • Jigna Zatakia
Original Article

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.

KEY WORDS

public opinion homelessness change prevalence 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn J. Tompsett
    • 1
  • Paul A. Toro
    • 1
  • Melissa Guzicki
    • 1
  • Manuel Manrique
    • 1
  • Jigna Zatakia
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Group on Homelessness and Poverty, Department of PsychologyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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