Shelter is a basic survival need, along with food, clothing and health care. But it’s even more than that. It’s also a psychic and spiritual need. As the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard wrote: “A home shelters daydreaming, a home protects the dreamer, a home allows us to dream in peace.”
We cannot experience our full humanity without a home, which is one of many reasons why housing is both a basic human need and a basic human right. That’s why the US housing crisis is unforgivable.
According to the federal government’s latest figures, more than half a million (580,000) men, women, and children were without shelter on any given night in 2020. That figure is unconscionable, and it’s been getting worse. The number of chronically unhoused people rose by 21 percent between 2019 and 2020. Now, it’s about to go through the roof.
We don’t know the exact scope of the problem because we don’t have an accurate database of evictions. But we know it’s bad. As the Washington Post reports, the Urban Institute
— source commondreams.org | Richard Eskow | Oct 7, 2021