New Study Reveals Millennials Are Twice as Likely to Experience Homelessness than Previous Generations
DuPont’s GREAT STUFF™ recently launched its first The Homeless Experience in America Report, establishing the Brand's commitment for greater visibility and humanity for those experiencing homelessness in communities across America. The study demonstrates a growing generational crisis and explores the dimensions, drivers, and misperceptions of being defined as homeless.
"The events of the last few years have provided great opportunities for some first-time home buyers while others have experienced unprecedented hardships, such as healthcare crises and job loss, which has left too many without a place to call home," said Melissa Helpinstill, global business director for consumer, DuPont Performance Building Solutions. "The GREAT STUFF™ team believes that strong communities are built when all people are represented. Our hope is to bring visibility and inherent humanity to those most vulnerable to homelessness. This research sets the foundation for a scaled effort to uplift our neighbors without a home."
The report reveals an urgency to reverse the growing number of people without housing as one in three Millennials are or have experienced homelessness – more than any generation before them. The numbers climb sharply amongst marginalized communities where 29 percent of those who identify as LGBTQ+ and 29 percent of Black people have experienced not having a place to call home. All age groups cited being seen, heard and accepted, punctuated by a sense of belonging, as key drivers in feeling like a valued, and visible, member of the community. Detailed results from the findings are below:
THERE IS A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY
The research reveals that Millennials are twice as likely as their parents, and three times as likely as their grandparents, to experience or have experienced homelessness. While two thirds of Millennials (64 percent) have just two months or less in savings, they feel overwhelmingly secure about having a place to call home (79 percent) – despite the fact that they are a major accident or healthcare crisis away from insurmountable financial burden. They feel secure because they believe they will be able to rely on the support of their family and friends, but too often these support systems are inaccessible in the moment of hardship or are simply not as reliable as assumed.
THE ISSUE GOES BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN SEE
Many Americans define homelessness with the most visible effects such as living in a public space (76 percent) or a car (71 percent). However, fewer respondents recognized the unseen definitions of homelessness such as living in a shelter or other transitional housing (66 percent) and not living in a home (65 percent).
HOMELESS PEOPLE ARE HARMED BY MISCONCEPTIONS
With only 31 percent of Americans knowing someone who is or has experienced unreliable housing, the harmful misrepresentation has caused conflicting emotions from sympathy and guilt to fear and disgust. Some of the biggest misconceptions include:
- 88 percent of respondents have heard homeless people do not have jobs. The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates 40 to 60 percent of all homeless people are in and out of full and part-time jobs.
- 85 percent of Americans have heard homeless people are drug addicts. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) states only 16 percent of those experiencing homelessness suffer from substance abuse.
- 67 percent of those surveyed have heard all homeless people suffer from mental illness. According to HUD, only 20 percent are impacted by mental health issues.
GREAT STUFF™ is committed to raising visibility and inherent humanity for everyone who is vulnerable to a housing crisis. In 2020, the brand engaged their builder community to launch the Great Pantry Project which provided a community resource for constructing small pantries for hidden and vulnerable households. Additionally, GREAT STUFF™, in partnership with the National Coalition for the Homeless, plans to create a large-scale awareness campaign combined with localized programs with the goal to strengthen the communities we serve and minimize the divide so that all people are represented in our fight for the right to have a home.
This commitment is in line with the DuPont Performance Building Solutions 2030 “Building Thriving Communities” goal, which aims to build communities, strengthen families, and empower the next generation across the globe.
For more information and to view The Homeless Experience in America Report presented by GREAT STUFF™, visit here.
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