Every morning, I drive past a section of road where the homeless are prevalent. It has turned into a camp of sorts. There is a group of about 15, and I have noted they take turns panhandling at the intersection. They are never all out panhandling. NEVER. There is a male and female that go out together, and then the rest are single men. There is one who is in a wheel chair. I have no idea how he gets back down into the trees with his wheel chair. No idea, as the grade is steep, and grassy and full of trees. My Husband worked at the city/county jail long enough to have some face to face time with a population of homeless folks that would come through. He says it is an ideal place for the homeless to hang out. Lots of restaurants, which means there are dumpsters to go to if there is not enough $$ to be made. There are also 3 liquor stores, convenience stores, and a truck stop in case one would need a shower, and lots of interstate travel which means, maybe I am one of the only people that see these people out daily in shifts begging for money.
The couple, leaves the corner every morning, and I note them walking to a residential area twice now. The area is a dilapidated area, in true Billy Bob Thornton, Slingbade fashion, I am not kidding. If you think I am kidding come on down and I will drive you through that area....funny how such a socio-economic difference can take place within 1 mile.
Lots of questions looming every time I pass. I have done enough rotations in psych nursing to know, a lot of these folks are homeless because of psychiatric disorders. I also know that the homeless from the North migrate down here to avoid winter. However, as winter continues, these folks are leaving a mess behind. They are not cleaning up after themselves at all, and the state and city is not doing it either. But now there is garbage flying all over the place. It has really turned the area into an unbelievable mess....
Here are some interesting stats from 2005
Demographics of the homeless and chronically homeless in Arkansas are diverse:
Here is a link to some interesting stats on Arkansas Homeless
The national average of chronic homeless is 30% Arkansas is 40%
The article claims, that one of the biggest factors of homelessness, in housing that is not affordable. I would have to disagree entirely with that statistic.
According to these #'s Arkansas has one of the least expensive housing markets int he United States.