Left Out in the Cold

With winter approaching, the ranks of the homeless swell

People with nothing much to do and no fixed address—hobos, drifters, tramps—used to seem almost romantic: accountable to none, their lives serendipitous and free. The truth, of course, has always been different. Rootlessness is usually endured, rarely chosen. "Knowing you don't have a place to live, the stark realization . . . it hurts," says Rose Harmon of Chicago, who has had no real home since 1978. But today in the U.S., instead of a few vagabonds here and there, legions of people are homeless, shuffling and stumbling over the national landscape. Indeed,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!