Down and Out and Dispossessed

Many of the newly homeless include families and the young

A wino with rheumy eyes and a scraggly beard slumping against a skid row doorway. A muttering mental patient, his hair caked with dirt, searching for the warmth of a steam grate on a bitingly cold day. These are stereotypes of the homeless: desolate men who are still with us in abundance, causing Americans to look the other way, half wishing such unfortunates did not exist at all.

But the haggard face of homelessness is changing. It is growing younger, more feminine. A new class of homeless men, women and children is showing up in the shelters, people whose reasons for...

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