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AMERICA 2012 - Homeless Exposed

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Israel "IZ" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole (Hawaiian pronunciation: [kaˌmakaˌʋiwoˈʔole]; May 20, 1959 -- June 26, 1997) was a Hawaiian musician. He became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993. His medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World". Kamakawiwoʻole was born at Kuakini Hospital in Honolulu to Henry Kaleialoha Naniwa Kamakawiwoʻole, Jr., and Evangeline Leinani Kamakawiwoʻole. Throughout his life, Kamakawiwoʻole was obese and at one point weighed 757 pounds standing 6-foot-2-inch tall. He endured several hospitalizations because of problems caused by his obesity. Beset with respiratory and other medical problems, he died in Queen's Medical Center at 12:18 a.m. on June 26, 1997. The Hawaii state flag flew at half-staff on July 10, 1997, the day of Kamakawiwoʻole's funeral. His koa wood coffin lay in state at the state capitol building in Honolulu. He was the third person in Hawaiian history to be awarded this honor, and the only one who was not a government official. Approximately ten thousand people attended the funeral. Thousands of fans gathered as his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at Mākua Beach on July 12, 1997.The funeral and the scattering of Kamakawiwoʻole's ashes were featured in the official music video of "Over the Rainbow" released posthumously by Mountain Apple Company; as of June 2012, the video as featured on YouTube has garnered over 70 million views. The State of Homelessness in America 2012 examines homelessness between 2009 and 2011, a period of economic downturn in the nation. Homelessness is basically caused by the inability of people to pay for housing; thus it is impacted by both income and the affordability of available housing. In recognition of this, this report examines certain economic indicators that affect people who are homeless or at risk of being so. These factors are examined for the years 2009 to 2010, the latest for which data is available from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files, the U.S. Department of Labor, and RealtyTrac, a private real estate research group. Conditions worsened from 2009 to 2010 among three of the four economic factors examined: housing cost, unemployment, and foreclosure. The number of poor households that spent more than 50 percent of their incomes on rent -- defined by HUD as households that are "severely housing cost burdened" -- increased by 6 percent from 5.9 million in 2009 to 6.2 million in 2010. Three-quarters of all poor renter households had severe housing cost burdens. The number of unemployed people increased by 4 percent from 14.3 million in 2009 to 14.8 million in 2010. The unemployed population increased in 32 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Unemployment rose by 10 percent or more in 11 states. The average real income of working poor people increased by less than one percent, from about $9,300 in 2009 to about $9,400 in 2010. There was not a single county in the nation where a family with an average annual income of $9,400 could afford fair market rent for a one-bedroom unit. Foreclosure activity continued to increase with nearly 50,000 more homes in foreclosure in 2010 than in 2009. Foreclosures increased from 2.83 million units in 2009 to 2.88 million units in 2010, a 2 percent increase. Nationally, 1 out of every 45 housing units was in foreclosure in 2010. In Nevada, 1 out of every 11 housing units had a foreclosure. While homelessness affects people of all ages, races, ethnicities and geographies, there are groups of people at increased risk. This report examines four populations at increased risk of homelessness: people living in "doubled up" situations, people discharged from prison, young adults leaving foster care, and people without health insurance. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U....