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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A recent study by a Columbia University researcher estimates the homeless population will increase 40-45 percent over the January 2019 benchmark -- meaning there will likely be 800,000 homeless people by end of the year.

In my studies, there seems to be little being done about that.

Homelessness has been down over the last decade, likely to do a healthier economy and better programs locally.

Then came COVID-19 and the resulting economic crash at the same time.

The researcher, Dr. Brendan O'Flaherty, an economics professor, says the effect of increased unemployment is unknown in our time. A 10 percent increase in unemployment in one month is something no one has lived through.

The increase will largely be seen as states lift restrictions on evections, particularly as so many American live from paycheck-to-paycheck.

I should note my own circumstances are quite different, even unique. Not too many folks get laid off while living at work. Plus, there had been my failure to look for my own housing in a timely fashion.

The most likely first step for those who lose their homes is they'll be like me -- transitional. They'll move in with family or friends for the time being until they get on their feet. If they're lucky, they'll have a little money or a place to store their belongings.

As some places hire, I'll tell you from my experience it's a buyer's market. With so many people out of work, businesses can offer much lower wages than before the virus moved in. That will make it hard for anyone who is transitional who gets a new job to save up a first month's rent and deposit on $10-$13 an hour jobs with which I've been inundated.

Also, when did I become a potential nursing candidate? I've been asked a dozen time to apply for nursing positions. Trust me -- no one wants me as a nurse. As a son of the Wisconsin Northwoods, my typical cures include these three things: suck it up; rub some dirt on it; take a hit of this.

I fear the road out of all of this is going to be much longer than our elected leaders are letting on.

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