The cost to taxpayers for unsheltered homeless individuals ranges from $30-$45K per year. Our tax dollars support their medical coverage, correctional fees, food stamps, SSI, mental health support, and many other services. However, do we really understand why these people are shelter resistant? One reasons stems from being incarcerated and the struggles after they are released. Once you have a felony it is very hard to acquire a job that pays more than minimum wage which at 40 hours per week is not above the poverty line. Imagine having another huge barrier, back child support.
The child support system is a major problem for many men and that are incarcerated. Most tax-payers have no idea that this issue correlates with Texas homelessness and it is costing our society scarce resources.
Our shelter resistant homelessness population is large and will continue to increase year after year. For example, Texas has over 400,000 people who owe back child support as of 2018. We believe the data will show many of the unsheltered owe back child support. Basically the system keeps this population incarcerated to a life on the streets. Their hopes, dreams and dignity gone, and recidivism is rampant.
The system is set up that once an inmate is incarcerated and they miss 3 consecutive child support payments they begin to accrue 6% interest on the balance. Arrears add up and support orders do not automatically stop because of incarceration. Once released back to society they owe thousands of dollars in arrears. If the ex-convict is able to obtain a job making minimum wage and working 40 hours a week government takes 50% of their paycheck to cover principle first then interest. Even when the child turns 18, the debt is still owed. Many of the men/women who have been living on the streets are in their late 50’s and their children are in their 30’s yet they still must continue to pay the debt.
Join Fighting Homelessness as we outreach to those in need. We need volunteers to gather and sort clothing donations, prepare toiletry bags and assist our homeless friends attending the event.
You can arrange to drop off any of these items before the event by emailing email@example.com.
Feel free to drop off the day of directly at the outreach location:
3515 Metropolitan Ave Dallas TX