The Rise of Homelessness in Ohio


Michael Walker

Homeless man sleeps bundled in blanket on the ground while snow falls.

In 2010, approximately 150,000 Ohioans were homeless. 18% of people have a mental or physical disability, 65% of people counted were sheltered while 35% were not. People assume the reason that people are homeless is because of major traumatic events or physical and mental disabilities, but in reality that is only a select few reasons. Homelessness is caused by the loss of loved ones, job loss, domestic violence, divorce and fights with family. The loss of job can lead you into not being able to afford your car/ housing payments this will ultimately lead you to poverty.

Between 2010 and 2013 the request for a spot in a homeless shelter has risen 1,305 to 2,245. Elfi Di Bella, CEO of YWCA of Columbus says “Columbus needs more affordable housing or housing with subsidies so that when families are ready to move out of the shelter, they can stay there.” As of Jan 2017 Zillow has put out a statement claiming the rise in Ohio home pricing has risen 4.9% in the last year and they predict in the upcoming year to rise another 2.7%.”

In April 2015 the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said the unemployment rate in Cleveland Ohio 5.2% from the staggering loss of 13,600 jobs. The job growth rate in Ohio from April 2015-2016 has stayed at a staggering 1.24% while the national average is a 1.88%. George Zeller and economic research analyst in Cleveland quoted saying Ohio’s job growth rate has now been below the national average for 41 straight months.” As of now Ohio’s minimum wage is $7.95, meaning to rent out a Fair Market two bedroom apartment a minimum wage worker must work approximately 70 hours per week, 52 weeks per year to barely get by with rent.