The term “homelessness” was first used in America in the 1870s. In the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act, homelessness is referred to as the condition where people lack a “fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” According to the Texas Homeless Network, the 1640s “mark the earliest documented instances of unhoused people surviving in America.” Today, there are approximately half a million people facing homelessness across America. Here is a timeline of how homelessness has changed over the years and how American leaders have reacted to the issue of homelessness.
Albeit being a city decorated with rich history and golden views, San Francisco currently faces a large issue, one that has troubled the city for nearly fifty years: homelessness. Although San Francisco is one of the most economically and socially prosperous cities in the United States, it also has the highest population of people experiencing homelessness.