In the public interest, The Guardian regularly publishes articles on homelessness.
The latest is one on the frigid streets and wooded areas of Alaska. Alcohol, which numbs the senses, frequently is involved. There aren't enough shelters. So freezing to death while on a binge is not uncommon.
But even in the tropical temperatures of Arizona homeless is rampant - and eventually lethal. The problem is not so much associated with alcohol as limited economic opportunity. Among new college graduates is a major fear of winding up without enough money to pay the rent.
In my 27 months in Tucson, AZ, I spoke with many Millennials working in retail. That was the best they could do and they worried how long those jobs would last. Staples, for example, shut down its store near a GNC. Those in the latter wondered if they were next.
One hedged her bets by remaining with a boyfriend with a professional job whom she no longer liked. Another was considering taking on student loans to invest in what he hoped would be a more marketable degree than his BA in history. A third was considering joining the military.
When we graduated college we Baby Boomers tended to be lost. The popular film "The Graduate" captured that lack of direction.
But becoming homeless was not among our fears. There were tons of both junk jobs and employment we found "unsatisfying." There was graduate school which cost peanuts. And after a time knocking about there was law school, which was also relatively low cost.
After my Ph.D. Candidacy in the humanities didn't result in a college teaching job I knocked around as a probation officer, insurance claims examiner and research assistant to a state senator. I didn't see myself as a success. But I never was in angst about not being able to pay the rent.
It was a different time. It's sad that Millennials can't be lost for a while without falling off the cliff into homelessness. Can a Trump economy change that? Time will tell.
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