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The Homeless Epidemic in Black America: How to Help

The homeless rate in major metropolitan cities is increasing while funds to provide resources for the homeless are decreasing. A 2011 survey of 25 cities conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that the sheltered homeless population is 42 percent African-American; the homeless rate among African-American males is even greater. In a short paper prepared for the African-American Lectionary project, a source for worship and ministry resources for historically black churches, Charles Cotton, minister of music for Olivet Institutional Church in Cleveland, Ohio, outlines the problem of homelessness among African-Americans, providing perspective, suggesting ways to meet the needs, and including links to additional resources. The article includes two brief stories of once-homeless men that can serve as sermon illustrations or conversation-starters.

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