Homeless Look to Foreclosures

Spike in empty homes provides convenient, albeit sometimes dangerous, shelter
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2008 4:52 PM CST
The national spike in foreclosures may offer the homeless a convenient, but potentially dangerous, place to spend the night.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – As the nation's spate of foreclosures leaves more people homeless, more homeless people are finding shelter in those newly abandoned buildings, the AP reports. The stock of foreclosed homes in hard-hit areas may well outnumber people on the street, leading many to chance arrest or a run-in with drug dealers for a roof over their heads.

Recent foreclosures are less likely to be condemned or harbor chronic criminal activity, and could still be hooked up to utilities, which one Cleveland man terms "what you call convenient." But evidence is largely anecdotal: "Are they in (foreclosed) homes?" asked one counselor. "I don't know. They are just not in their places."