The #1 Worry that Young Voters Have Today — Homelessness

Housing stresses most young people, according to John Della Volpe, the director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. One-third are concerned that one day they could become homeless.

In the Spring 2023 Harvard Youth Poll, we found that 11% of young adults under 30 are very concerned that they could be homeless one day, with another 21% being somewhat concerned. Among Black and Hispanic youth, concern about homelessness rises to about 2-in-5, according to Della Volpe.

He interviewed a young homeless person in Phoenix, who said:

“I was homeless. I was living in a hotel, and I don’t wanna cry, but it was me and my mom. It’s always been us. It’s always been us. It’s always me and my mom. And I went to school. I was living in Texas. I went to school in Texas, and then I came home. And then that’s when we became homeless, and I was just like, well, I didn’t have a job. I was like, my mom needs me, so it’s like she was depressed and was like, we got kicked out of the house, and we had to live in a hotel.”

John Della Volpe is the director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics and the author of
Fight: How Gen Z is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America 

“I’m just like, it’s not fair because my mom busts her ass, you know, especially to get me to where I am today. And it’s just just like the city just basically turned his back on her and was just, like, figure it out. Do it yourself. And she didn’t have no help, but thank God that we did find somewhere to stay. And it was an apartment. It was, trust me.

“I live in the ghetto. So we went back to the ghetto, but it’s like that’s all we could afford. That’s all we could have, and it’s just like people are literally getting killed by our apartments, but this is all we can afford. And it’s just like I’m concerned for our life and our safety every day, but it’s just like this is all we can get. Like, this is all we have. And it’s like we go times without without food, and it’s just like, it’s sad, you know.”

“And it’s I’m grateful that we’re not homeless anymore, but I look at the homelessness and the homeless problem I hear today, major problem. It’s been a problem. But if it’s not making the government any money, they don’t care. So that’s how I feel because I feel like they’re like homeless people aren’t beneficial.”

Baby boomers’ economic burdens pale compared to young Americans today.

“While I know boomers grew up in a time of tremendous social and political upheaval — most also grew up when the economy and middle class were expanding. I’ve met countless retired Michigan auto workers, for example, who lived the American Dream — affording a home, a cabin on the lake, and tuition for their children. That is out of the question for too many young people today,” Della Volpe said.

  • (As of 2022) In today’s dollars, Gen Zers and millennials are paying nearly 100% more on average for their homes than baby boomers in the 1970s.

  • College tuition rates have risen much faster than income rates over the last 50 years, contributing to one of the biggest debt crises in the U.S., with over $1.7 trillion owed by former students in 2022.
  • Gen Zers and millennials are paying 57% more per gallon of gas than baby boomers did in their 20s.

To all the young people who selflessly share your stressors, pains, and ambitions with me and other researchers — thank you, it’s so important. We are listening,” Della Volpe said.

1 thought on “The #1 Worry that Young Voters Have Today — Homelessness”

  1. “…retired Michigan auto workers, for example, who lived the American Dream — affording a home, a cabin on the lake, and tuition for their children. That is out of the question for too many young people today,” Della Volpe said.”
    Yet, those retired MI auto workers and others of that generation are among trump’s most ardent sycophants. The old rule still applies, “I got mine, fuck you.”

    Reply

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