The homeless make up a growing percentage of America’s population. __1__ homelessness has reached such proportions that local government can’t possibly __2__. To help homeless people __3__ independence, the federal government must support job training programs, __4__ the minimum wage, and fund more low-cost housing.
__5__ everyone agrees on the numbers of Americans who are homeless. Estimates __6__ anywhere from 600,000 to 3 million. __7__ the figure may vary, analysts do agree on another matter: that the number of the homeless is __8__. One of the federal government’s studies __9__ that the number of the homeless will reach nearly 19 million by the end of this decade.
Finding ways to __10__ this growing homeless population has become increasingly difficult. __11__ when homeless individuals manage to find a __12__ that will give them three meals a day and a place to sleep at night, a good number still spend the bulk of each day __13__ the street. Part of the problem is that many homeless adults are addicted to alcohol or drugs. And a significant number of the homeless have serious mental disorders. Many others, __14__ not addicted or mentally ill, simply lack the everyday __15__ skills need to turn their lives __16__. Boston Globe reporter Chris Reidy notes that the situation will improve only when there are __17__ programs that address the many needs of the homeless. __18__ Edward Blotkowsk, director of community service at Bentley College in Massachusetts, __19__ it, “There has to be __20__ of programs. What we need is a package deal.”