Did Homelessness Begin in 1982?

Andrew Hening
8 min readJun 14, 2022

I was born in 1986. Millennials like me — Americans born between approximately 1980 and 1996 — have never known a United States without homelessness. Seeing mentally ill, substance-dependent people living in impoverished conditions on the streets has simply become a normalized part of our day-to-day lives, particularly for those of us living in larger metropolitan areas.

Homelessness — or the lack of a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence — has, of course, existed for a very long time. One could even make the case that for 95%+ of our species’ existence we were…

Andrew Hening

UC Berkeley MBA and Harvard-recognized culture change leader sharing tools, strategies, and frameworks for untangling complex and messy challenges.