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398.08 // Galactic homelessness surpasses core levels for first time in 150 years

Only five years ago a Holonews report concluded that the levels of homelessness on Coruscant were reaching levels never before recorded in Republic census data. That number has now been surpassed.

Outside of the Republic’s core, an average of 3.8% of the Republic’s population now declare themselves in extreme poverty across planets. The worst case, the industrial planet of Contruum, hosts a homeless population of 8.5%. In other words, almost 1/10 people on Contruum have no active living address and, without that, lack the basic necessities of living.

Homeless citizen Lana Me’n of Contruum told Holonews that:

“Not only do I feel abandoned, I feel completely lost. Me and me kids are just lost down ‘ere. Most nights we shack up with the other squatters – and sure, we all have jobs, but that don’t mean we have somewhere to live. What we earn we need for livin’, we’ve got no way of puttin’ down ’nuffin on a rent, or a house even. Worst parts is, I grew up with a house. It wasn’t much but compared to now it was like we were billionaires. Where ‘ave all the houses gone?”

Holonews spoke with economic analyst Bannun Krimgar at the Institute of Social Sciences, who had this to say:

“What is crucial to understand here is that the patterns of homelessness are not something exogenous to the economy, they are a direct consequence of economic action. What creates homelessness? Wages haven’t been depreciating – sure, some of the fatcats talk about hard work and how the poor ‘deserve’ it since they can’t manage their money, but it doesn’t change the fact that things have just been getting more expensive. What we call real wages, the actual spending power of the worker, has been crippled by a constant increase in the price of living and goods. Not inflation per se, no, but little expenses.

The real danger of homelessness is that it isn’t magic, it can happen to literally anyone just from a string of terrible events. Let’s say your last living relative dies that you were close with, like a brother or a mother. So you haven’t got a support network – which is a surprising amount of people anyway. Then, maybe your rent goes up a little bit. All of a sudden you break your hand. Can’t afford a doctor? Well then you’re working with a bit of a handicap. So you start slowing down in work. Sure, they can’t fire you for your injury, but they can make your life harder – and believe me, they’ll be breathing down your neck just looking for the opportunity to get rid of you. Then your airspeeder breaks down and you can’t get to work anymore, it’s not like you have the money for it. Then you’re late on your rent. And before you know it, you’re out on the streets.

This is happening to families everywhere on an unprecedented scale. What’s causing it, you might be asking? The economy, plain and simple. Those in control of the economy, business and political leaders, are making it harder and harder to live in this Republic as things are becoming more and more expensive with less and less support.”