60 Minutes

“Rent is obscene here”: The issues forcing people in Seattle onto the street

With the days getting shorter and the temperatures colder, it’s sobering to think that on any given night more than half a million Americans are homeless. In the last three years, according to government reports, cities on the West Coast have seen a dramatic rise in the number of people who are “unsheltered.” That’s the term used to refer to anyone who’s homeless, but not sleeping in a shelter. They’re the people you see sleeping on streets or in parks, in tent encampments, or in vehicles. Why has the unsheltered population been going up at a time of economic expansion and low unemployment?

Anderson Cooper visited the Seattle area to hear from some of America’s more than half a million people living in tent encampments, parks, streets, or in vehicles. Homelessness and housing policy expert Dennis Culhane, PhD, discusses the recent rise in unsheltered individuals.