The Link between Illiteracy, Poverty and Homelessness
According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. 19% of high school graduates can’t read. 
Illiteracy and Poverty 75% of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest levels of literacy, and 90% of high school dropouts are on welfare.  Struggling readers from low-income families are 13 times less likely to complete high school than their peers who can read proficiently. Not graduating high school can put a damper on ambitious career plans, and makes it that much harder to break out of the poverty level. 
Illiteracy and Health Care: Low literacy directly costs the healthcare industry over $70 million every year.  Health literacy is the “ability to read, understand, and act on health care information.”  14% of U.S. adults struggle to read medicine labels, maps, or names on a ballot. 
Illiteracy and homelessness: In America there are over 550,000 families with young children that are homeless. These homeless children are put at a higher risk for not becoming literate, simply because of their living conditions. In fact, children who have not been well-fed or well-nurtured, are less healthy and subsequently less ready to learn than their peers. The lack of a high school diploma to be associated with homelessness for individuals and families. Therefore, poverty and illiteracy and lack of education and homelessness are all closely linked.  Nationally, a high proportion of homeless individuals are employed. 50% of homeless adults have incomes of less than $300 per month. A lack of educational opportunities limits access to living-wage jobs. (Seattle-King County Committee to End Homelessness).
Illiteracy and Crime Rates: According to the Department of Justice, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” The stats back up this claim: 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.  More than 60% of all prison inmates are functionally illiterate.  85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70 percent of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth-grade level.
Therefore, education with degrees, certifications and vocational skills is the primary tool to end welfare, crime and homelessness with an earning power, living wage -full-time-employment, permanent housing.
 Do Something.org. 19 West 21st St, 8th Floor. New York, NY 10010.
 Ken Kraybill & Sharon Morrison. Promoting Wellness. Health Literacy 2011.
 CharitySub’s Cause: THE LITERACY GAP, Mar 2012.
 Seattle-King County Committee to End Homelessness.
 Begin To Read.com. Owned and managed by Write Express Corporation (Online source)
 Do Something.org. 19 West 21st St, 8th Floor. New York, NY 10010 (Online source)
 BeginTo Read.com. owned and managed by WriteExpress Corporation. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/illiteracy-rate.