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Songs about Homelessness

There's no place like home - but what about when you don't have one? Despite all of our social progress, a huge percentage of the world still lives in poverty. In the developed world, this is seen as a sharp contrast to the norm, where in the rest of the world it's called "being a nomad" or at the very least, "couch surfing." But these songs aren't about homelessness in the literal sense, but the state of abject poverty and hopelessness that leaves people as outcasts from society.

The 1980s and 1990s saw a sharp spike in homeless awareness, and a rush of songs about this social ill. This was due to the mental health care cutbacks of the time in the US, particularly when Ronald Reagan, then California governor, basically shut down the state mental health care system. This left hundreds of people who would be in a state home now pushing shopping carts down the street and, more often than not, raving at mystical beings. Since then, homelessness as a poverty issue has risen to the forefront, as economics depressions, recessions, and setbacks leave lower-class people trying to hold it together while living out of their car.

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