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Presidential candidates barely talk about homelessness and that's a problem


Presidential candidates barely talk about homelessness and that's a problem

WATCH  | Homelessness isn't usually a big issue in presidential campaigns. It rarely is.

When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off Monday night, chances are homelessness won't be among the issues they debate. 

We are not some foreign object, something that was on the bottom of your shoe that you can scrape off and throw to the side.

For P.K., a homeless woman who lives outside Washington, D.C.'s Union Station with her two dogs, that's a problem.  

Homelessness in America

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), over 500,000 people were homeless in the U.S. in 2015,  a quarter of them children.

That number is down somewhat from 2014. But in many major cities, including Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Los Angeles, the number of homeless residents increased sharply in 2015.

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The homeless can register to vote by listing street corners, parks and shelters as their home address. But showing an ID at the polls, such as a driver's license, is another hurdle. 

If you don't vote, you're not interesting to them.

Do homeless people actually vote?

P.K., who is registered and plans to vote November 8, says politicians don't often discuss homelessness because they assume people like her don't vote.

'Real grasp on the number'

"It's very difficult to get a real grasp on the number of people experiencing homelessness, let alone the number of those people who are registered to vote," said David Pirtle, Public Education Coordinator with National Coalition for the Homeless.

According to Pirtle, 46 percent of people making under $10,000 a year voted in 2012.

I don't necessarily blame them, because who wants to hear about the homeless?

Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have on their websites a specific policy for handling homelessness. P.K. says she's not surprised.

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