Economists speculate that many Americans will spend less this holiday season because of the difficult economy.
But there is a large group of Americans who do not even have a place to live this year, much less anything to spend.
The latest government report on homelessness, released in July, shows that there are more than 600,000 homeless people in the U.S.
While the report notes a significant drop in the number of people who are experiencing chronic homelessness, almost six out of ten of them are living in emergency shelters. The rest sleep on the streets.
The U.S. Homelessness Czar
Philip Mangano, appointed by President Bush as the U.S. homelessness czar, has been leading the national fight against homelessness since 2002.
Mangano has been crusading to end homelessness for close to 30 years. He has forged partnerships with federal, state, and local governments across the nation, as well as faith-based organizations, in an effort to do away with homelessness once and for all in America.
Mangano believes that providing homes for the homeless is the answer. He says patchwork solutions have proven to be expensive.
Nationwide, studies are proving that past government responses are wasteful in lives, health, and law enforcement resources and taxpayer dollars.
The answer to the problem, Mangano believes, is simply housing the homeless. Giving them a place to live is cost-effective and it is working in cities that are taking that approach.
Mangano spoke with CBN News about his efforts and what can be done to reduce homelessness, especially in today's economy. Click play to watch.
*Original broadcast November 25, 2008.