I’ll admit the claim is a bit too strong and the existence of homelessness might be fair evidence against it. I’ll distill my original argument down to two points: 1. The percentage of people in households with income below poverty level is a lot less than 80%. 2. There are substantial benefits provided for those who are poor.
Homelessness is a problem that goes beyond being poor. Outreach efforts like those in the subway sign photo can help. There are different populations of homeless: some are running from intolerable or abusive domestic situations, others have drug problems, others are mentally ill, and others grow accustomed to their life. There are families with young kids, old veterans, runaway teens, and lots of twenty somethings. I’ve seen a dozen homeless guys, all age 20-40, all looking very able, all sitting on cardboard boxes with signs asking for handouts, near storefronts with help wanted signs. They show no interest in getting a one of those minimum wage jobs, though that’s the path to get off the streets. It’s a complicated problem.