Homelessness is described as the absence of a permanent residence, such as an apartment or a home. Many that do not own home often travel from one location to another for a temporary stay. It could be on the driveway, under a tree, or even in the middle of a field. They are unable to access and retain consistent stable and stable accommodation for themselves or their families. According to Quindlen, a former New York Times writer, homelessness was also a noticeable issue in New York and other areas of the United States of America (Quindlen, 192). The data from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, about seven hundred thousand Americans are homeless any single day. What puzzled Quindlen is how people become homeless.
A home is also not just a physical place for human beings. It is a place that gives people identity, security and even roots and a sense of belonging. A home is also a place of emotional wellbeing. Those who are homeless include people who usually sleep in public places or even private places that are designed to be sued as a regular accommodation for people who do not have the home (Fargo 13). Several organizations offer help to people who are homeless in the United States of America. They provide them with food, beddings, and clothing. These programs are usually assisted by government agencies, volunteers and even churches and private donors. Some of the homeless people make a living through begging while there are others who got into drug peddling for them to make a living. Homeless people may have additional problems such as physical health concerns and mental health due to substance use and the stress of being homeless. The discussion of this essay is how people end up being homeless.
Some of these homeless people started with a nice job and a permanent residential place before the end up being homeless((Fargo 17). There are others who also found themselves homeless at a tender age due to several family problems, and they continued being in that condition for a long time in their lives. There are situations that have caused people to be homeless. These are;
There are those who were born in extremely low-income families. They were not able to afford school fees and live a decent life. These people would go out to the street to beg for help from well-wishers to find something that they can put in their stomach. Due to lack of proper shelter, they put up temporary places just for sleep (Sunstein 27). With time the owners of these places move them out when they find something useful to do with those areas. These poor people are then thrown into streets and start living in temporary shelters while begging or even peddling drugs. Poverty is the major cause of homelessness. These extreme poor people cannot go to school property and get a decent job that can give them the good salary to afford a home. Poor people are not able to pay for the housing, childcare, healthcare and even food (Sunstein 26). They go for the very basic need which is looking for something to eat and then they can stay anywhere, either in the street, vehicle or any other place for the night while they are looking for food during the day.
Another cause of homelessness is family and relationship breakdown. At some point in their lives, these homeless people had a family, were in a better relationship and were happy. Then down in their lives, something happened. The family or relationship breaks and they have to go separate ways. It happens when the main breadwinner dies or runs away from the family. Children that had their father as the breadwinner and then the father dies or runs away from the family, find themselves in a difficult situation. This can be even worse when their mother does not have a job. They will be forced to vacate the decent house they once owned and look for alternative shelter(Sunstein 23). They end up being homeless if the mother cannot secure a job and thus cannot afford most of their basic needs. Family problems also include a situation where the parents’ dies and children are left behind, and there are no relatives to inherit them. These children would end up in the street as homeless.
Also, domestic violence is also another family problem that causes homelessness. There are those families where the man of the house is a drunkard and becomes violent when not sober. He will violently beat the children or the woman of the house((Fargo 18). When such violence is not bearable, the women and children go out to seek refuge in the streets or some temporary shelters. If they do not have the job that can fend for their needs such as housing, then would end up being homeless for a long period and would depend on donations and begging from well-wishers. Family problems, broken relationship are another major cause of unemployment after poverty. An interview with some of the homeless families revealed that they suffered a blow when their family broke. They could not afford the life they used to live when the family was together. In the interview, the father lost the job and ran away from his family leaving behind a mother and a burden to fend for six children with no job((Fargo 22). They would then vacate their apartment and head to the street after selling most of their family property. These shows how the family is important in one’s life.
Consequently, mental health problems also make people homeless. According to an interview with mental health experts, mentally challenged individuals would usually find it difficult to live with members of their family(Sunstein 22). They often move from one place to another and do not care about the place or the time they are in some of these places. They would end up being in loneliness as at times even their family members cannot trace their whereabouts. Moreover, mental experts claim that mentally ill people at times become violent that their family members would run away from them and thus live them without a home. These people would end up being homeless for the rest of their lives.
Unemployment is also another cause of homelessness. When people cannot find jobs, they would not be able to afford to house. They will instead look for a way of solving the urgent need which is food(Sunstein 19). They would rather beg for food and sleep on the streets. Lack of job means one cannot also fend for their families. There are those who lost their jobs after having a huge family and those who cannot just find a job of their own. These group would find themselves in a situation that they are completely unable to find a shelter given the cost of housing also being so high. The least cause of homeless is the drug and substance abuse. There are those who are addicted to drugs that the little money they can get would be used in purchasing drugs and other substances some of which is expensive (www.homelessnetwork.com). They would end up not being able to pay their rent and other living requirements and thus become homeless.
Lastly, gambling has also caused people to be homeless. There are those who took huge family finances and property and used in it betting. However, when the bet result did not favor them, they lost all that they have worked hard for and thus becomes instantly poor. They end up being unable to pay for their rental expenses (Gaetz 18). Some even gamble with their family homes and lost it.
In summary, homelessness is a big problem and caused by quite some factors. While there are those who were pushed by circumstances to be homeless, there are those who pushed themselves to be homeless. These are substance and drug users. The government cannot completely solve the problem of homelessness as its causes do vary. The only way to help homeless people is to provide for their basic need on the streets, and those who are stable mentally can be assisted in finding jobs. Housing should. Also, the drug addicts should be taken to rehabilitation centers to help them reduce their drug consumption.
Fargo, Jamison. “Prevalence and risk of homelessness among US veterans.” Preventing Chronic Disease 9 (2012).
Gaetz, Stephen. The real cost of homelessness: Can we save money by doing the right thing?. Homeless Hub, 2012.
Quindlen, A. “Despite frigid weather, many homeless women still shun shelters.” New York Times, December 15 (1982).
Sunstein, Bonnie Stone, and Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater. FieldWorking: Reading and Writing Research: Reading and Writing Research. Macmillan Higher Education, 2011.