Why Are People Homeless? There are a number of reasons including disabilities, job loss/unemployment and other reasons that will be touched on in this article.
Mental illness is in the top five reasons for homelessness. It is estimated that around 250,000 people with mental illness are homeless, which shows how debilitating mental illness can be. Homelessness and food insecurity also adds more stress, which can worsen pre-existing mental illnesses. A big part of helping the homeless population involves improving and increasing the availability of mental health services.
Job loss and unemployment go hand in hand with homelessness. Without a steady income it can be really difficult to pay for a place to live. This can lead to extremely stressful situations for people who already have a hard time affording other things in life like food, education, etc. This is one of the biggest causes of short-term homelessness but does play a role in chronic homelessness for some people. When it comes to chronic homelessness, physical disabilities and handicaps play a huge role. When someone who is disabled cannot find a job to accommodate their disability, it can lead to long periods without income. The income and security a job brings is critical to maintaining a place to live, and in order to start to shrink homelessness, there needs to be a decrease in unemployment.
Military veterans have a higher rate of disabilities and mental illnesses like P.T.S.D. which makes them more susceptible to homelessness. Luckily there are some programs to help combat this, but it is still fairly common for veterans to experience homelessness. Understanding why are people homeless allows us to know which groups of people are more likely to face homelessness. For veterans, there is some community support like the VA, but for many people, there is not that kind of support. Part of what we want to do at Growing Us Home is to provide that community support that can help people grow and get back on their feet.
Another reason why people are homeless is the lack of affordable housing options. There simply isn’t enough affordable housing available for the size of our homeless population and government likely isn't going to provide enough options to eliminate homelessness.
Even with "affordable housing," people that have no income still won't be able to afford it. That is where shelters and organizations are so important to at least provide shelter and food for people that need it.
Still though, prices of houses and rent are increasing across the country, which can lead to people being forced out of their houses, and having nowhere to go. This won't lead to homelessness for everybody affected by it, but it can cause an increase in short-term homelessness.
After examining the many reasons, some of the top ones are mental illness, disability, job loss/unemployment, and a lack of affordable housing. Growing Us Home aims to provide services that will help people tackle these issues head on while providing a place they can call home.
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