Who exactly is homeless? Why do the homeless exist? Are they all the same?
Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer to this. A number of factors are at hand when it comes to being homeless. On this page, you will find more information about the disadvantaged in our community.
What Causes Homelessness?
Lack of affordable housing for people with low incomes
Low income households do not earn enough to pay for food, clothing, transportation, and a place to call home.
Health problems and homelessness have a direct link. Health problems can cause homelessness or can make a person's vulnerability to homelessness escalate.
Many survivors of domestic violence become homeless when they choose to leave an abusive relationship.
Minority groups experience homelessness at higher rates than whites and represent a disproportionate share of homelessness.
Who is Homeless?
- Single adults are the largest group. 70% are men, 29% women, and 1% other make up this category. This population most often experiences brief homelessness resulting from a financial or life crisis- like losing a job, the end of a relationship, death of a partner, or a health emergency. The majority of these people do not suffer from chronic mental illness or substance abuse. They are just like anybody else. Typically they are homeless for a short amount of time.
- Children and families. Homelessness can have devastating long-term effects on children: physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. Families become homeless as a result of a lost job, reduced work hours, or other outside forces. Most of these families are headed by a single mother with limited education, typically with young children.
- Veterans face invisible wounds of war that may impact and cause them to become homeless. Research shows that Vietnam veterans are most at risk of homelessness. However, veterans returning from the Middle East conflicts often experience traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder.
- Chronically homeless suffer from physical and mental health conditions- for some, this translates into long-term homelessness. Disabling conditions such as mental illness, substance abuse, or a physical disability have been identified as conditions leading to homelessness.
- Young and homeless youth is often linked to family conflict. A young person who has had involvement with the child welfare program or juvenile justice system is more at risk. Many youth have experienced significant trauma before and after becoming homeless.
Is There A Solution to Homelessness?
Affordable housing is key to ending the cycle. Until then, The Journey Home will continue to help people quickly get housing, jobs, and needed services.