What is Homelessness?

"Homelessness is not helplessness."

Homelessness is a lot more complicated than you may have realized. Here are a few facts on what homelessness truly is:

  • There is not enough low income housing to meet the needs of many people who live at or below the poverty line, thus they cannot afford their own rent. Additionally, as housing availability becomes less and less, the cost of property/rent is steadily rising.
  • Twenty percent of homeless individuals are not properly treated for mental illnesses and so they are left to fend for themselves.
  • Ninety percent of homeless women are subjected to domestic and sexual abuse.
  • More than 600,000 men, women, and children are homeless in America alone. Children make up 22% of homeless individuals and disabled persons make up 42%.
  • Not all homelessness is the same.

There are 3 different types, as defined by the National Coalition for the Homeless

  1. Chronic - Individuals who have been on the streets for long periods of time. Often times, they suffer from addictions and mental or physical disabilities
  2. Transitional - Typically younger individuals who are homeless for a short amount of time as their living situation is suddenly changed due to events, trauma, and other causes.
  3. Episodic - Also typically younger, but their periods of homelessness are more frequent than transitional. However, unlike transitional, they are more likely to suffer from disabilities and be unemployed for long periods of time.

For more information on homelessness, click here.