Can you imagine not knowing where to sleep for the night on a daily basis?, or wearing the same clothes everyday?, worse even being unable to clean yourself and having something to eat every now and then?. Homelessness is a major issue worldwide, as you can see it almost anywhere ranging from television, newspaper, radio, etc. There are several causes to homelessness which ranges from poverty, mental illness,drug/alcohol addiction , and domestic violence,these three factors will be explained further in this essay.
The effects are also varied and could affect communities, homes, business, and even the homeless themselves, some of the effects are health, personal, families, and society. In several countries such as the United Kingdom and United States exists organizations dedicated to helping the homeless, such example is UK’s Centrepoint. Homeless people comes from all ages, areas and background, but the causes of their homelessness are varied, many of them are become homeless because of poverty. Poverty is known simply as that state of being poor.
According to the United States’ National Coalition for the Homeless poverty is the number one cause of people becoming homeless. The lack of income causes the inability to meet all of their needs, people are forced to choose between housing, utilities, transportation, etc. More often than not that these people just dont have enough income from their jobs. Another factor is domestic violence, domestic violence is described as violence or abuse in a domestic setting, such as marriage. The victims are usually women or children that have been physically, mentally, and/or emotinally abused, lots of these women and children are victims of domestic violence that had to ran away from their abusers to avoid further abuse. Both, abused children and woman are forced to choose between becoming homeless or experience more abuse. Death of parents or loss of family due to tragic circumstances such as accident or disease is a common factor on youth homelessness. Usually these youths are still at schooling age and/or does not have any living relatives left, which makes them unable to have a job. More often than not these people are often resorted to crime such as thieving, pickpocketing, mugging, drug dealing (they often are already addicts themselves)and prostitution. People also could become homeless because they are ex-convicts. They have done their time in prison and because of their criminal background they either disowned by their own family or finding it hard to find jobs and therefore have nowhere to go and without resources. It is often that these people would turn back to the life of crime and return back to prison again. Mental illness and drug/alcohol addiction is yet another factor on why someone is homeless, people who have mental illness or drug/alcohol addiction comprises a small amount of the total population of homeless people. Mental illness is seen as psychiatric conditions, usually characterized by impairment of an individual’s normal cognitive, behavioral, or emotional functioning, and caused by physiological or psychosocial factors. Drug/alcohol addiction is characterized by the compulsiveness to consume certain substances depending on their addiction, and if not satisfied it will impair their ability to function, its typically caused by curiousity regarding certain substances or as a coping mechanism against stress, and the repeated uses of said substances causes them to develop an addiction. For mentally ill people or addicts its hard to have a job and keeping them because of their impairment which is caused by their condition, thus making them unable to have a stable income, and often making them homeless. For the mentally ill its often that they are abandoned by their family because of their condition. As mentioned and explained above, the usual impacts of homelessness on society is increased crime due to the homeless people have nothing better to do. There are other impacts such as health, psychological, economic, and environmental. Health impacts include increased disease rate due to the homeless’ relatively dirty lifestyle and lack of healthcare access, deficiency of essential nutritions caused by their eating habits, lack of sleep caused by living on the streets, exposure to the elements could lead them to have infections and ulcers, and serious illnesses like diabetes, TBC, and HIV are more common on homeless people. Psychological impacts mainly caused by their realization of being homeless which tend to give them a mental breakdown that could led them to become institutionalized at a mental asylum. Economic impacts is caused by social welfare programs to help the homeless that are quite costly, which could lead to these programs to be unfunded. And environmental impact is caused by the homeless living and sleeping everywhere they could, like on public facilities such as bus stops, public benches, buildings after they closed, green area on the city, and empty buildings.