Many people come to think of a homeless person as an un-kept drunk and beggar, who may have had a long history with drugs or alcohol. In times past, that image on the surface may have seemingly been a correct one; however, the dynamics of homelessness is a far more complex issue. Homelessness can affect people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and geographies. Many homeless people hold undergraduate and graduate degrees, technical or mechanical skills; while others cannot read or write beyond elementary level and have no skill-set whatsoever. Amongst the homelessness population there are those with drug or alcohol addictions, mental or emotional illness, depression, and victims of domestic violence The flip side of this issue is that you find many homeless people who have been somewhat victimized by life's circumstances such as, the loss of their job due to downsizing, outsourcing overseas, or job elimination. Additionally, there are veterans who have distinguished service records but come out of the military with no employment or marketable skills, and others have been disqualified from the military for various reasons.
Definitive demographics are not available since accounting for the homeless is complicated in nature. Research from reputable organizations reflect and report various percentages causing inconsistent reporting. Some homeless groups are underground and unaccounted for, as far as numeric statistics are concerned.
The greatest underlying cause of homelessness in America is POVERTY. Considering the economic state of America (loss of jobs and housing), more people today are joining those that are homeless (Kally, 2012). Homelessness can be defined as chronic and transitional. Chronic homelessness is when people who have been disadvantaged or disabled have repeated the cycle of homelessness within past three years. Transitional homelessness is where individuals and families are without housing for a specific and generally, short period of time.
Statistics nationwide of homelessness looks similar to this:
44% single men
13% single women
36% parent(s) with their children
7% youth and young adults under 21 without a parent
2% Native American
Every year the number of families that live in homeless shelters increase. They are the largest and fastest growing group in the U.S (Cohen, 2012). The homeless situation continues to worsen. We are “Making A Difference” by increasing awareness on the issue of homelessness and you can to... by being in action and inquiring how you too can make a difference in ending this growing epidemic.
Kally, K. (2012). American homeless population statistics. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_4615760_american-homeless-population-statistics.html
Cohen, S. (2012). About american homelessness. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_4587161_american-homelessness.html