What Is the Primary Cause of Homelessness in America  Research Paper

  • Length: 7 pages
  • Sources: 6
  • Subject: Family and Marriage
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #86416038

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Cause of Homelessness in America

has numerous social problems. Homelessness seems to be one of the most important ones. There are several causes that determine homelessness. However, the primary cause of homelessness can be considered the reduced affordable housing level and the national increase in poverty. Other causes of homelessness refer to high unemployment rates, low salary levels in certain urban and rural areas, the inability of certain individuals to pay health care bills, the inability qualify for public assistance, domestic violence, mental illness, addiction disorders, and others. It is important to understand that there are specific factors that influence homelessness in the U.S., but these factors are allowed to develop because of the state's authorities. In other words, these authorities seem to not be able to manage the social situation of individuals in a homeless situation. If their situation is analyzed, it can be established that homeless people's actions have determined their situation. But this does not mean that the authorities should not work their best in order to improve their situation, and to reduce the level of homelessness in the U.S. Certain people accuse homeless individuals of not working, and this is considered the cause of homelessness. The issue is not that these people are not working, the issue is that they are working for too little money that cannot ensure them a place to live.

The Cause of Homelessness in America

The primary cause of homelessness in the U.S. can be considered the reduced affordable housing level and the national increase in poverty. In other words, people are homeless because they cannot afford to rent, purchase, and administer a house. Their incomes are not in accordance with what the housing market has to offer. They also do not quality for being helped by the state.

It seems that a large percentage of homeless individuals in the U.S. are employed. But they work long hours for very low salaries. In these causes, these people usually work o a temporary basis (HomeAid, 2012). It is difficult for them to get better jobs because they do not have a correspondence address, and cannot provide contact details. Therefore, this is a vicious cycle that makes it difficult for a homeless individual to improve their situation by getting a better paid job, and finding a place to rent or purchase.

The financial and economic crisis has significantly influenced the homelessness situation in the U.S. This is because the housing bubble that was developed by financial institutions determined more and more people to purchase houses they could not afford. And when the banks wanted the money the lent to these people, they could not pay them, and the banks had to take their mortgaged houses. This is how some of the homeless people got into this situation. Of course, the banks did not force them to purchase houses that they could not afford. It was their decision. But this decision was significantly influenced by the marketing developed by banks in order to attract customers.

The economic situation in the U.S. has significantly depreciated because of the financial crisis. This has also determined an increased level of unemployment. In addition to this, the salaries of most individuals have been reduced. This made it very difficult for unemployed people to have a place to stay. The reduced levels of salaries of employed individuals also made it difficult for them to rent or purchase a house.

In many cases of homeless people, their situation can be attributed to a combination of factors (Crane et al., 2005). Most of them lost their job, are victims of domestic violence, and suffer from mental illnesses. Therefore, it is difficult to focus on a primary cause of homelessness in the U.S.

Domestic violence is another factor that significantly influences the level of homelessness. In these cases, individuals that suffer domestic abuse choose to leave home in order to stop it. Some of them go to aid centers that are intended to address such cases. But others prefer to not be registered in such centers. They do not trust other people, and think they can take care of themselves. They cannot find jobs, because they usually go to different cities, and it is difficult for them to explain the reasons of their relocation. They become depressed, some of them have little education, making it more difficult to access better paid jobs. Therefore, they only get low paid jobs that do not allow them to rent or purchase a house.

The importance of aid centers relies on the help they can provide these individuals in their attempt to improve their lifestyle. Homeless people that arrive in such centers are housed in transitional residences. In these residences they are taught to improve their skills in order to be able to get jobs that provide the salaries required for renting or purchasing a house. They are also provided psychological help in order to allow them to address the issues they are confronted with.

When analyzing the situation of the homeless, most people usually put them all in one category. But this generalization is not in accordance with reality. And it also cannot provide answers to questions regarding the causes of homelessness, because different categories of homeless people can attribute their situation to different factors.

There is urban and there is rural homelessness. Most people are not aware of the fact that homelessness can also be found in rural areas. This is because the media does not communicate rural homelessness, but focuses on the urban one. Indeed, the situation seems to be more severe on urban level. This is probably because in urban areas individuals are more dependent on economic factors. Their sources of income are what keeps them from becoming homeless. In rural areas, people can easier find additional income sources.

However, this is only the theory. In practice it seems almost equally difficult for people to support themselves in rural and in urban areas. The issue is that the problems they encounter are different. Therefore, what seems to be difficult for people in rural areas is easy for people in urban areas, and the vice versa. This means that one cannot generalize about rural and urban homelessness.

There are also differences between the causes of teen homelessness and adult homeless. In the case of homeless teens, most of these situations are determined by family problems, but also by economic difficulties. Several studies in the field have revealed the fact that many of the homeless teens come from foster care. When becoming adults from a legal point-of-view, they can no longer stay in the foster care system. They do not have jobs and cannot find a place to stay of their own. Therefore, it is expected that this trend will continue, because it is unlikely that many of the teens getting out of foster care will be able to generate housing money.

Other categories of homeless teens are those released from juvenile correction facilities. The lack of programs intended to integrate them within the society is an important factor that can influence the situation. In addition to this, their record does not encourage employers to hire them. It becomes very difficult for a teen coming out of the juvenile correction system to rehabilitate himself on social level, to get a decent job, and to earn housing money.

Some of the teens that run away from home to become homeless are also victims of abuse. Almost half of them are in this situation. This refers to all types of abuse, but also to the threat of being abused (Aratani, 2009). These abuses take place within their home, by a family member, or by other caretaker. These are extreme situations that damage teens on several levels. They feel betrayed by their own family. This makes it difficult for them to trust others, especially strangers, even if we refer to members of organizations that provide help to such teens. Instead of reaching for help, these teens prefer to run away, to live on the streets, ruining their chances at a normal life.

Substance abuse is another frequent cause of teen homelessness. This can also be the case of adult homelessness. There are numerous situations where alcohol and drug abuse by a family member determines other family members to leave their home. By not having a housing income, these people become homeless. In other cases, it is the homeless that abuse drugs, alcohol, and others (Fischer, 1992). This creates great discomfort between the abuser and other family members. The numerous conflicts drive the abuser to leave the home, becoming homeless. In the case of substance abusers, these individuals cannot hold a job, which means they do not have the income required in order to rent or purchase a house.

There are also other causes of homeless, but that produce a smaller percentage of the homeless population in comparison with other causes. This is the case of teen pregnancy. The number of pregnant teens seems to have increased, and…

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