The Causes Of And Potential Solutions For Homelessness In The U.S. Essay

Homelessness: Causes and Solutions

Today, more than 500,000 people are homeless in the United States, and many of these unfortunates are categorized as chronically homeless, meaning they have lived on the street for more than a year (McIntosh, 2023). Although the causes of homelessness are unique to each individual, they generally include a fundamental lack of affordable housing; income and resource disparities; family conflict and domestic violence; untreated mental health needs and addiction; post-incarceration barriers as well as systemic racism which disproportionately affect minority groups. Because homelessness translates into multiple social problems, identify potential solutions to this national public health threat represents a timely and valuable endeavor which has personal importance. To this end, the purpose of this paper is to describe the impact of homelessness in the U.S. as well as an examination concerning how this social issue affects both individuals and American society as a whole. In addition, an examination of recent developments and progress in solving homelessness is followed by a discussion concerning potential solutions to this urgent public health threat and a summary of the findings in the conclusion.

Impact of homelessness in the U.S.

Prior to the 19th century, homelessness was handled through localized religious charity. Rapidly creasing urbanization and industrialization, though, overwhelmed such limited relief. During the Great Depression era, a so-called hobo culture emerged which raised public awareness of unemployed transients which helped create the first public shelters specifically for the homeless. Nevertheless, public sentiment remained ambivalent between pity and disgust for people who were seen as lazy and even deviant from mainstream American society (DePastino, 2009). Unfortunately, this stigma persists unto the present where an out of sight, out of mind mentality characterizes many Americans views about the homeless. This mindset is also unfortunate because homelessness has multiple, severe negative impacts on affected individuals and families ranging from trauma to worsened physical and mental health. To the extent that the homeless because more visible will likely be the extent to which their suffering erodes the overall community quality of life and...…population are not fully understood or appreciated by most people. Therefore, some policies worthy of advocacy include high-profile, successful outreach programs that publicize homeless remedial efforts as well as community-level public awareness campaigns that emphasize the fragility of many Americans housing status today, highlighting the fact that they may in fact be next unless and until something drastic is done to address the homeless problem in America today and in the future.


In a free market economy, the invisible hand should eventually respond to the increasing demand for affordable housing, but the research was consistent in showing that there is a wide array of barriers preventing this type of straightforward solution to the nations homelessness problem. Many formerly gainfully employed Americans have been displaced due to innovations in technology, and these modern-day Luddites are being forced into a homeless situation where there are no easy solutions. The complex nature of homelessness demands multifaceted yet coordinated policy responses rather than piecemeal, fragmented efforts. While certain interventions such as supportive housing projects have proven effective when…

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