5 Facts About Homelessness
We see people holding cardboard signs asking for help all the time. We see people laying on sidewalks, dirty and sick.
We assume the worst about them. We assume if we give them money, they will only use it to buy drugs or alcohol.
But really, we don’t know anything about them. Today I want to share just five facts about homelessness.
I believe the more we know about the homeless population, the better we can help them.
Most people who are homeless are single adults.
It’s hard living alone. You have to pay for a house, a car, electricity, water, groceries, insurance, everything by yourself. It adds up to a lot, and it’s hard to handle on your own.
About 35% of people who are homeless are families.
There may be financial troubles, family conflict, or even violence in the home. Homeless families are often, but not always, led by single mothers.
Veterans make up about 9% of the homeless population.
Just like civilians, they often have financial problems. To add to that, they also have to deal with deployments. When they come home, they often have PTSD or other injuries.
In 2017, around 41,000 youth were homeless.
These youth had no parents or guardians to take care of them. Youth homelessness most often stems from conflict at home. It can also occur because of mental illnesses, poverty, or substance abuse. According to endhomelessness.org, “Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ); pregnant and parenting youth; youth with special needs or disabilities, and youth of color, particularly African-American and Native American youth are also more likely to become homeless.”
Homelessness doesn’t always occur because of drugs.
This is a common stereotype, and though it does happen, it isn’t always the case.
There is a lack of affordable housing.
Some people can’t afford to pay for things they need to live even if they do have a home.
Many people who are homeless were victims of domestic violence. When they left their abuser, they had nowhere else to go.
Minorities make up more of the homeless population than Whites, and many factors play a part in that.