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What is the meaning of being homeless?

Updated on September 24, 2011

Many people believe that being homeless means not having a house to stay in for the night... but is that all there is when it comes to the issues of homelessnes

"How can you say that you are successful?"... I heard this question during a career development seminar when I was still in High School. There were a number of different answers to that question. Some said they would consider themselves successful if they already have their own cars, their own businesses and a stable source of income. Some others relate to success as the recognizable result of becoming an achiever. From all these responses I have observed that at least 70% of the participants responded to the question by saying that they would consider themselves successful if they already have their own homes.

In a way, the word "home" has been described in two particular contexts. One is that of the place where a family stays; a structure that protects a unit of individuals living together from the harms of the environment. Another description refers to the home as the "family". The direct reference of the home as the family strongly defines the united state of several individuals related with each other through blood.

With these contexts in mind, it could be asked, What then does it really mean to be homeless?


Based from the recent US Census, there are at least a towering rate of 45% of homeless individuals in the State of New York alone; this rate even increases to at least 2% every year. Most of those who are included within the said percentage come from the minorities. Homelessness for them means not having a house to stay in. They cannot be found in one address nor in one area alone within a month. Most of these individuals have either lost or have never had jobs hence cannot earn for rent or at times even for food. In other impoverished communities, the rate is even higher and staggeringly shocking.


On the other hand, there are those families who do have a house to cover over their heads.However, despite all the supposed achievements and properties of these families, their members somehow feel empty. The pressures of gaining financial freedom for the whole family has caused them to neglect the most important elements of being a united group of family members. The children of such families are most often than not the ones experiencing the impact of such situations. At least 34% of the children who were brought up under such circumstances end up in prisons and worse, some others resort to suicide due to massive depression.

So again, the question is, who really are homeless...

...The ones who do not have a house to stay in, or the ones who have a house but cannot feel the existence of a family that loves them?

This just in....

another hubber has written a remarkable post regarding the different issues that homeless individuals experience and I sincerely hope to link this hub to that one. The link could be found below.


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    • profile image

      mystery d 5 years ago

      being homeless is being stupid its mainly people who do drugs or those ugly fat strippers and prostatutes on the street looking for money but there is also the people that are homeless because they cant pay their bills because they cannot afford money cause their job doesn't pay enough

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      This is a subject that needs to be addressed and not just accepted

      And e can all do our little bit to help

      I hope you don't mind but I have linked both yours and Becky's hubs to one of mine. I hope it brings you both more exposure.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      This is a very nicely written hub. I am honored to have you link with mine. I wish I could figure out how to link and I would link to yours. Maybe before long. I have figured out so much already.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      This is a very important subject and I like the way you write about it. More discussion is needed, I think, about the meaning of it all and what happens to a person, feeling and/or becoming homeless. Are we taking it for granted now that there will always be homelessness of some kind or other? What do we need to do as a society to keep our focus on the problems around homelessness? Thanks for the hub.

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

      Being homeless has different meanings to different individuals. It depends solely on the person, because "home is where the heart is" is one mentality, many people continue to use. If your heart is telling you to make a stand and that stand makes you homeless, then what?

      The true meaning of homelessness is not having a protected place to live and a family to call your own, either the family you grew up with or the ability to make your own. Homelessness is driven and continues to be driven by actions of the individual, either through chosen ignorance or a lack of knowledge.

      Many homeless people are bound to some sort of addiction and some are not, but have made specific decisions, which were without foresight or self awareness. Those decisions brought about a situation, for which, became homelessness, for some reason or another. Again, it would be solely based on the individual. At least, this is how I've come to understand it. I could derail your hub with other outside influences, which are a detriment to people and they are completely unaware, but I did touch on that when I said "self awareness" or lack of. Interesting hub and I marked it as interesting. Btw- Welcome to Hubpages! :)