Why and how do people become homeless?
I plan to make this question into a hub, and first I thought I would get input from the writers here at HP. What are the main reasons behind people being homeless? Alcohol or drugs? The Economy, or mental illness? Or are there other reasons?
I was homeless for a short time. The reasoning had nothing to do with anything you mentioned. I aged out of the foster care system with no where to go, no one to help me, and little knowledge of how to get assistance. Approximately 35% of aged out foster children face homelessness. The system just doesn't prepare teens and very often know they are kicking teens out to the streets. Considering over 30,000 foster children age out each year, that is around 10,000 on the streets. That doesn't even include the number of them that have a place to live when they first age out but then end up without a home due to inability to pay later.
I cannot give an authoritative answer but I read that the reasons change over time. For example when George Orwell (??) wrote Down and out in Pars and London the main reason was unemployment, as there was no social security. Then it became drink then drugs. I am not sure what it is now, but I would guess mental problems, possibly induced by unemployment or other stress.
Regardless of the reason we are all closer to being homeless than we want to realise. It takes only one bad debt at the wrong time or losing your job.
I read about one guy who had a thriving business. Then his marriage broke up. Being distraught he lost the plot in his business and lost everything. A few years later he died of cold sleeping in a shop doorway in Glasgow. The author of the book where I read that speculated that having to chase up late payers in forms where the accountants tried to delay payment in order to hang on to the interest prevented him paying attention to his marriage and had they paid on time he might be alive today, and maybe stil married.
But if someone tells me they are likely to become homeless and then tells me they voted Republican (USA) or Tory (UK) I tend to feel it is largely their own fault. Whether I say that depends on how close we are as friends: plus how violentthey are likely to get.
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