What causes homelessness? We as a community can end homelessness, one person at a time. When we focus on what causes homelessness for an individual we can then try to identify a solution to help meet the needs of that individual person. The causes of homelessness are unique to the individual person experiencing it. There are many people who have endured heartache, tragedy and life changing situations that led them to the path of homelessness. Indeed it is always a series of choices that cause our current situation. However, when one experiences crisis – opportunities seem distant and problem-solving isn’t easy to handle.
Homelessness is, in fact, caused by tragic life occurrences like the loss of loved ones, job loss, domestic violence, divorce and family disputes. Other impairments such as depression, untreated mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, and physical disabilities are also responsible for causing homeless. Many factors push people into living on the street. Acknowledging these can help facilitate the end of homelessness in America. For those living in poverty or close to the poverty line, in “everyday” life issue that may be manageable for individuals with a higher income can be the final factor in placing them on the street. A broken down vehicle, a lack of vehicle insurance, or even unpaid tickets might be just enough to render someone homeless. Divorce costs and the associated lowering of a family’s total income can cause one or more family members to become homeless. For families that can hardly pay their bills, a serious illness or disabling accident may deplete their funds and push them out onto the street. Today, the rapid, unexpected loss of jobs and resultant foreclosures has caused great dislocation among families and has dramatically added to the number of people without a roof over their heads.