Causes and Effects of Homelessness

2290 Words Jan 2nd, 2015 10 Pages
Causes and Effects of Homelessness
Tera Penrod
Purpose: To help people understand homelessness.
Audience: Readers interested in learning about some causes of homelessness and some effects it has.

Homelessness is living without a home, be it on the streets or in shelters. There are many causes for people becoming homeless, and the combination of factors that lead to homelessness are different for every individual. Some of the factors that contribute to homelessness for youth, single adults, and families are poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse and mental illness, limited assistance services, and personal choice. The effects are also varied and can pertain to communities, businesses, other people and the homeless
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Nationally, studies indicate that up to half of homeless women with children have experienced domestic violence, including children who are homeless. With specific shelters available for battered women, more women are fleeing their abusers, thus creating more homeless. Children, too, run away because of being battered and end up homeless. Children often encounter more abuse while on the streets to acquire food, shelter or clothing. Both, battered women and children are often forced with choosing between being abused or becoming homeless
From interviews that I have conducted over the years, there are still homeless people that just choose to become/stay homeless. I interviewed a homeless veteran back in 2009 whose name is Jim, and again in 2011. Jim informed me that he became homeless shortly after the Vietnam War because he chose to. He didn’t have family waiting for him, and had no desire of getting a job after serving his country. After being homeless for more than 15 years, he states that “it is easier”. He doesn’t have the hardships of paying bills such as rent, utilities, insurance, car fuel, and other bills. He also doesn’t have the responsibilities of caring for dependents, but living only for himself. Because of this advantage, he is able to survive on very little money. Jim says that “I focus on only the basics of food and hygiene”. With charities providing free food, soup
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