Homelessness is defined as the situation of an individual or family without stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means, and ability of acquiring it. It is the result of systemic or societal barriers, a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioral or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination. Most people do not choose to be homeless, and the experience is generally negative, unpleasant, stressful and distressing6. Homelessness is a problem that affects every Canadian town or city, and is one that is dealt with using a variety of different methods.
A homeless person is defined as someone “who lacks a fixed, regular adequate night time residence or a person who resides in a shelter, welfare hotel, transitional program or place not ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations, such as streets, movie theaters, cars, abandoned buildings, etc.” (Cone, 2008, p. ). Homelessness is a growing problem in the United States that affects the psychological and physical aspects of its victims. Two of the fastest growing subpopulations of the homeless are single mothers and families. The word homeless implies being extremely vulnerable and
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age (WHO, 2016). This current event relates to the social determinants of health because homelessness has a huge impact on someone’s overall health and quality of life. People who experience homelessness do not have the resources to maintain their health. This can lead to stress, depression, substance abuse, and a number of problems. They are exposed to communicable diseases, malnutrition and many other health issues. Over 500,000 Americans are homeless every night (Kertesz, 2016). This is why we have Health Care for the Homeless programs. The majority of federally funded organizations for the homeless are operated properly. But, there are some
Evidence has shown that teen homeless across America is ongoing and impacts youth of all cultures and backgrounds. There are millions of youth that are homeless in the United States. The typical ages of homeless youth are eighteen and younger. In America the average youth becomes homeless by age fourteen (www.safehorizon.com). Youth can become homeless for a number of reasons e.g. finances, verbal and physical abuse, pregnancy, sexual orientation, mental illness and neglect. Many youth and young adults have also become homeless due to aging out of foster care services. Youth
Homeless teenagers are a vulnerable population that faces many challenges just in terms of daily existence in addition to their overall development in the transitioning to adulthood. Current studies are reported to indicate that the primary cause of homeless among youth is "family dysfunction in the form of parental neglect, physical or sexual abuse, family substance abuse, and family violence." (Runway & Homeless Youth and Relationship Toolkit, 2009, p.1) Homeless youth are generally defined as "an unaccompanied youth ages 12 and older who are without family support and who are living in shelters, on the streets, in cares or vacant buildings and who are 'couch surfing' or living in other unstable circumstances." (Runway & Homeless Youth and Relationship Toolkit, 2009, p.1) Son (2002) writes that it is "...unknown how many homeless youth are out there. Most of them are not in the child welfare, juvenile justice, or mental health systems, making it difficult to accurately gather statistical data." (p.2)
Majority of American families are a paycheck, illness or car breakdown away from homelessness. One of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population is families with children. A survey conducted in 25 cities in the U.S found that 36% of the homeless population was composed of families with children, (Millennial Housing Commission. Meeting Our Nation's Housing Challenges, 2002). Homeless children have demonstrated serious developmental and learning delays, and are more likely to drop out of school compared to children with stable living conditions. Single Homeless adults are mostly men between the ages of 31 and 50 years of age. Approximately half of the single adult homeless have use or a have a history of substance abuse. About a third of this population has serious or ongoing illnesses. Another segment of the homeless population are thruway or runway youth. One study showed that approximately one and a half million youth in America were homes at least one night in the course of a year, (U.S. Conference of Mayors. Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness, 2001). Homelessness is a result of complex circumstances in which people are made to choose from the basic human
Vulnerable populations are defined in many ways. Variables of the definition are dependent on the author, their current location and how they believe that they may assist this population. Vulnerability as defined in a healthcare setting are those with a greater than average risk of developing health problems by virtue of their marginalized sociocultural status, their limited access to economic resources, or personal characteristics such as age and gender (DeChesnay & Anderson, 2008). Vulnerable populations in Jacksonville, North Carolina, are the homeless and indigent veterans with mental illness. Jacksonville, North Carolina, is a military town with three military bases in the
The purpose of this paper is to discuss current health issues among the homeless population. The paper will also explore the reasons behind homelessness and the society’s perception. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless an individual experiencing homelessness fall into one of the three categories such as, chronic, transitional or episodic homelessness. Medicine or treatment for homeless individuals seeking medical attention, are not as accessible compared to non-homeless individuals due to the culture and rough life style. Neglecting proper housing and health care to underprivileged people is inhumane and increases the homeless population.
Many homeless individuals develop health issues after becoming homeless. A study conducted by a team of physicians in New York examined the health status of individuals newly admitted into homeless shelters. These physicians discovered that 60% of individuals had a medical complaint (Caton et al., 2011). A portion of these medical complaints were due to diseases and disorders attained from unsanitary and unstable living conditions. These diseases can include communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB). The same study concluded that more than half of TB cases were a result of becoming infected by others, rather than reactivation of latent TB (Caton et al., 2011). An individual may contract TB, but the bacteria may fall into a dormant, harmless
Individuals with addictive disorders disrupt relationships and trust with family, friends, job or everyday life. In order to cope with their harsh reality, turning to alcohol or drugs temporarily provides a short but dangerous relief. In reality, however, substance dependence only exacerbates their problems, increase health issues, and decreases their ability to achieve employment stability and get off the streets (National Coalition for the Homelessness, 2009). Common health issues affecting homeless people are substance use disorders, wound infections, and mental disorders.
Many reasons for worsening situation of homelessness in the country have been reported but none has gathered as much support as poverty. Poverty alone accounts for major increase in homeless households while other possible reasons include loss of job, eroding job opportunities, lack of public assistance and lack of affordable housing facilities. Despite these being powerful reasons, they are all linked to one major reason i.e. poverty.
Children of many ages are affected by these tremendous problems resulting from homelessness that have just become greater as time has passed. Homelessness leaves long lasting scars on these children (Crary 2). “The burden places upon these people can influence every facet of their lives; from contraception to early adulthood” (Hart-Shegos 2). All stages of life are affected by this experience of homelessness and severe problems can be caused in every stage.
Hobo! Vagrant! Transient! We have all overheard these terms which reference those who are homeless. Homelessness is not a crisis or an endemic that transpired overnight, but has been steadily escalating for decades. This endemic impact more individuals than anyone can conceptualize. It triggers a variety of problems not just for the homeless, but society. Homelessness is a multifaceted social problem with an array of underlying social and economic factors. People find themselves without permanent housing for several reasons. These individuals may be homeless for a day, month, or even years. Every individual has a story and no story is the identical.
Who are we as human beings if we overlook the suffering of others? While sitting on the cold, hard ground, dying of hunger, I watch these strangers pass by. Feels as though I am invisible to the world, like they are judging me because of the state I am in. Without even knowing my story to why I am homeless, many people make assumptions. Being watched every day with a scornful look, as though I am a disgrace to the world. On the bright side, there are these few strangers that would stop and give me something warm to cover with. I would probably feel this way if I was ever placed in that situation or something of that nature.