Homeless People And The United States

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Walking down the street in any major U.S. city poses an all too familiar challenge: avoid the gaze of the scores of homeless people begging on the sidewalks. While you might spare some change to a particularly disheveled looking woman, or a couple trying to buy food for their dog, it is customary to keep your head down in fear of interacting with one of the violent, homeless drunks that litter city streets. Conflict between homeless people and the housed population is not a new phenomena in the United States. With one of the highest rates of homelessness among developed countries, homelessness in the U.S. is at epidemic levels in large cities (Agans 1). With the number of homeless people rising, the attitude of the general population…show more content…
Certain populations of homeless people are resistant to being tracked or recorded by any government agency, which creates a sense of caution for workers approaching these people (Agans 1). The difficulty of tracking homeless people complicates processes such as census work, as well as gathering information over an extended period of time from individuals for the purposes of studying homelessness. Because homeless people often change location repeatedly within a short time frame, getting accurate data on the population becomes exceedingly challenging. Information can be gathered through extensive face to face interviews with homeless individuals, both by walking around cities trying to find these individuals, and by targeting shelters. These types of surveys, such as the one conducted by the Survey Research Unit, University of North Carolina, show that historically, some of the key factors causing homelessness are lack of affordable housing, drug addiction, unemployment rates, and lack of housing for the mentally ill (Agans 3).
Though census information on homeless people can be limited or skewed, the data that is available provides useful details on the demographics of the modern day homeless population in the US. According to a study written
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