Homeless Research Paper

1487 Words Feb 14th, 2013 6 Pages
Homeless: Who Are They? In 2005, NCH (National Coalition for the Homeless) estimated 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the US every year (NCH,1). But what is homelessness? Jim Baumohl, a noted author, explained in Homelessness in America, the most common definition of homelessness used by researchers is the “absence of belonging to a specific place or to people” (NCH, 3). However, there is no set definition, due to the variety of living conditions a homeless person encounters, and the opinions of the researchers. As Baumohl pointed out, “homelessness is but the latest of many research topics in which the population of interest is not clearly defined” (NCH, 15). Even though there is no clear definition of the homeless, the …show more content…
Homeless persons have raised the numbers in substance abuse drastically in the past years. Thirty-eight percent of homeless were dependent on alcohol and 26 percent abused other drugs in 2003 (NCH,1). Homelessness is usually caused by money spent on substances, which then leads to loss of housing. Substance abuse can be looked at as both a cause and a result of homelessness. Alcohol and drug abuse can be the result of homelessness, while being without a home can cause substance abuse to occur. Although the numbers of abusers is over half of the homeless population, there is an explanation to the high percentages. Levinson added that alcohol is generally seen as an adaptation to life on the streets and a way for the homeless to cope with their difficult situations (Encyclopedia, 9). After reviewing the statistics of substance abuse among homeless persons, it is safe to say the homeless population has portrayed an image of negativity towards alcohol and drugs, and will continue to live with this image until the rate of numbers decreases and the minorities are shown the attention they need. Mental illness has generally been a minority among homeless citizens; but with growing numbers in substance abuse, mental illness has also taken a climb up the number ladder in the past years. “Most studies have found 30 percent of homeless have some

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