Substance Abuse And Homelessness : What Is The Connection?

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Substance Abuse and Homelessness: What Is The Connection?
Elizabeth Finchum
Wright State University

What is Homelessness? The word homelessness can have many meanings in today’s society because the word home can be taken vague. Some individuals might be taking shelter in a cardboard box or even underneath a park bench, while others travel from shelter to shelter to keep a roof over their head. In the United States the Federal Definition of Homelessness is referred to as people who include: anyone who does not have a fixed night-time resident that is adequate for their needs, and those individuals who live temporarily in an institution or anywhere that has not been created as a place for a human to sleep (Homelessness and Substance Abuse, 2014). It is estimated that 3.5 million people in the United States are homeless, which shows that 1 percent of the population is homeless and 1.5 million are children (Homelessness and Substance Abuse, 2014). The list of reasons for individuals becoming homeless is a continuous list, but some of the causes include: poverty, divorce or other relationship breakdowns, no local affordable housing, escaping an abusive house, unemployment, and debt problems (Homelessness and Substance Abuse, 2014). Although there are many causes for homelessness the leading cause is due to alcohol and drug abuse.
Relation to Homelessness
Substance abuse is often the cause of homelessness among individuals in the United States. The Substance
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