The Effects Of Homelessness On The Homeless Population

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History of Homelessness
The term to describe the homeless may have changed over time, however the issue of housing insecurity has remained for some Americans throughout history (Kusmer, 2001). Although the homeless population has always maintained in the United States, homelessness became a national issue in 1870 with the emergence of the “tramp”: these were men that banded together, rode trains illegally and had negative interactions with law enforcement (2001). The movement of the homeless from location to location changed after World War II, and after the 1940s the homeless were typically confined to urban areas (2001). This urbanization of the homeless population continued throughout the remainder of the century.
Public awareness of homelessness regained momentum in the early 1980s after the recession. At the time, the issue was considered temporary and only impacted certain populations that were more vulnerable. Once the economy improved, homelessness would no longer be as issue (Rosenheck, 1994). The perception at the time was that the government safety net would assist these people, and that the homeless were deviants that chose to live outside of society’s idea of “normal” (1994). A demographic change occurred during this time period: the homeless population before the resurgence of homeless as a social problem the in early 1980s, were much older than those seen during the 1980s and beyond (Kusmer, 2001). Women and their children became a larger proportion of the

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