Homeless: Why?

Image of broken wine bottles suspended in the air by a wire.

Alessandro Olsen/ Flickr

Many people do not understand how a person could be without a home. It is said that most people are only a paycheck away from being homeless. I would modify that thought and assert that most are only two paychecks away from homelessness. As for reasons, two of the most prevalent are being unemployed and having your savings depleted.

Other factors contribute, too. Addiction to alcohol or drugs can absorb all of a person’s funds, causing bills to go unpaid. Welfare is available for only five years, so, those who don’t have marketable job skills or a good educational foundation are in jeopardy of living in shelters or on the streets. Foster care children leave the system at the age of 18 and many do not have a solid plan about how they will function. These children then compound the problem by becoming parents and putting their child(ren) at risk. Bad family relationships often cause an adult to leave the house or a child to run away.

Court-ordered support payments may leave little for the absent parent to live on. If the parent leaves for an unknown destination, the remaining parent and child(ren) may have to seek housing in a shelter. Further, returning, burned-out soldiers and people released from incarceration are at risk for this destitute state unless loving family or friends are available to offer support and counseling.

Those fortunate enough NOT to be homeless may be able to help if they can understand th causes of this demeaning problem. Get involved! Offer a person a job. Tell her or him when you know a job is available. Speak to your political representatives about laws and programs that can transition people back into homes throughout the U.S. and its territories. Any assistance will truly be appreciated.

Issues |Family|Jobs|Living Unsheltered

Ad: Wegmans making a difference together


email updates

We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.