By Klara Keysendal, Sweden
What is homelessness?
How to prevent homelessness?
Homelessness occurs when people do not have the ability to take care of themselves. In January 2015, more than 560,000 people were homeless in the United States. About 200,000 were people in families, and about 360,000 were individuals. Almost 17 percent are considered chronically homeless, which is someone who has experienced homelessness for a year or longer and has physical or mental conditions. About 8 percent of the homeless people are veterans.
There are many factors to become a homeless person; poverty, job loss, health care, mental illness and much more. Persons living in poverty are most at risk of becoming homeless, to not have enough money and to be a homeless person makes it harder to get a job. Health care is a bigger problem for a person who is already homeless; many homeless people are ill and do not ever receive medical care.
Numerous studies have shown that about 1/3 of the homeless people have serious mental illnesses, mostly schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. People who are homeless often use drugs and alcohol to deal with their situation, and to temporarily relieve their problems. The majority of domestic victims are women. 1 of 4 woman are abused in their relationships and they choose to stay in a dangerous relationship or to be homeless.
It is hard to help all the homeless people in America, but we can probably help some of them. Communities and the government have to help. You as a private person can help as well. Give them food or clothes so they can survive during the day. Help them to find a job, start working and to take care of themselves. Give them assistance to find a place to live where they can be supported both mentally and physically .