Slowly all your money is pouring down the drain, clink clink, and slowly you fall into debt. Eventually before you know what happened you are in poverty and about to lose your home. Suddenly you are homeless, going from shelter to shelter attempting to find food and work and no real direction. That is how many people have felt on their horrible journey to homelessness. Homelessness can really be described in three main ways, the amount of homelessness and its rates, how people become homeless, and how it can be fought and prevented.
Homelessness has been a very big problem in our world for a very long time. It brings depression, hunger, and even death at times. There is no exact number on how many people are homeless but it has been estimated from as low as the number 800,000 to as high as 3,500,000 people (At Issue: Homelessness). What is known is that currently, in 2013, it is a growing number. Strangely enough, 44% of homeless people have jobs, yet are still homeless. This is due to the expenses of housing being way too much for the amount of money these employed homeless people make (At Issue: Homelessness). Having said that it makes one wonder, what kind of jobs are these homeless people getting?
The growing number of homeless people is starting to contradict what was happening in previous years. While from the 2012 to 2013 shift it looks like the number of homeless grew, during the 2011 to 2012 shift it seemed as if homeless numbers were staying relatively the same (Lowrey). From 2007 to 2012 the rate of chronically homeless people dropped by about 19%, that is a huge number that was achieved. However, homeless people in general started to rise. While people who were at risk of being homeless for the rest of their life found a new opening, families and other people who thought they were doing ok in life ended up going temporarily (mostly) homeless. This would be due to poverty rates going up about 22% in the last 5 years (Lowrey)! Homeless numbers are increasing constantly, whether that means that more families or individuals are going hungry is not known.
There are many ways to get down to the level of homelessness. This could be anything from substance abuse, to a simple lay off from a job. Today’s economy really isn’t helping people when they are on the verge of homelessness. "Homeless people who are down on their luck or mentally ill or drug addicted” (Homeless Rights Bill Is Wrong). This quote gives a basic rundown on how people become homeless. They either become mentally ill, drug addicted, or, the worst kind, just get unlucky. A lot of the time homeless people didn’t really do much to deserve being homeless. A lot of them were simply normal people trying to make a living but got laid off and couldn’t find a new job.
Today’s economy is not in the best position at the moment. This in turn brings lots of trouble to the homeless, especially the ‘at risk to be chronically homeless’ people. They already have a rough time doing anything when attempting to get a job or get some help, but when the economy turns for the worse it makes it that much harder for them. “Indicate that the recession, which lasted from December 2007 through June 2009, increased the number of homeless people. Additionally, the number of homeless families increased at an even greater rate” (Homelessness Timeline). This goes to show that a simple turn in the economy can cause a great shift in homelessness rates. This has been noticed and is being worked on to be stopped.
Fighting homelessness is something everyone can do. It can be as simple as giving a food can or two to a homeless person, or volunteering at a homelessness shelter. There are many ways to fight homelessness and shelters are the biggest fighters of it at the moment. For example, New York City population rose very