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What causes homelessness - Essay Example

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But we never actually thought why these people live like this; we usually consider them through some stereotypes of homelessness. But in fact the reasons of…
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What Causes Homelessness School We all have met at least one homeless human in our life, unfortunately, this social phenomena is unavoidable nowadays. But we never actually thought why these people live like this; we usually consider them through some stereotypes of homelessness. But in fact the reasons of homelessness may be totally different: laziness, mental health problems, bankruptcy, and lack of family etc.
First of all, it is important to give a definition of homelessness. Sociologists claim that homeless is a person that doesn’t have a constant “adequate housing” (Shlay, Rossi, 1992), which is intended for normal living (excluding places which may be used for dwelling) (Argeriou et al. 1995). The point is that the category of homelessness is rather huge, and there are many people, who may be considered as homeless. The more important thing is that classical homeless people have some, let’s say, classical reasons to live in such way. The reasons are the following: alcoholism, mental diseases, physical disabilities and simple laziness and life weakness (Shlay, Rossi, 1992). Recent sociological researches showed that such vision of homelessness is quite typical for almost all the people, and indeed these patterns of poverty are truthful in majority of cases, but still there are some essentially different situations when it turns out that people become homeless (Lee et al. 1990). For example, such exceptional cases may be bankruptcy, mortgage delinquency (which may be a result of job loss) etc. In general, there are a lot of huge economical problems that make people homeless. Actually, these problems are on the top of the list of reasons of homelessness.
Also, we can’t forget about a huge group of mentally sick people unable to function in society in adequate way, so they go on streets trying to survive. Scientific researches showed that the level of mental diseases has grown with development of big cities. Psychologists think that the reason of such tendency is that people can’t stand rapid pace of globalization, so they begin mentally “breaking” or using drugs and alcohol (Mechanic, Field, 1987). The main point is that people start feeling their weakness and negligibility in this world; they feel lonely and unable of doing anything.
Another economical reason of homelessness is increasing level of prices and especially the land ones and housing costs. There are many families that cannot afford buying an expensive house that would fit their families, or even cannot afford any housing at all (Freeman and Hall, 1987). The reasons of it may be diverse, but the main claims are about decreasing of available work positions. Anyway it is obvious that the job factor is crucial in the problem of homelessness.
We are used to considering causes of homelessness in a typical way, so we think that alcoholism, intended poverty (like laziness) and mental diseases are a kind of clichés for homeless people. In a majority of situations indeed these factors are crucial, but sometimes even bankruptcy and job loss lead people to social crash and living under the open sky.
References:
Argeriou, M., McCarty, D., and Kevin Mulvey. (1995). Dimensions of Homelessness. Public Health Reports (1974-), 110, 734-741.
Freeman, R.B., and Hall, B. (1987). Permanent Homelessness in America?. Population Research and Policy Review, 6, 3-27.
Lee, B.A., Jones, S.H., and Lewis, D.W. (1990) Public Beliefs about the Causes of Homelessness. Social Forces, 69, 253-265.
Mechanic, D., and Field, P.B. (1987). Homelessness. Science, 235, 955-956.
Shlay, A.B., and Rossi, P.H. (1992). Social Science Research and Contemporary Studies of Homelessness. Annual Review of Sociology, 18, 129-160. Read More
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