Homelessness can affect anyone: whether it is due to job loss, unsustainable credit, occasional reckless decisions, family relationships, or some other reason. The homeless’s prejudices vary daily from relatively harmless to those that seriously impair their already low quality of life. They are rooted in homelessness myths as an obstacle to those who want to help them because they, although aware of the problem, find themselves lost in what they expect and what is happening. Breaking with myths and prejudices means understanding the complexity of this problem, that nothing is black or white, that other factors of society are added to our decisions, and that we can all collaborate to make nobody sleeping on the street possible.
Alcoholism or drug use is not the only cause for people experiencing homelessness. On many occasions, they can be a consequence, and there are cases in which the person does not consume anything. We know people started drinking because they wanted to escape, stop being cold, and see it run. When you live on the streets, drugs and alcohol can quickly come; going out is a considerable effort, and you need help. The starting point should be to understand that we are talking about diseases and not blame the person.
We suggest you read essay examples on homelessness that also treat severe mental illness as a reason why a small number of adults stay on the street. Other relevant authors also discuss common reasons for homelessness, but it’s a myth that all those are doing drugs or are alcoholics.
Homeless are Violent People
The general population meets their basic needs in homes and families, covering many things we are often unaware of. Experiencing homelessness means being more exposed to situations of public conflict and sanctions because you don’t have a toilet to go to, a shower, a kitchen, a sofa… your whole life is spent on the street. In addition, you are exposed to physical and verbal violence.
Data from the national research we had a chance to examine warn that 40 percent of people have suffered aggression. You try to be calm when you sleep on the street, but situations arise that lead people to experience violence although never wanted.
We will only highlight a phrase from one of the homeless who has helped us write all these ideas: “It does not matter whether the weather is good or bad. When you live on the street, you are exposed, and it is dangerous”.
Nowhere to Stay
Why do people sleep on the street and don’t want to go to a homeless shelter even if it’s cold? The reasons are related to the fact that these spaces often do not consider what the person wants and needs. Supportive housing and sleeping in a temporary resource imply sharing the space with many people, lack of privacy and tranquillity, and leaving packages and pets outside. “When you enter a shelter, you know that it is not the definitive solution and that you can go back to the street.” The solution should be affordable housing where the person can live stably and have better-organised spaces. At least, the homeless should be allowed to rent a flat at a privileged price or pay a tiny house out through work.
The other side of the spectrum relates to homeless immigrants. The lack of a network of contacts, the administrative difficulties in acquiring documentation, the language, and discrimination for being foreigners mean that many immigrants find themselves in a more fragile situation than the rest.
Homeless People Choose Not to Have Jobs
According to the chronically homeless population in the USA research, many homeless do not receive emergency money from the administration. Many people who sleep rough have worked; some are in the informal economy, and others have a regular job, but their income is meagre and not enough to pay for accommodation.
Some people will never work again because life on the street has affected them, and their well-being is fragile. And many others spend the whole day surviving and going from one resource to another to eat, shower, sleep. Resources are not designed with the person’s needs in mind; they alleviate immediate and temporary needs but do not look at the medium or long term.
It Has Nothing with the Society
People find themselves on the street because their situation has deteriorated over time. It has to do with many causes and how they are managed. Some depend on the person himself, but others have to do with the society we live in: unemployment, housing price, migratory movements, the rigidity of social services and aid mechanisms, a divorce, the death of a loved one, training, health issues… Quite often, some people say they don’t want anything; rebuilding trust and ties costs a lot.
Homelessness is a complex social phenomenon with the characteristics of a social problem. The opinion that it is an individual and not a social problem partly explains the lack of adequate social response. Unfortunately, homelessness is one of those phenomena in a society that everyone, or at least many, is aware of but pays relatively little attention to. Therefore, reintegrating the homeless population into society is necessary by developing a system of assistance and support for the community. Developing strategies to improve living conditions and end homelessness are more than needed. We mean coordinated activities of relevant institutions, primarily social welfare institutions and civil society organisations, are also required.