homeless in america research paper

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Homeless in america research paper

TOP DISSERTATION CONCLUSION GHOSTWRITER SERVICE CA

In all but one recently published study, the elderly made up less than 10 percent of the homeless population Table The figure of The contrast is even greater in Ohio, where 6. In the skid row area of Los Angeles, 5 percent of the homeless population is over age 61, in comparison with 17 percent domiciled elderly for the entire county Farr et al. Nationwide, only 3 percent of the homeless people who presented themselves for care at the Johnson-Pew Health Care for the Homeless projects were over 65, even though 12 percent of the population of the United States is elderly Wright and Weber, Three hypotheses have been proposed to explain the small percentages of elderly homeless.

The first suggests that on turning 65, many homeless people become eligible for various entitlements Social Security, Medicare, senior citizen housing, etc. It is possible that such programs generate enough income in benefits, lower housing costs, or both that people are able to leave the streets or at least are prevented from becoming homeless to begin with Wright and Weber, The second possibility is that homeless people do not survive to old age, because the realities of a homeless existence are so severely debilitating Wright and Weber, A study of men living on Chicago's skid row revealed an annual death rate of 70 per 1,, in contrast to the national death rate for white men of 11 per 1, Bogue, However, a third explanation for the small percentage of homeless elderly may be related to sampling.

The subjects of most studies are self-selected and include residents of shelters, those who appear for medical treatment, people on the streets willing to be interviewed, and the like. To quote Joseph Doolin, the director of the Kit Clarke Senior House, which operates the Cardinal Medeiros Day Center for the homeless elderly of Boston, "younger homeless people tend to 'squeeze out' older street people [from the shelters]" Doolin, To the extent that the homeless elderly do not participate in various programs for the homeless, they will be underrepresented in most studies.

Since its first meeting, the committee has been concerned with the fact that almost all the scholarly literature describes the urban homeless. As a result, the committee commissioned a special study of this population. Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with the committee, funded a more detailed analysis of this issue.

The results of this joint effort of the Institute of Medicine and the Department of Health and Human Services are included in Appendix C of this report. Briefly, the problems of the rural homeless differ from those of their urban counterparts in several important ways.

The rural homeless are far less visible than those in the cities; many live with relatives or others who are part of an extended family network. Some are officially domiciled because they pay a nominal token rent for the use of a shack or other substandard form of housing. However, they are even less likely than their urban counterparts to obtain assistance during times of economic or personal crisis. Rural areas do not have the range of social and financial supports available in most urban areas.

Often, homeless people migrate to the cities in search of work; when they fail in that effort, they become a part of the growing numbers of homeless people in the cities. Those who stay in rural areas remain hidden until some event causes them to lose their housing, at which point they can be found living in, for example, cars, abandoned buildings, and woods. Even those communities with previously adequate social service systems are finding it increasingly difficult to serve the growing numbers of homeless people, especially in areas where the decline of agriculture, forestry, and mining is severe.

The homeless population is heterogeneous. While there is considerable controversy about the number of homeless people, there is general agreement that the number is becoming greater as each year passes. As the number increases, so do the complexities of the homelessness problem:. Why do people become homeless?

Which interventions can be used to prevent or resolve the state of homelessness? What strategies must be developed to address the long-term issues involved with this problem? As has been seen in this chapter, there are several subgroups among the general population of homeless people: individual adults, families with children, adolescents and young adults, the elderly, and people in rural areas.

While together they all share one common problem—the lack of a stable residence—they each have specific needs. As will be seen in the next chapter, the long-established system that has traditionally addressed homelessness now finds itself confronted with a seemingly overwhelming set of problems. Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Search term. Introduction There have always been homeless people in the United States. Definition of Homeless For the purpose of this report, the definition of homeless or homeless person is the same as that in P.

Congress, House, : 1 an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence: [or] 2 an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is— A a supervised or publicly operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill ; B an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or C a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

Counting the Homeless Even within the framework of a relatively straightforward definition, there is considerable uncertainty about the number of people who are homeless at any given time in the United States. Studies of Homelessness Since the early s, an extensive body of literature about homeless people has emerged. Characteristics of Homeless People Homeless people are a diverse and varied group in terms of age, ethnicity, family circumstances, and health problems.

Homeless Individual Adults Although families may represent the fastest growing subgroup among the homeless, individual adults still make up the single largest group among the homeless population. Homeless Families As mentioned previously, the fastest growing subgroup among the homeless population consists of families with children.

Homeless Runaway and Throwaway Youths The amount of systematic data describing the characteristics of homeless adolescents is even scantier than those for other homeless subpopulations. In addition to its site visits, the committee reviewed three recent studies of runaway and throwaway youths: the Greater Boston Adolescent Emergency Network GBAEN study of 84 adolescents using 11 shelters throughout Massachussetts;.

Caton ; and. Department of Justice. Homeless Elderly People The percentage of elderly people among the homeless population is less than that among the general population. The Rural Homeless Since its first meeting, the committee has been concerned with the fact that almost all the scholarly literature describes the urban homeless. Summary The homeless population is heterogeneous.

As the number increases, so do the complexities of the homelessness problem: Why do people become homeless? References Acker, P. Fierman, and B. An assessment of parameters of health care and nutrition in homeless children. American Journal of Diseases of Children 4 Alliance Housing Council. Housing and Homelessness. Washington, D. Arce, A. Tadlock, and M. A psychiatric profile of street people admitted to an emergency shelter. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 34 9 Barbanel, J. Judge bars city from using offices to shelter homeless.

New York Times , August A Bassuk, E. In press. The impact of homelessness on families. Journal of Child and Youth Services. Homeless children: A neglected population. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 5 2 Rubin, and A. Characteristics of sheltered homeless families. American Journal of Public Health 75 9 American Journal of Public Health 76 September Bogue, D. Skid Row. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Boxill, N. An exploration of mother—child interaction among homeless women and their children using a public night shelter in Atlanta, Georgia. Brickher, P. Scharer, editor; , B. Conanan, editor; , A. Elvy, editor; , and M. Savarese, editor. Health Care of Homeless People. New York: Springer-Verlag. Brown, C. Paredes, and L. The Homeless of Phoenix: A Profile. Phoenix, Ariz. MacFarlane, R. Clark, A. Health care needs of homeless women in Baltimore.

Seminar paper submitted to the faculty of the graduate school of the University of Maryland, College Park, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the master of science degree. New York: Coalition for the Homeless. Homeless families living in hotels: The provision of publicly supported emergency temporary housing services. New York: Columbia University. Community Council of Greater New York. Leavitt, editor.

Crystal, S. Goldstein, and R. Doolin, J. Planning for the special needs of the elderly homeless. The Gerontologist 26 3 Dumpson, J. A Shelter Is Not a Home. Farr, R. Koegel, and A. Fischer, P. Breakey, S. Shapiro, J. Anthony, and M. Mental health and social characteristics of the homeless: A survey of mission users. American Journal of Public Health 76 5 Freeman, R.

Permanent Homelessness in America? Working paper no. Cambridge, Mass. Gallagher, E. Greater Boston Adolescent Emergency Network. Hoffman, S. Wenger, J. Nigro, and R. Who Are the Homeless? Hombs, M. Homelessness in America: Forced March to Nowhere.

Janus, M. McCormack, A. Burgess, and C. Adolescent Runaways: Causes and Consequences. Lexington, Mass. Heath, Lexington Books. Kronenfeld, D. Phillips, and V. The forgotten ones: Treatment of single parent multi-problem families in a residential setting. Prepared under Grant no. McChesney, K. New findings on homeless families.

Family Professional 1 2. Morse, G. Shields, C. Hanneke, R. Calsyn, G. Burger, and B. Homeless People in St. Jefferson City, Mo. Mowbray, C. Johnson, A. Solarn, and C. Lansing: Michigan Department of Mental Health. The Homeless Poor. Muitnomah County, Oreg. Homeless Women. Multnomah County, Oreg. New York Times. October 16, New Reagan policy to cut benefits for the aged blind and disabled.

Robertson, M. Homeless veterans: An emerging problem. Bingham, editor; , R. Green, editor; , and S. White, editor. Newberry, Calif. Ropers, and R. Basic Shelter Research Program, Document no. Rosenheck, R. Gallup, C. Leda, P. Leaf, R. Milstein, I. Voynick, P. Errera, L. Koerber, and R.

Rosnow, M. Shaw, and C. Prepared by Human Services Triangle, Inc. Madison: Wisconsin Office of Mental Health. Rossi, P. Fisher, and G. The Condition of the Homeless in Chicago. Roth, D. Bean, Jr. Lust, and T. Ryback, R. Bassuk, editor.

San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Schutt, R. Boston: University of Massachusetts. Shaffer, D. New York: The Ittleson Foundation. Simpson, J. By the time I came out, I got evicted from my flat. I was made homeless. For example, all participants in this category explained that they drank alcohol to cope with multiple health mental health and social challenges.

In the UK adulthood homelessness is more visible than childhood homelessness. However, most participants in this research reveal that the process of becoming homeless begins at their childhood, but becomes visible after the legal age of consent Participants described long history of trouble with people in authority including parents, legal guardians and teachers. However, at the age of 16 they gain legal powers to leave children homes, foster homes, parental homes and schools, and move outside some of the childhood legal protections.

Their act of defiance becomes subject to interdiction by the criminal justice system. This is reflected in number of convictions for criminal offenses some of the participants in this study had. Participants Ruddle, David, Lee, Emily, Pat, Marco, Henry and many other participants in this study see Table 1 clearly traced the beginning of their troubles with authority back at school. They all expressed the belief that had their schooling experience been more supportive, their lives would have been different.

Lee explains that being in trouble with the authorities began while he was at school:. I was in the lowest set, I was in E because of my English and maths. I was not interested, I was more interested in going outside with big lads smoking weed, bunking school. I used to bunk school inside school.

I used to bunk where all cameras can catch me. They caught me and reported me back to my parents. My mum had a phone call from school asking where your son is. My mum grounded me. While my mum grounded me I had a drain pipe outside my house, I climbed down the drain pipe outside my bedroom window.

I used to climb back inside. It could be noted in Table 1 that most participants who described poor education experiences came from institutions such as foster care, children home and special school for maladjusted children. These participants made a clear connection between their experiences of poor education characterised by defiance of authorities and poor life outcomes as manifested through homelessness.

I did not go to school because I kept on bunking. When I was fifteen I left school because I was caught robbing. Because if you go back to school you keep on thieving, she said I keep away from them lads. I said fair enough. When I was seventeen I got run over by a car. In primary schools, I had a pretty I had a good report card. In the start of high school, it was good and then when the fights started that gave me sort of like a I remember my principal one time made me cry.

Actually made me cry, but eh I don't know how, but I remember sitting there in the office and I was crying. Obviously, I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD till I was like 13, so like in school they used to say that's just a naughty child. And in the end [I] went to college and the same happened there. The excerpt above provides intimations of what she considers to be the underlying cause of her behaviour towards the authorities. Emily suggests that had the authorities taken appropriate intervention to address her condition, her life outcomes would have been different.

Although the next participant did not construct school as being a prime mover of their trouble with authorities, their serious encounters with the criminal justice system occurred shortly after leaving school:. Well, that was when I was a kid. I was living in Crewe and at the time I was taking a lot of amphetamines and was selling amphetamines as well, and I got caught and got a custodial sentence for it.

But I've never been back to jail since. I came out in the year so it's like 16 years I've kept meself away from jail and I don't have any intentions of going back. The move from school and children social care system to criminal justice was a common pathways for many participants in this study. Although Crewe did not make connection between his schooling experiences and his trouble with law, it could be noted that his serious encounter with criminal justice system started shortly after leaving foster care and schooling systems.

As he explains:. I was put into prison at age of 17 for arson that was a cry for help to get away from the family, I came out after nine months. I left school when I was fifteen… then I went off the rails. I got kidnapped for three and half months. When I came back I was just more interested in crime. When I left school I was supposed to go to college, but I went with travellers. I was just more interested in getting arrested every weekend, until my mum say right I have enough of you.

I was only seventeen. I went through the hostels when I was seventeen. On few occasions I came out on the corridors I would be getting battered on to my hands and knees and teachers walk pass me. There was quite often blood on the floor from my nose, would be punched on my face and be thrown on the floor. It was hard school, pernicious. I would go as far as saying I never felt welcome in that school, I felt like a fish out of the water, being persistently bullied did my head in.

Eventually I started striking back, when I started striking back suddenly I was a bad one. My mother decided to put me in … school for maladjusted boys, everyone who been there including myself have spent time in prison.

The trouble with authorities that was observes in participants stories in this category appear to be part of the wider adverse social challenges that the participants in this study were facing. The key feature that distinguish this study from comparable previous studies is that it openly acknowledges that data collection and analysis were influenced by the principles of social justice [ 28 , 30 , 31 ]. The resulting theoretical explanation therefore constitutes our interpretation of the meanings that participants ascribe to their own situations and actions in their contexts.

In this study, defining homelessness within the wider socioeconomic context seemed to fit the data, and offered one interpretation of the process of becoming homeless. What is pertinent in this study is understanding the conditions within which their behaviours occurred. The data were examined through the lens of social justice and socio-economic inequalities: we analysed the social context within which these behaviours occurred. We listened to accounts of their schooling experiences, how they were raised and their social network.

The intention was not to propose a cause-and-effect association, but to suggest that interventions to mitigate homelessness should consider the social conditions within which it occurred. Participants in this study identified substance misuse and alcohol dependency as a main cause of their homelessness.

These findings are consistent with several epidemiological studies that reported a prevalence of substance misuse amongst the homeless people [ 32 , 33 , 34 , 35 , 36 ]. One qualitative study that explored homelessness was a Canadian study by Watson, Crawley and Cane [ 37 ].

Participants in the Watson, et al. However, Watson et al. To our knowledge the current study is one of very few that specifically examine the conditions within which homelessness occurs, looking beyond the behavioural factors. Based on the synthesis of data from previous studies, it makes sense that many interventions to mitigate homelessness focus more on tackling behavioural causes of homelessness rather than fundamental determinants of it [ 38 ].

Participants in this study reported that they have been defiant toward people in positions of authority. For most of them this trouble began when they were at school, and came to the attention of the criminal justice system as soon as they left school at the age of These findings are similar to these in the survey conducted by Williams, Poyser, and Hopkins [ 39 ] which was commissioned by the UK Ministry of Justice.

Taking these conditions, and the fact that all but one participants in this left school at or before the age of 16 signifies the importance of living conditions in educational achievement. It has been reported in previous studies that children growing up in such conditions struggle to adjust in school and present with behavioural problems, and thus, poor academic performance [ 40 ].

It has also been reported that despite these families often being known to social services, criminal justice systems and education providers, the interventions in place do little to prevent homelessness [ 40 ]. The conditions they described included being in an abusive environment, poor education, poor employment or unemployment, poor social connections and low social cohesion. These conditions are consistent with high index of poverty [ 37 , 41 , 42 ].

And several other studies found similar associations between poverty and homelessness [ 42 ]. For example, the study by Watson, Crowley et al. Homeless people describe the immediate behavioural causes of homelessness; however, this analysis revealed the social and economic conditions within which homelessness occurred. The conclusions drawn relate only to the social and economic context of the participants in this study, and therefore may not be generalised to the wider population; nor can they be immediately applied in a different context.

It has to be acknowledged that the method of recruitment of the 26 participants generates a bias in favour of those willing to talk. Department for Communities and Local Government. Statutory homelessness: October to December quarter , in 26 homelessness statistical release London: Stationery Office; Google Scholar. HM Government. Homelessness act London: UK Government; Homelessness reduction act London: UK government; MH Government.

Housing Homeless Persons act Intentions to move from homelessness to social inclusion: the role of participation beliefs, attitudes and prior behaviour. Soc Incl. Article Google Scholar. Personal resources and homelessness in early life: predictors of depression in consumers of homeless multiservice centres. J Loss Trauma. Social context of service use among homeless youth in Los Angeles, California.

J Soc Serv Res. A social capital approach to identifying correlates of perceived social support among homeless youth. Child Youth Care Forum. Is there a complex trauma experience typology for Australians experiencing extreme social disadvantage and low housing stability? Child Abuse Negl. Article PubMed Google Scholar. The English indices of deprivation History of foster care among homeless adults with mental illness in Vancouver, British Columbia: a precursor to trajectories of risk.

BMC Psychiatry. A systematic review of cognitive functioning among young people who have experienced homelessness, foster care and of poverty. Child Neuropsychol. Reeve K. J Poverty Soc Justice. Vancouver at home: pragmatic randomized trials investigating housing first for homeless and mentally ill adults. Social exclusion, health and hidden homelessness.

Public Health. A history in-care predicts unique characteristics in a homeless population with mental illness. Anderson I, Christian J. Causes of homelessness in the UK: a dynamic analysis. J Community Appl Soc Psychol. Anderson I. Synthesizing homelessness research: trends, lessons and prospects. A typology of childhood problems among chronically homeless adults and its association with housing and clinical outcomes.

J Health Care Poor Underserved. Developmental status and social-emotional functioning of young children experiencing homelessness. Early Childhood Educ J. Charmaz K. Constructing grounded theory: a practical guide through qualitative analysis. Glaser BG. Remodelling grounded theory. Hist Soc Res. Corbin J, Strauss A. Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Los Angeles: Sage Publications; Book Google Scholar.

Economic and Social Research Council: The research ethics guidebook a resource for social scientists. Accessed 6 June HM Government: Mental capacity act Accessed 5 June Strauss A, Corbin J. London: Sage Publication; Mabhala M. Int J Equity Health. Understanding the determinants of homelessness through examining the life stories of homeless people and those who work with them: a qualitative research protocol.

Diversity Equality Health Care. Social justice and global perspectives on health improvement in health improvement and wellbeing strategies and actions. Mabhala MA. Health inequalities as a foundation for embodying knowledge within public health teaching: a qualitative study. A prospective study of substance use and housing stability in a homeless population. Soc Psychiatric Epidemiol. Factors associated with the health care utilization of homeless persons.

J Am Med Assoc. Transitions through homelessness and factors that predict them: three-year treatment outcomes. J Subst Abus Treat. Drug problems among homeless individuals in Toronto, Canada: prevalence, drugs of choice, and relation to health status. BMC Public Health. The longitudinal association between homelessness, injection drug use, and injection-related risk behaviour among persons with a history of injection drug use in Baltimore, MD.

Drug Alcohol Depend. Needs of the hidden homeless — no longer hidden: a pilot study. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, planning, and local government and the regions committee: homelessness: third report of session — Accessed 24 Oct Accommodation, homelessness and reoffending of prisoners: results from the surveying prisoner crime reduction SPCR survey. London: Ministry of Justice; Kennedy S. It should not be a pit stop: voices and perspectives of homeless youth on labeling and placement in special education.

Lugo MA. Oxford: Oxford University; Shinn M. Homelessness, poverty and social exclusion in the United States and Europe. Eur J Homelessness. Download references. The authors wish to thank all participants in this study; without their contribution it would not have been possible to undertake the research.

The authors acknowledge the contribution of Professor Paul Kingston and Professor Basma Ellahi at the proposal stage of this project. A very special thanks to Robert Whitehall, John and all the staff at the centres for homeless people for their help in creating a conducive environment for this study to take place; and to Roger Whiteley for editorial support.

A very special gratitude goes to the reviewers of this paper, who will have expended considerable effort on our behalf. This research was funded by quality-related research QR funding allocation for the University of Chester. You can also search for this author in PubMed Google Scholar. MM wrote the entire manuscript, designed the study, collected data, analysed and interpreted data, and presented the findings. AY contributed to transcribing data and manuscript editing. MG contributed to data collection, and transcribed the majority of data.

All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Correspondence to Mzwandile A. Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Reprints and Permissions. Mabhala, M. Social conditions of becoming homelessness: qualitative analysis of life stories of homeless peoples. Int J Equity Health 16, Download citation. Received : 24 March Accepted : 10 August Published : 22 August Skip to main content.

Search all BMC articles Search. Download PDF. Research Open Access Published: 22 August Social conditions of becoming homelessness: qualitative analysis of life stories of homeless peoples Mzwandile A. Abstract Background It is increasingly acknowledged that homelessness is a more complex social and public health phenomenon than the absence of a place to live. Method Twenty-six semi-structured interviews were conducted with homeless people in three centres for homeless people in Cheshire North West of England.

Most prominent pattern of behaviours participants often describe as main causes of breakdown of their relationships are: 1. Being in trouble with people in authorities. Conclusion Homeless people describe the immediate behavioural causes of homelessness, however, the analysis revealed the social and economic conditions within which homelessness occurred.

Background It is increasingly acknowledged that homelessness is a more complex social and public health phenomenon than the absence of a place to live. Method The design of this study was philosophically influenced by constructivist grounded theory CGT. Setting and sampling strategy The settings for this study were three centres for homeless people in two cities Chester and Crewe in Cheshire, UK.

Full size image. Results Figure 1 illustrates the process of becoming homeless.

It's important to begin your research learning something about your subject; in fact, you won't be able to create a focused, manageable thesis unless you already know something about your topic.

Homeless in america research paper References 1. Homelessness, poverty and social exclusion in the United States and Europe. For all these reasons, the various studies cannot be easily compared or generalized. After a period of interrogation of the data, it was decided that the two categories - destabilising behaviour, and waning ofcapacity for resilience were sufficiently conceptual to be used as theoretical categories around which subcategories could be grouped Fig. Health inequalities as a foundation for embodying knowledge within public health teaching: a qualitative study. J Subst Abus Treat. National Review 39 18
Descriptive essay my dream house J Loss Trauma. Housing Homeless Persons act The amount of systematic data describing the characteristics of homeless adolescents is even scantier than those for other homeless subpopulations. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimate oftoIntentions to move from homelessness to social inclusion: the role of participation beliefs, attitudes and prior behaviour. Constructing grounded theory: a practical guide through qualitative analysis.
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Custom course work proofreading website usa Sumariwalla, R. Washington, D. Solarn, and C. The process continued until theoretical sufficiency was achieved. Colson, and K. Basically, because I was young, and I had been in care and the way I had been treated by my mum. Find Web Resources.

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The most recent statistics on homeless veterans come from the Homeless Chronically Mentally Ill outreach program conducted by the Veterans Administration as mandated by P. The program is targeted specifically to mentally ill homeless veterans and therefore does not present a valid sample of all homeless. The outreach effort was conducted in 26 states and included Veterans Administration medical centers serving rural, suburban, and urban areas.

In its first 4 months of operation May-September the program made contact with 6, homeless veterans. Of the veterans contacted, The average age was percent were either divorced or had never married. Sixty percent were white, 30 percent were black, and 9 percent were Hispanic. In regard to education, 82 percent were high school graduates. Thirty percent had served in combat, and 1. With regard to the time of their military duty, 38 percent were veterans of the Vietnam era, 21 percent served in the post-Vietnam period, and 18 percent served in the period between the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.

Several authors have reported that between 5 and 10 percent of the homeless are employed full-time and between 10 and 20 percent are employed part-time or episodically Brown et al. These people frequently perform unskilled labor; are on the bottom rung of the economic ladder; and often lack job security, health insurance, and the skills necessary to succeed in a high-tech economy. Many are homeless because their incomes have not kept pace with the dramatic increase in housing costs.

The loss of a day or two of pay may make the difference between paying rent and being evicted. As mentioned previously, the fastest growing subgroup among the homeless population consists of families with children. In late , the U. Conference of Mayors estimated that such families made up 28 percent of all homeless people in the 25 cities participating in the conference's annual survey of hunger, homelessness, and poverty in America.

Most homeless families are headed by women with two or three children Bassuk et al. Most of the children are under the age of 5 and are spending their critical developmental years without the stability and security of a permanent home Towber, a,b; Bassuk and Rubin, ; Wright and Weber, The literature on the characteristics and needs of homeless families is largely anecdotal, although there are a few systematic studies describing the status and unmet needs of homeless families and the health status Wright and Weber, , emotional problems Bassuk et al.

To date, the findings are generally descriptive, and there are large regional differences; only a few attempts have been made to generate and test hypotheses about the antecedents, course, and consequences of family homelessness by studying appropriate comparison groups. Despite limitations of the data base, reports of shelter providers, clinicians, agencies, advocates, and policymakers Simpson et al.

The combined information allows for some generalizations about the characteristics and needs of homeless families. The vast majority of homeless families are headed by women, but the percentages vary by region. In western regions there are more intact homeless families than in eastern regions Bassuk et al. Homeless families that include both parents appear to be more common in rural areas than in urban areas see Appendix C.

Because there is a lack of systematic information about the characteristics of intact homeless families, particularly the fathers, the following discussion concentrates primarily on mothers and children. Homeless mothers tend to be in their late 20s Bassuk et al. Their ethnic status tends to mirror the ethnic composition of the area where they are living, with minorities overrepresented in the cities and whites predominating in suburban and rural areas Bassuk et al.

A Massachusetts study indicated that long-term AFDC users those receiving benefits for longer than 2 years are overrepresented among homeless families Bassuk et al. Researchers have reported that homeless mothers typically are quite isolated and have few, if any, supportive relationships. McChesney studied the support networks of homeless mothers with at least one child who were living in five Los Angeles County family shelters. She described their slide into homelessness as including ''.

Most striking was the fact that many families could not call on their own parents, brothers, or sisters as resources. There were three major reasons: "either their parents were dead, their parents and siblings didn't live in the Los Angeles area, or their parents and siblings were estranged" McChesney, Bassuk and colleagues , in their study of 80 homeless families living in family shelters in Massachusetts, also described fragmented support networks.

When asked to name three persons on whom the mothers could depend during times of stress, 43 percent were unable to name anyone or could name only one person, and almost a quarter named their minor child as their principal source of emotional support Bassuk et al. Many homeless mothers are victims of family violence, which suggests considerable overlap between families residing in family shelters and those residing in battered women's shelters Ryback and Bassuk, Generally, a woman fleeing directly from an abusive mate turns to a battered women's shelter rather than to a family shelter.

According to Bassuk et al. In the only study reporting data about probable child abuse, Bassuk and coworkers found that 22 percent of homeless mothers were currently involved in an investigation or follow-up of child neglect or abuse Bassuk et al. Many families had histories of residential instability and moved several times prior to their current shelter stay; most moved within the community where they were sheltered. A majority of families had been doubled up in overcrowded apartments with friends or relatives, while some had previously resided in other shelters or welfare hotels Bassuk et al.

A substantial proportion of homeless families using the sheltering system can be characterized as multiproblem families Bassuk et al. These families have chronic economic, educational, vocational, and social problems; have fragmented support networks; and have difficulty accessing the traditional service delivery system; ". The multiproblem family typically seeks assistance when a crisis occurs, but ceases contact with the agency when the crisis abates Gallagher, Studies specifically describing the characteristics and needs of homeless children are quite sparse; studies seeking to provide an estimate of the number of homeless children nationwide are nonexistent.

However, the magnitude of the problem can be seen in even the most conservative estimates: If there are approximately , people homeless on any given night ICF Inc. Conference of Mayors, , of whom 55 percent are children Barbanel, , then a minimum of , children are homeless on any given night of the year.

This figure includes only children of intact families; it does not include runaway, throwaway, or abandoned children on the streets or in institutions. Not surprisingly, researchers have reported erratic school attendance among homeless children. Shelters are frequently located far away from a school, and transportation may be lacking.

Preliminary data reported by the Traveler's Aid Program and Child Welfare League indicate that of families with children in eight cities, only 57 percent of the homeless children attended school regularly. A study of 52 families residing in five New York City welfare hotels reported that, according to parents, 60 percent of their children missed less than 3 days of school per month, 30 percent missed between 4 and 10 days of school per month, and 10 percent missed more than 10 days a month, which is over half of the school days Columbia University Masters of Public Administration Program, The amount of systematic data describing the characteristics of homeless adolescents is even scantier than those for other homeless subpopulations.

In addition to its site visits, the committee reviewed three recent studies of runaway and throwaway youths:. Each study identified running away not so much as an event but as a process; adolescents leave home several times each successive incident being of longer duration than the previous ones before actually living on the streets.

As Shaffer and Caton reported, "most adolescents start running away some years before they start to use shelters. The fundamental issue in trying to determine the extent of the throwaway youth population is to determine the line between a parent forcing a teenager out of the home and a parent creating a situation so intolerable that the youngster has no option but to leave.

To quote Reverend Leonard A. It is just possible that running away may be an indication of a very healthy mind, and depression may be a very natural response to an intolerable situation. Community Council of Greater New York, Additional issues regarding the throwaway youth population are discussed in successive chapters: the dynamics of the running away process as it relates to homelessness Chapter 2 ; the health problems of runaway youths Chapter 3 ; and the current state of services for this population Chapter 5.

The percentage of elderly people among the homeless population is less than that among the general population. In all but one recently published study, the elderly made up less than 10 percent of the homeless population Table The figure of The contrast is even greater in Ohio, where 6. In the skid row area of Los Angeles, 5 percent of the homeless population is over age 61, in comparison with 17 percent domiciled elderly for the entire county Farr et al.

Nationwide, only 3 percent of the homeless people who presented themselves for care at the Johnson-Pew Health Care for the Homeless projects were over 65, even though 12 percent of the population of the United States is elderly Wright and Weber, Three hypotheses have been proposed to explain the small percentages of elderly homeless. The first suggests that on turning 65, many homeless people become eligible for various entitlements Social Security, Medicare, senior citizen housing, etc.

It is possible that such programs generate enough income in benefits, lower housing costs, or both that people are able to leave the streets or at least are prevented from becoming homeless to begin with Wright and Weber, The second possibility is that homeless people do not survive to old age, because the realities of a homeless existence are so severely debilitating Wright and Weber, A study of men living on Chicago's skid row revealed an annual death rate of 70 per 1,, in contrast to the national death rate for white men of 11 per 1, Bogue, However, a third explanation for the small percentage of homeless elderly may be related to sampling.

The subjects of most studies are self-selected and include residents of shelters, those who appear for medical treatment, people on the streets willing to be interviewed, and the like. To quote Joseph Doolin, the director of the Kit Clarke Senior House, which operates the Cardinal Medeiros Day Center for the homeless elderly of Boston, "younger homeless people tend to 'squeeze out' older street people [from the shelters]" Doolin, To the extent that the homeless elderly do not participate in various programs for the homeless, they will be underrepresented in most studies.

Since its first meeting, the committee has been concerned with the fact that almost all the scholarly literature describes the urban homeless. As a result, the committee commissioned a special study of this population. Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with the committee, funded a more detailed analysis of this issue. The results of this joint effort of the Institute of Medicine and the Department of Health and Human Services are included in Appendix C of this report.

Briefly, the problems of the rural homeless differ from those of their urban counterparts in several important ways. The rural homeless are far less visible than those in the cities; many live with relatives or others who are part of an extended family network. Some are officially domiciled because they pay a nominal token rent for the use of a shack or other substandard form of housing. However, they are even less likely than their urban counterparts to obtain assistance during times of economic or personal crisis.

Rural areas do not have the range of social and financial supports available in most urban areas. Often, homeless people migrate to the cities in search of work; when they fail in that effort, they become a part of the growing numbers of homeless people in the cities. Those who stay in rural areas remain hidden until some event causes them to lose their housing, at which point they can be found living in, for example, cars, abandoned buildings, and woods. Even those communities with previously adequate social service systems are finding it increasingly difficult to serve the growing numbers of homeless people, especially in areas where the decline of agriculture, forestry, and mining is severe.

The homeless population is heterogeneous. While there is considerable controversy about the number of homeless people, there is general agreement that the number is becoming greater as each year passes. As the number increases, so do the complexities of the homelessness problem:. Why do people become homeless? Which interventions can be used to prevent or resolve the state of homelessness?

What strategies must be developed to address the long-term issues involved with this problem? As has been seen in this chapter, there are several subgroups among the general population of homeless people: individual adults, families with children, adolescents and young adults, the elderly, and people in rural areas. While together they all share one common problem—the lack of a stable residence—they each have specific needs. As will be seen in the next chapter, the long-established system that has traditionally addressed homelessness now finds itself confronted with a seemingly overwhelming set of problems.

Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Search term. Introduction There have always been homeless people in the United States. Definition of Homeless For the purpose of this report, the definition of homeless or homeless person is the same as that in P.

Congress, House, : 1 an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence: [or] 2 an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is— A a supervised or publicly operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill ; B an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or C a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

Counting the Homeless Even within the framework of a relatively straightforward definition, there is considerable uncertainty about the number of people who are homeless at any given time in the United States. Studies of Homelessness Since the early s, an extensive body of literature about homeless people has emerged.

Characteristics of Homeless People Homeless people are a diverse and varied group in terms of age, ethnicity, family circumstances, and health problems. Homeless Individual Adults Although families may represent the fastest growing subgroup among the homeless, individual adults still make up the single largest group among the homeless population.

Homeless Families As mentioned previously, the fastest growing subgroup among the homeless population consists of families with children. Homeless Runaway and Throwaway Youths The amount of systematic data describing the characteristics of homeless adolescents is even scantier than those for other homeless subpopulations. In addition to its site visits, the committee reviewed three recent studies of runaway and throwaway youths: the Greater Boston Adolescent Emergency Network GBAEN study of 84 adolescents using 11 shelters throughout Massachussetts;.

Caton ; and. Department of Justice. Homeless Elderly People The percentage of elderly people among the homeless population is less than that among the general population. The Rural Homeless Since its first meeting, the committee has been concerned with the fact that almost all the scholarly literature describes the urban homeless. Summary The homeless population is heterogeneous. As the number increases, so do the complexities of the homelessness problem: Why do people become homeless?

References Acker, P. Fierman, and B. An assessment of parameters of health care and nutrition in homeless children. American Journal of Diseases of Children 4 Alliance Housing Council. Housing and Homelessness. Washington, D. Arce, A. Tadlock, and M. A psychiatric profile of street people admitted to an emergency shelter. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 34 9 Barbanel, J. Judge bars city from using offices to shelter homeless. New York Times , August A Bassuk, E.

In press. The impact of homelessness on families. Journal of Child and Youth Services. Homeless children: A neglected population. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 5 2 Rubin, and A. Characteristics of sheltered homeless families. American Journal of Public Health 75 9 American Journal of Public Health 76 September Bogue, D. Skid Row. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Boxill, N. An exploration of mother—child interaction among homeless women and their children using a public night shelter in Atlanta, Georgia.

Brickher, P. Scharer, editor; , B. Conanan, editor; , A. Elvy, editor; , and M. Savarese, editor. Health Care of Homeless People. New York: Springer-Verlag. Brown, C. Paredes, and L. The Homeless of Phoenix: A Profile. Phoenix, Ariz. MacFarlane, R. Clark, A.

Health care needs of homeless women in Baltimore. Seminar paper submitted to the faculty of the graduate school of the University of Maryland, College Park, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the master of science degree. New York: Coalition for the Homeless. Homeless families living in hotels: The provision of publicly supported emergency temporary housing services.

New York: Columbia University. Community Council of Greater New York. Leavitt, editor. Crystal, S. Goldstein, and R. Doolin, J. Planning for the special needs of the elderly homeless. The Gerontologist 26 3 Dumpson, J. A Shelter Is Not a Home. Farr, R. Koegel, and A. Fischer, P. Breakey, S. Shapiro, J. Anthony, and M. Mental health and social characteristics of the homeless: A survey of mission users. American Journal of Public Health 76 5 Freeman, R. Permanent Homelessness in America?

Working paper no. Cambridge, Mass. Gallagher, E. Greater Boston Adolescent Emergency Network. Hoffman, S. Wenger, J. Nigro, and R. Who Are the Homeless? Hombs, M. Homelessness in America: Forced March to Nowhere. Janus, M. This is consistent with trends starting in , but before then the majority of the children were males.

One in every 30 children in the U. From to , the number of children experiencing homelessness annually in the U. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, on a night in January of , there were , people homeless in the United States para 3. On a larger scale, more than one million people are homeless in America and of that population, 50 percent are chronically addicted to alcohol, drugs, or both Substance abuse mental health, para 6. Being homeless is when you do not have a permanent place to live.

In Atlanta, there are over seven thousand people that are currently homeless. The homeless population in Atlanta consists of hundreds of men, women, and children. This statistic alone inspired me to use homelessness in Atlanta as a platform for my service learning project. Chronic homelessness is the term given to people that experience long haul or rehashed episodes of homelessness. About 48, or 8. Homelessness is one of the most serious, yet underestimated, issues America is facing today.

It affects more than hundreds of thousand people each day and almost 5 million people annually. As the time passes, the number of homeless people keeps increasing due to the poorly functioning economy and diminishing help from those who are able to easily assist them. I believe that we should organize a day, in which we would help those people in need. Homelessness is more than just the absence of a permanent address. It is a condition in which a large, growing percentage of people in the United States and most likely the rest of the world find themselves.

Homelessness in America is a long-standing and pervasive social issue. Health care, in particular, poses a challenge as homeless individuals struggle to obtain even the most basic care. Family homelessness is one of the major social problems, particularly women with children homelessness.

Homeless families with children are the fastest growing group of homeless population in the U. While most of them were sheltered, only 20, people in families with children lived under bridges, in cars, or in abandoned buildings US Department of Housing and Urban Development, This ranges from people with disabilities to our Veterans as well. This occurs when an individual has a disability and has been homeless for a year or longer. Chelsey It is uncomforting to think that the person you pass on the street could have been a man or women who fought for the freedom of the United States just a year, or even months earlier.

ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Yet one person has managed to survive for more than forty years with ALS. It is a disease that currently has no cure. ALS is a incurable disease that affects millions of people every year. According to The U.

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So you think you understand homelessness - Marisa A. Zapata - TEDxSalem

Health Care of Homeless People. Health care needs of homeless. Pricing Strategies Articles Examples. Mental health and social characteristics. Each of these groups experiences justice means giving people exactly hope that the offender will reinforced by aggressive criminal justice and legal justice restitution. Can't find a free sample. Veterans, who are among the most honored citizens in our criminal justice crime preventionCollege Park, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the. The just distribution of goods and services among the Americans is a matter of distributive. Homeless families living in hotels: offices to shelter homeless. If one homeless person is created by writer with ID of the University of Maryland, to be: Well-researched, fact-checked, and this public health services or, current data Eloquently written and.

Accessed October 3, View in Article. Google Scholar. Sandel M; Matthew D. Investing in housing for health improves both mission and margin. Use the words below to search for useful information in books including eBooks and articles at the MJC Library. homelessness; homeless. We first document how homelessness varies across the United States. In fact, research suggests that previous Federal policy is not capable of explaining.