Archive for the ‘Causes of Homelessness’ Category

Definition of Homelessness

Definition of Homelessness (Photo credit: homelesshub)

Street Sleeper 2 by David Shankbone

Street Sleeper 2 by David Shankbone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)










In my research I will be investigating many possible causes of homelessness. Some of the people who find themselves homeless say that drug addiction was largely to blame. “Substance abuse is both a cause and a result of homelessness, often arising after people lose their housing…Substance abuse is much more common among homeless people than in the general population…Substance abuse is often a cause of homelessness”(Homeless, 2009).

The Greensboro Voice offers accounts from members of the homeless community. “Reggie Johnson… ‘I was working every day at the Four Seasons Mall…I loved my job until I was introduced to drugs…It became so bad that I could not pay my rent, my car loan or keep my job’” (Gilmore). Another interview with Darryl Bowers offers, “I broke the law by selling drugs because I thought that fast money was a way of life for me” (Gilmore).

An article in the New York Times offers “The major role that drug or alcohol abuse plays in causing homelessness has emerged in recent comments by advocates for the homeless, who estimate that addicts constitute a higher proportion of the homeless than do the mentally ill or other identifiable subgroups” (Kolata).

In further discussions on causes of homelessness, I will investigate the drug abuse contributor.


Gilmore, A. (n.d.). Short takes with Anita: A collection of stories. The Greensboro Voice.

Homeless, N. C. (2009, July). National Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from Nationa Coalition for thel Homeless:

Kolata, G. (1989, May 30). Drug Addicts Among the Homeless: Case Studies of Some ‘Lost Dreams’. New York Times.


The idea in my mind of what homelessness looks like didn’t include this segment of the population. I spoke a few days ago to a young man who will be living out during the college summer break. He was homeless last summer and is preparing for another summer without a regular place to stay.I began researching and found homelessness among college students is a growing problem.

English: Students at Sheridan College

English: Students at Sheridan College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the Palm Beach Post , “There are a number of structures in place to help homeless students in K-12, but fewer for homeless college students, said Jennifer Martin with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators” (Ross, 2012). The article reports an increase in Florida’s homeless students from 155 in 2006/07 to 638 in 2012.  Ross goes on to say that the homeless students range “…from a single mother staying in a shelter and taking college classes to better her life, to a high school grad…” These against all odds students are working hard to make things better for themselves.

NPR had this to say,”For many college students and their families, rising tuition costs and a tough economy are presenting new challenges as college bills come in.This has led to a little-known but growing population of financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness.UCLA has created an Economic Crisis Response Team to try to identify financially strapped students and help keep them in school”(Hillard, 2010).The UCLA Team offers a list of on and off campus resources for students with financial difficulties.

Addressing this information, I would like to work to build a similar resource for students on other campuses. I will be entering  The Appalachian Ideas Network Contest at Berea College in April. I would like to incorporate a resource similar to the one being offered by UCLA. The idea for the contest will address homeless prevention and resource awareness. Feel free to comment with resource suggestions and other information.

Hillard, G. (2010, July 27). College Students Hide Hunger, Homelessness. Retrieved March 4, 2013, from NPR:

Ross, A. (2012, December 1). More attention, resources focusing on homeless college students as numbers rise. The Palm Beach Post.

This blog is called NYC on the Streets. They offer a report about the increase in homeless people in New York City as a result of Hurricane Sandy. This article suggests a lack of affordable housing as a major cause of homelessness stating a rise in the average rent payment.

It continues by discussing the criminalization of homelessness as a greater expense than the price of housing people.-Donna Reeves

NYC on the Streets

Hurricane Sandy left many of its victims without a home, allowing an opportunity for the media to shed a light on New York City’s current lack of affordable housing and growing homeless population. The National Association of Realtors reported in January of this year that the nation’s average rent has gone up by almost 4% in a single year. New Yorkers are heavily affected by these changes, making it highly unlikely to find an affordable home in a safe community. The homeless population of New York City is rising at a fast pace with shelters housing 43,000 individuals on a single night, the worst case of homelessness since the great depression of the 1930’s. An increase in homeless individuals means a decrease in homes, in this case caused by cut government spending.

“The government rushed to help victims of Hurricane Sandy because they were so clearly marked as victims of…

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Here is a look at one of the causes of homelessness. People recently released from prison quite often find themselves without a place to go. It is difficult to find jobs and overcome the barriers of poverty. This reblog looks at the struggles faced by people recently released from prisons.

In my work at the Lord’s Kitchen in Louisville, KY feeding the homeless, I often heard the people there say they had just been released from prison or jail. Often their families turn their backs on them and they don’t have a place to live when they are released.-Donna

Americas and Caribbean Islands Union

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