The number of homeless citizens in America is astonishing. As of January of 2018, there has been a recorded 552,830 homeless individuals. The number has only gotten bigger within the last two years. The dilemma is a catastrophe.
Laws Against the Homeless
- Most cities have adopted laws that outlaw sleeping, eating, sitting, and begging in public places. Making it difficult for homeless people to be, well, homeless. Cities should be focused on providing safe facilities for people who have no other way of life.
- Officers have been questioning people sleeping in their cars on public property, and sometimes even telling them to go elsewhere or towing their cars away. Most homeless people would feel lucky to have a car to sleep in. The shelter of a vehicle helps protect them from rain, debris, dogs, etc. Taking away their only source of shelter greatly affects their way of life.
- The criminalization of homelessness refers to the laws not allowing homeless people to sleep on outside property.
3 Types of Homelessness
- Situational/Transitional-short term: This type of homelessness occurs when the individual was once in a situation where they were once in a safe environment and they were no longer able to provide for themselves or their families and end up on the streets until they can bring their funds up once again.
- Episodic: Refers to the type of homeless where the person has been through periods of homelessness through the majority of their life. They may experience off-and-on episodes of being homeless.
- ‘Provisionally Occupied’: These types go undocumented. This is mostly the homeless people that have a “Plan B”. They are able to couch-surf their friend or family houses. They often stay at different houses for different periods of time.
Misconceptions of the Homeless
- Homeless people are lazy and have no work ethics; for many this is a huge misunderstanding. Some homeless people work while being homeless and have the means to provide for themselves. Although, to be able to have housing, you have to provide your social security number, birth certificate, first and last months rent and many places want a reference stating that the individual wanting to buy/rent is trust worthy.
- Homeless is always related to mental illness; although some may have some type of mental illness, it is not correct to assume that all homeless people have one.
- Homelessness is only an issue in big cities; every city, big or small, have a homeless community. Some cities are better at helping those in need.
- Homeless people are always older; in 2014, one in three homeless people were 24 years old or younger.