It has been estimated that about one percent of Americans – some two to three million people in a given year experience an episode of homelessness that puts them in contact with a homeless assistance provider (Caton, Dominguez, Schanzer, Hasin, 2005). Homelessness became a prominent issue in the 1980’s. Although it is impossible to know exactly how many people are without shelter for one or more nights, it is estimated that between 1.3 to 2 million people were homeless in the Unites States at the end of the 1980’s (Sitkoff, 2000). This paper will discuss the types of people who may be homeless their predicaments for being homeless and health care within the homeless.
Many view homeless as a lifestyle with substance abusers, and mentally ill individuals, when in fact these are just a portion of the homeless. Homelessness is the condition of and social category of people who don’t have a regular house or dwelling because they can’t afford, pay for, or are otherwise unable to maintain regular, safe and adequate housing (Case, 2001). Single mothers with children and people with minimal job skills make up nearly fifty percent of the homeless population. Battered women who live in poverty are often forced to choose between abusive relationships and homelessness. In a 1998 government study it showed that twenty two percent of homeless were single mothers who left their previous residence because of domestic issues (Hersberger, 2005). Another portion of the homeless would be both men and women who have recently been released from jails or prisons that have nowhere else to go or no one to turn to.
The likelihood of someone becoming homeless depends on circumstances that include both societal based causes and personal problems. People become homeless for many different reasons. The most proximate cause of homelessness in America is poverty (Hersberger, 2005). In many cases individuals can resolve one life crises, but homeless have most often been dealt multiple crises,...