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Why are there homeless people on the streets? 

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r-m123 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted February 18, 2013 at 3:10 AM via web

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Why are there homeless people on the streets? 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 18, 2013 at 3:20 AM (Answer #1)

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The answer to this is by no means simple.  There are different schools of thought as to what causes homelessness.  Here are some factors that can help to cause homelessness.

  • Lack of education or skills needed for today’s jobs.  Today, jobs tend to require a good deal more in the way of education than they did in the past.  There are fewer good jobs available to people who are not well-educated.  This makes it more likely that such people could end up homeless.
  • Lack of mental health services.  Many homeless people have some sort of mental illness.  This can keep them from functioning well in society.  Since our government does not provide much in the way of services for the mentally ill, they often end up homeless.
  • Divorce.  In many cases, divorce leaves one partner (typically the woman) without the means to support themselves.  A person who has been a homemaker may find it very hard to get a good job after a divorce.  This can lead to homelessness.
  • Lack of affordable housing.  In large cities in particular, housing is often very expensive.  Even some people who have jobs cannot afford to rent the living spaces that are available.

For these reasons and others, homeless people end up on the streets.

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