What steps can be taken to reduce the problem of homelessness, especially among women?

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It is much easier to identify causes of homelessness among women than to know which policy options would be most effective in combating the problem.

Women tend to become homeless for a number of reasons.  These include:

  • Divorce
  • Escaping domestic abuse
  • Unemployment or lack of a job sufficient to pay for housing
  • Mental health issues

Of course, these factors are often found in combinations in any one woman.

The issue of what to do is more difficult.  One approach would be to increase the level of government involvement in creating economic solutions.  In this approach, the government would provide more affordable housing and would provide good mental health care to all people.  A more conservative approach would be for the government to reduce its interventions in the economy on the idea that this would cause the economy to improve in general.  This would help women with their employment issues.  A conservative approach might also emphasize preventing divorce.

It is easy to determine why women become homeless.  But the factors that cause this homelessness are factors that plague our society in numerous ways and are not easily defeated through public policies.

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