Do you know that there are more than 36.6 million people – 12.6% of the U.S. population – homeless nowadays? Poverty is definitely an important yet worrying concern; where the most part of these 36.6 million people are: women with their children, men with family responsibility, and youth from 15 to 18 years old. Granruth and Smith, presidents of the Solution for AmericaAssociation, state that homeless people are those who live without a permanent, safe, decent, affordable place to live; they also face persistent deprivation and constant threat of harm. There are many causes for this percent of homeless people to continue to increase over the years, which are very common and can happen to anyone.
One of the many ofthese causes, especially fathers, is the loss of work. Being unemployed can cause lack of money to buy food they take home, or to pay all the household bills. Unemployment causes poverty, and more when is only one of the parents carrying the money home. Statistics show that between 20% and 30% of homeless families, surveyed in 1996, had gone without food part of the previous month (Burt, Aaron, and Lee). Although single men constitute about 60% ofthe homeless population, families constitute about one third of all homeless and are the fastest-growing group of homeless (National Alliance to End Homelessness). The result of loss of employment is foreclosures, loss of personal sentimental things, causes to be stolen, and because of all of these effects, parents end up divorcing and separating from their families, and kids living an adult lifetrying to get some food for their loved ones.
Another of the main reason of homelessness is the dependence on alcohol and drugs abuse. There are a 66% of these 36.6 million of homeless, who have drugs and alcohol problems, and out of these are a 30% that have been homeless for more than two (2) years. They end up living on the street or in an abandoned car. The main reason they start todrink is the stress of losing the income and not knowing which way to turn; feel an additional pressure due to embarrassment and grief at not being able to provide for their families. But the only problem with this category of homeless is that alcoholics and drug addicts are the less people who want to be helped. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
“Each year, the federalgovernment spends more than three time as much on tax breaks for those who abuse on alcohol and drugs – with a large share…going to upper-income households – as it depends on low-income housing assistance. They refuse and do not accommodate for our help duties.” (2009)
Other of the major issue in percent count of homeless people, is youths. In 2004, the Substance Abuse and Mental HealthServices Administration (SAMHSA) and the Office of Applied Studies (OAS) estimated that about 1.6 million youths ran away from home and slept on the streets in the past 12 months. Other estimates rage up to 2.8 million, annually, lives on the streets or in places unfit for human habitation. About two-thirds were older teen from 15 – 17 years old, leading the causes of being domestic, physical and sexualabuse, or substance dependency on parents or in them. Many of them were thrown out by their parents.
According to Youth Care studies, (2000) a 33% were in foster care, 51% had been physically abused, and 60% of girls and 23% of boys were sexually abused by their parents, a family member, one of those foster parents, or by a stranger. Another Youth Care studies, (2002) cited, two-thirds ofyouths with diagnosable mental illness, including disruptive behavior disorder, attention deficit disorder, depression, or post traumatic stress disorder. In 2004, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council reported that youths on their own, are at higher risk of anxiety, suicide attempts, and multiple disorder, including depression and numerous other physical and emotional...
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