The causes of homelessness vary and include substance abuse, domestic violence, and loss of income. Homelessness is a problem for both individuals and communities. Some of the effects of homelessness can include poor health conditions, low self-esteem and pressure on the community. According to national reports, around 150 million people, or 2% of the world's population, are homeless.
While another 1.6 billion lack adequate housing. Only in the U.S. In the U.S., more than 500,000 people are left homeless in a single night. Contrary to popular belief, not all homeless people are unemployed.
Unfortunately, they simply don't earn enough to pay their rent. There is abundant evidence on the health consequences of homelessness. At a fundamental level, homeless people have a higher premature mortality than those with adequate housing, and injuries, involuntary overdoses and extreme weather events are the main drivers of this mortality. Homeless people also have a poor quality of life, which is characterized, as indicated in several studies, by chronic pain associated with poor sleep conditions and limited access to medications and other healthy resources.
Skin and foot problems, dental problems, and chronic infectious diseases are also well described among homeless populations. For a comprehensive review of the health of the homeless, I would consult this published work. While low wages contribute to homelessness, unemployment is also an important factor. The causes of unemployment vary and some countries have higher rates than others.
Once a person is unemployed for a while, they can easily fall into destitution. Research shows that most homeless people want to work, but face obstacles, such as not having a permanent address. On a global scale, poverty is one of the most important root causes of homelessness. Stagnant wages, unemployment, and the high costs of housing and health care contribute to poverty.
Not being able to afford essential items such as housing, food, education and more greatly increases the risk for an individual or family. To effectively address homelessness, governments and organizations must address poverty. Since poverty and related adverse effects are major causes of homelessness, we need to fight poverty on a global scale to mitigate the problem of homelessness. Homelessness is a big problem, as it has significant adverse effects on the homeless themselves, but it also imposes large social costs.
Now that you have an idea about the causes and effects of homelessness, let's talk about what you can do to end it. Much of the literature on the subject suggests that interventions that offer treatment for cases of substance use and mental illness and intervention approaches in critical times to mitigate the consequences of acute stress factors may be effective in reducing homelessness.