Outline

Name 6

Why individuals choose to become and remain homeless

Objective:To determine how addiction, violence, and mental illness force peopleto become homeless.

Thesis:A statement that some people choose to become or remain homelesssounds unusual, but circumstances (such as addiction, violence, andmental illness) can make life easier when one decides to becomehomeless than when living in a home setup.

  1. People who make deliberate choices to become or remain homeless weigh between the challenges that they face at homes and the problems that they might face on the streets (Portland Rescue Mission 1).

  1. Preview of main points

  1. Addiction

  1. About 68 % of the cities in the U.S. report substance addiction as among the key factors that make people to avoid living in shelters and decide to live along the streets (Portland Rescue Mission 1).

  2. Some of the homeless addicts who refuse to go back to their original homes can be said to have broken the bridge burned bridges with their families through substance abuse and they fear that their relatives may not accept them (Kesler 2).

  1. Violence

  1. It is estimated that more than 50 % of the homeless children and women became homeless as they were fleeing from domestic violence (Portland Rescue Mission 1).

  2. A large number of homeless people avoid the shelter service because they fear that their security could be compromised (Ross 1).

  1. Mental illness

  1. About 6 % of the U.S. population is comprised of the mentally ill people, but the mentally ill people are over-represented in the population of the homeless people with a total of about 25 % (Portland Rescue Mission 1).

  1. Conclusion

  1. But circumstances (such as addiction, violence, and mental illness) can make life easier when one decides to become homeless than when living in a home setup.

Whyindividuals choose to become and remain homeless

Homelessnessis a controversial issue that is attributed to multiple factors,which complicates the process of finding a lasting solution. Peopleare forced to become homeless by different factors. People who makedeliberate choices to become or remain homeless weigh between thechallenges that they face at homes and the problems that they mightface on the streets (Portland Rescue Mission 1). They decide toremain homeless when the perceived risks of living on the streets areless than the risks of living in homes or in shelters. This paperwill address three factors (including addiction, violence, and mentalillness) that make people choose to become and remain homeless.

Addiction

Addictionhas been recognized as one of the key causes of homelessness and oneof the leading factors that make people to choose to remain homeless,instead of living in shelters. It is estimated that about 68 % of thecities in the U.S. report substance addiction as among the keyfactors that make people to avoid living in shelters and decide tolive along the streets (Portland Rescue Mission 1). Surprisingly, theaddict homeless people return to the streets even after they aregiven shelter under the initiative referred known as the “HousingFirst” program that is funded by the government. Other observershave found out that addicts are not willing to return to theiroriginal homes after being treated and choose to remain homeless(Baumohl 137).

Thedecision of the addicts to remain homeless can be attributed todifferent factors. First, some of the homeless addicts who refuse togo back to their original homes can be said to have broken the bridgeburned bridges with their families through substance abuse and theyfear that their relatives may not accept them (Kesler 2). Thiscategory of addicts chooses to spend their lives homeless. A few ofthe addicts who are struggling to stop addiction choose to go back tothe streets after being given some shelters by the Housing Firstprogram because they fear that living with other addicts in the newshelters will reduce their capacity to fight with addiction. Thisgroup of addict runs away from other people struggling with addictionin an attempt to address the underlying issue of addiction in placeswhere they feel that the chances of relapse will be limited (PortlandRescue Mission 1).

Violence

Therelationship between safety and homelessness is two ways where somepeople become homeless as they run from homes to escape aggressions(such as domestic violence) while others face violence along thestreets after becoming homeless. Currently, it is estimated that morethan 50 % of the homeless children and women became homeless as theywere fleeing from domestic violence (Portland Rescue Mission 1). Thiscategory of homeless people take frightening, but brave decisions torun away from domestic crisis and choose to live in the streets wherethey will have limited or no support at all. In most cases, women whoare beaten by their husbands are jobless, which limits their chancesof getting alternative shelters after being kicked out and runningaway from the husbands.

Theassisted housing program cannot cater for the housing needs of allhomeless people. This means people living with violent partners orparents are forced to weigh between living on the streets and beingmolested in their current homes. Living on the streets becomes abetter alternative when the level of violence at home is livethreatening. Other studies have shown that a large number of homelesspeople avoid the shelter service because they fear that theirsecurity could be compromised (Ross 1). This is because most of theshelter programs are understaffed and the few volunteers availablemay not have the necessary skills to handle cases of violence in thegovernment provided shelters. This motivates some people to remainhomeless instead of taking advantage of the Housing First and otherhousing programs.

Mentalillness

Mentalillness is among the key factors that cause people to remainhomeless. It is estimated that about 6 % of the U.S. population iscomprised of the mentally ill people, but the mentally ill people areover-represented in the population of the homeless people with atotal of about 25 % (Portland Rescue Mission 1). The mentally illpeople become homeless because they do not have the capacity tocarryout important aspects of their daily life, including householdmanagement and self-care. This category of homeless people haslimited chances of gaining stability even if they are provided withfree housing. They prefer living on the streets where there are noresponsibilities apart from feeding themselves with whatever comestheir way. This means that life on the streets is easier for thementally ill persons than in the formal shelters.

Conclusion

Astatement that some people choose to become or remain homeless soundsunusual, but circumstances (such as addiction, violence, and mentalillness) can make life easier when one decides to become homelessthan when living in a home setup. Some addicts may choose to remainhomeless because they fear that their families will not accept themwhile others believe that living in the shelters in increase the riskof relapse. Excessive violence may create a perception that life onthe streets is safer than at home, which makes some people to chooseto remain homeless. Moreover, some mentally ill people believe thatlife on the streets is simpler than at home or in the sheltersbecause there are no responsibilities to take care of.

Workscited

Baumohl,J. Homelessnessin America. New York, NY: ABC-Clio, 2000. Print.

Kesler,J. Why homeless people don’t just go back to their families. WhatPrivilege.2014. 10 August 2015.

PortlandRescue Mission. Causes of homelessness. PRM.2015. 10 August 2015.

Ross,B. Ten reasons why homeless people choose to be homeless. SocialOutcast.24 March 2009. Web. 10 August 2015.