Homeless individuals lack access to protection, sense of belonging and are affected by diseases and seclusion. They are compelled to stay in crisis shelters or live with acquaintances and family due to a lack of options. In life, there are three basic needs of life which are food, clothing and shelter.
One without the other may be considered as a miserable life. Being homeless simply means being unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack “fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence” (LHA Support Services, 2012). If a person lacks residence, then the person is homeless. In most cases, being homeless comes along with lack of food and proper clothing.
In Ohio State, the situation of homelessness may be considered to be worse. It is characterised by the American natives, blacks, whites, and other American. In fact, “10,576 homeless Ohioans were in shelters or transitional housing in 2010? (Facts on Poverty & Homelessness, 2012). This is a very huge number which translates to many homesteads.
The causes of homelessness may vary from time to time and from person to person. Major ones can be classified into economic, social and political. In Ohio, however, many individuals experience homelessness through mental health cases, drugs and unemployment.
Ploeg et al. (1997) indicated that the effects of poverty and a tight housing market were more important than individual psychosocial problems as causes of homelessness among families. The causes of homelessness in the current Ohio include the rising costs of housing, poverty and the lack of affordable housing.
For instance, current levels of housing costs, coupled with low wage jobs can result in the working poor being forced out of their homes, divorce, domestic violence and lack of family support, broken relationships, chronic health problems or physical disabilities and sudden job loss due to injury or illness. Others include mental illness, engaging in drugs, alcohol, gambling addictions and natural disaster (Facts on Poverty & Homelessness, 2012).
There are various effects of homelessness to the community and to the homeless. These effects have impacted negatively on the homeless individuals depending on the underlying causes. They include:
Psychosocial health. Homelessness leads to mental imbalance, thus, there are so many madmen in the streets. Facts on Poverty & Homelessness (2012) indicate that 20-25% of the US homeless populations suffer from some form of mental illness, compared to 6% of the general population.
Other health effects of homelessness are cold injury, cardio respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, skin disease, nutritional deficiencies, sleep deprivation, mental illness, physical and sexual assault, drug dependency and HIV/AIDS.
The person’s life is also affected (perhaps the accelerators of mental disorder) in a number of ways some of which are loss of self esteem, becoming institutionalized, Increase in substance misuse, loss of ability and will to care for oneself, Increased danger of abuse and violence, Increased chance of entering the criminal justice system, and development of behavioral problems (Oracle Think Quest, 2012).
In conclusion, it is of prime importance for the government to perform proper planning and education. If the population is educated and provided with various avenues of earning a living, then the issues of homelessness may be drastically reduced. A society that provides food, shelter and clothing to its citizens is a healthy society.
Facts on Poverty & Homelessness. (2012). Sheltered Accommodation. Retrieved from http://www.stvincentdayton.org/facts_onhomelessness.html
LHA Support Services. (2012). Homelessness and Young People. Retrieved from http://www.lhass.org.uk/schemes/Pages/Homelessness.aspx
Oracle Think Quest. (2012). Learning Disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.lhass.org.uk/schemes/Pages/Homelessness.aspx
Ploeg et al. (1997). “Homeless Youth.” London: Sage publishers.