Homelessness is a continuously rising trend, with thousands of individuals that have no place to call home, and many sleeping on the streets every time. To be homeless means to have no stable environment in which to leave and no means or availability to gain such an environment. Many people believe that people who live on the streets do so by choice, but there are many reasons for homelessness that have little to do with choices but a lot to do with lack of other options.
According to various estimates, anywhere between two thousand and seven thousand people sleep on the streets in London every night, out of twelve to seventeen thousand who have no place to call home. Many of these people are young – under the age of twenty-five – and have little money or resources to use. What Causes Homelessness There are many causes of homelessness. One of the largest causes is individuals who are living with family members or friends that can no longer allow them to stay with them or take care of their needs.
This primary cause can have its roots in poor family or financial relations, or in overcrowded environments that simply cannot bear another individual. Another cause of homelessness is young adults who choose to leave their families because of differences or the desire to live independently who do not yet have the resources available to be self-sustaining. Many young adults encounter problems with their parents due to disagreements issues including pregnancy, violence and behavioural issues. A sub-culture that views homelessness in a more positive light is another cause of this trend.
Some individuals choose not to be a part of an organised environment like stable housing and instead choose to live “rough” and get by on what they can gather through begging and charity. In this circumstance, homeless individuals often turn away public assistance. What is Being Done on Homelessness Homelessness is a pervasive problem, and many programs exist to stem its progression. In 1978, the House Act for Homeless Persons was enacted to provide assistance for those who involuntarily become homeless.
This organisation provides help based on the priority of the case at hand, and includes young adults, especially those under eighteen, as a priority. In Scotland, the Scottish Office is currently providing significant funding to dozens of projects aimed at providing assistance to the homeless. Some projected outcomes of this project include financial support to young adults who are in danger of becoming homeless, providing short-term emergency housing, and providing longer-term furnished housing. The Shelter organisation provides several resources to those threatened with homelessness.
One resource is a phone line called Shelterline, which individuals can call when they have nowhere to live and no options to obtain housing. Another resource is called Wise Up, which is a “housing survival guide” that young adults can use as a resource when homelessness occurs. What Else Can Be Done for the Homeless Housing and support benefits are often meager or non-existent for older teenagers who are not yet able to be self-sufficient. The amount of funding allocated towards these benefits can be increased to ensure that assistance is available to individuals who are not yet able to provide for themselves.
In addition, the condition of many public housing options is deplorable, causing individuals to voluntarily live for a life on the streets. These conditions are in need of improvement to become a better resource to those without a home. Finally, individuals, and especially young adults, need to be better educated on the options that are available to pursue should homelessness occur. Many people take to the streets simply because they know of no other options – if those options are readily available, the tide of homelessness can be stemmed.