SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC FACTORS 5
Socialand Economic Factors
Anindividual can be regarded as homeless in case he or she does nothave an appropriate accommodation alternative, as well as the presentliving arrangement. Also, such a person resides in a dwelling that isinsufficient, has no residence, or the initial occupancy is short andnot extendable. Homelessness may result from a complex set ofcircumstances that require people to choose between shelter and foodamong other basic needs (Mary, 2014). This paper will discuss socialand economic factors that contribute to homelessness whileidentifying the subpopulations affected.
Homelessnessand poverty are highly correlated (Mary, 2014). The poor arefrequently incapable of paying for housing, health care, food, andeducation. The poor are often faced with difficulties of makingchoices on how to use the limited resources that they have since, thelittle resources they have can cover only a portion of thesenecessities. In most cases, housing absorbs a high proportion ofincome. Therefore, poor people have to make a rational choice onwhich needs to satisfy first. Food comes first on their prioritylist, and since they have limited resources, they can be forced tolive on the streets or in dwellings that are insufficient so thatthey are left with resources to cater for food and other necessities.The segments of populations that are affected by this factor ofpoverty are mostly the unemployed and the low-income earners.
Domesticviolence is also highly linked with homelessness (McNamara, 2008). Anabusive relationship in homes can lead to homelessness since victimsof domestic violence who are living in poverty are often faced withthe difficulty of choosing either to continue with the abusiverelationship or run away from it running away from the relationshipmakes people homeless. A large number of homeless women haveexperienced abusive relationships in their adult lives. Thesub-population that is rendered homeless by domestic violence ismostly the battered wives and their children.
Lackof Affordable Health Care
Familiesthat are struggling to pay rent can be rendered homeless by seriousillness or disability. This begins with job loss, then, savings areused to pay for the health care which leads to depletion of savings.This eventually leads to eviction from rented homes. Thesub-population that can be rendered homeless by the lack ofaffordable health care is the uninsured that do not have work-basedhealth insurance.
Oneof the main reasons why homelessness persists is because of thedormant or declining incomes and increase in less secure jobopportunities which have fewer benefits. This has led to thedisparity between the rich and the poor. The diminishing incomes havepositioned housing to be out of reach for many workers since morethan the minimum wage is needed to pay for decent housing (McNamara,2008). The sub-populations that are affected by eroding workopportunities are the wage earners and part-time workers.
Lackof Affordable Housing
Lackof affordable housing and the partial scale of housing assistanceprograms have led to the current situation of homelessness. Lack ofaffordable housing has contributed to rents, which take a highproportion of income, poor quality housing, and congestion. This is aphenomenon that has compelled many people to become homeless while atthe same time putting a large number of individuals at a threat ofbecoming homeless (Mary, 2014). The sub-populations that are affectedare the low-income earners and the unemployed.
Inconclusion, since homelessness is an issue that results from variousfactors that range from social to economic factors, it is only anintensive effort to guarantee that jobs paying better wages,reduction in domestic violence, reasonably priced housing, and accessto better health care will bring an end to the issue of homelessness.
Mary,E. H. (2014). SupportingFamilies Experiencing Homelessness: Current Practices and FutureDirections.New York: Springer.
McNamara,R. H. (2008). Homelessnessin America.Westport, Conn: Praeger.