The plight of homelessness is one that can be witnesses every day of every year in just about every city in the world. They have already been dealt a challenging hand that has landed them without homes, income or a way to meet the very basic necessities of life. The amount of homeless people has increased a tremendous amount in the last past years. This is due to the increasing rents, the decline of public housing especially in the inner cities where it is said that most homeless people live.
Among other reasons for this outburst of homelessness are the mentally ill, drug and alcohol abusers, and the inability of families to support dependant adult members. Homelessness is a devastating experience for families. It disrupts virtually every aspect of family life, damaging the physical and emotional health of family members, interfering with children s education and development, and frequently resulting in the separation of family members.
Homeless children are by most accounts among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population. Homeless children are sometimes unable to attend school and if they are granted that privilege they are faced with other children laughing or secluding them either because they can not afford the field trips, their lack of clothing and school supplies, transportation problems, or maybe they have a foul smell because he or she wasn t able to take a bath for a week or more. What homeless children need most of all is a home.
While they are experiencing homelessness, however, children desperately need to remain in school. School is one of the few stable, secure places in the lives of homeless children and youth. It is a place where they can acquire the skills needed to help them escape poverty. Children are not the only ones who suffer the ill effects of homelessness, parents do too. Most parents suffer from severe depression and most often attempt suicide. Poor health is closely associated with homelessness.
Many homeless people have multiple health problems. For example, frostbite, leg ulcers and upper respiratory infections are frequent, often the direct result of homelessness. Homelessness precludes good nutrition, good personal hygiene, and basic first aid, adding to the complex health needs of homeless people. In addition, some homeless people with mental disorders may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, and those with addictive disorders are also often at risk of HIV and other communicable diseases.
Society is still not anywhere close to finding a solution to the problem of homelessness. For society to end or even cut down on the homeless they must include jobs that pay livable wages, affordable decent housing, assistance in income, and provide health care for unfortunate people who can not afford it. Hopefully someday society will be able to help homeless people rise above their poverty and find a way out, because the earth is not going to grow any larger to accommodate them.