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Homelessness

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Submitted By easternrivers
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Homelessness is a huge social problem that is facing America as a nation today. According to Wikipedia
'Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling' (Wikipedia.(2013). Homelessness. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessnes).
Homelessness has become a huge problem that looks us in the face daily and is putting a large number of children, teenagers,women and our elderly at risk daily. It impacts our society negatively. According to National Alliance to end Homelessness, '82 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States.Of that number, 239,403 are people in families, and 394,379 are individuals. Slightly fewer than 16 percent of the homeless population are considered "chronically homeless,"and About 13 percent of homeless adults- 62,619 - are veterans. '(National alliance to End Homelessness.(2013). Snapshot of homelessness. Retrieved from http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/snapshot_of_homelessness)'.

Some of the causes of homelessness and the extent homelessness affects our society today are as follows-
Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness in the U.S. Statisctics show that in 2008
28% of families where homeless in the united states due to domestic violence.(National Homeless Organization.(2013). Domestic Violence and Homelessness . Retrived from www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/domestic).
Over the years our society has seen a surge in violence largely due to media and poor gun/weapon control. Domestic violence spreads throughout our society irrespective of gender, race or even class. Most of the individuals affected often do not speak up for fear of their lives and or even children and/loved ones. Rather than run away and go to nearby shelters for safety, they end up in the streets on the run. This is largely due to the little faith they have in the shelter systems, poor safety conditions and unavailability of shelters in some cities. Domestic violence and homelessness has led to brokrn homes and poorly raised children who have to end up or even get lost in the foster system. If our shelters are able to provide good safety and transitional programs for individuals who need it and if our society has more shelters then this problem may be greatly reduced.

Next we will be looking at mental illness and physical disability. This has been known to be the 3rd largest cause of homelessness in the United States. According to the National coalition for the homeless , ' 20% to 25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness. In comparison, only 6% of Americans are severely mentally ill'. (National Coalition for the Homeless. (2013). Mental illness and homelessness. Retrived from onalhomeless.org%2Ffactsheets%2FMental_Illness.pdf&ei). mental illness prevents people from being able to even carry out basic activities of daily living, maintaining good family relationships and even making right decisions when it come to health management, for example use of needles and or condoms for HIV/STD prevention. Mental illness carries with it a streotype that prevents the individuals from getting jobs especially when they do not even have an address. The stigma atached to mental health problems by our society even prevents people who suffer from it to open up and seek help for their illness.
If our mentally ill citizens have better access to mental health care with good long term support then the issue of homelessness will see a great decline. Treatment of their mental issues will enable them function well, take better care of them selves and possibe get jobs which in turn can stop homelessness for them. Proper education on mental health issues and management could also help members of our society to become more knowledgeable and sensitive towards individuals with mental health problems. Another cause of homelessness and it effect on our society is joblessness and proverty. With the recent economic down turn, the rate of homelessness has only seen a surge. Many people who made decent living lost their homes and thousands of companies either went out of business or moved away from the United States, leaving millions of Americans poor and without jobs.
According to wikipedia , ' in 2008, 44% of homelessness was due to unemployment.(Wikipedia. (2013). Homelessness in the United States. Retrived from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States).
If the government is able to re-establish a strong economy and create more jobs, then many of these individuals will be able to get their lives back or even better. The funtionalist theorist belive every class in the society has a function to play. They would view jobless people and joblessness as a class in our society having a function. If people were not becoming homeless from being jobless then our society/government would not work hard at creating jobs and a more stable society when these homeless people are able to contribute more to the socity. Also with people homeless, it is creating jobs for social workers, food bank workers, NGO's and sociologists who study homelessness.
The functionalist would also state that in general the society works as it is so the problem would be the individuals who despite being able to survive the trauma, lack,risk and discomfort of homelessness, they should be do better for themselves and be less burden to the society.

REFRENCES.
National alliance to end homelessness.(2013). Snapshot of homelessness. Retrieved from http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/snapshot_of_homelessness.

National Coalition for the Homeless. (2013). Mental illness and homelessness. Retrived from onalhomeless.org%2Ffactsheets%2FMental_Illness.pdf&ei. National Homeless Organization.(2013). Domestic Violence and Homelessness . Retrived from www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/domestic).

Wikipedia.(2013). Homelessness. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessnes. Wikipedia. (2013). Homelessness in the United States. Retrived from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States

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