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Vulnerable Populations Homeless Persons

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Vulnerable Populations Homeless Persons
Margaret A. Stewart
BSHS 302
July 18, 2011
Karen Miner

Abstract
Most Americans have heard the term hobo, which is defined as a vagrant or transient among other definitions. The term is well known because a large number of Americans have been named such who lived on the streets, or “skid rows” of this country. Homeless individuals have existed throughout history; however, more recently, a larger number and many categories of homeless individuals occur. In this paper the subject to examine is the history of homeless persons in America, the nature of the social problems and issues experienced by the homeless, demography of the homeless, common clinical issues and intervention strategies, and a discussion of future interventions.

Vulnerable Populations Homeless Persons
Homelessness has been a phenomenon in America beginning in the late 1700s according to author Kenneth Kusmer. “Kusmer begins with an examination of homelessness from the late seventeenth century through the early nineteenth century. Although the number of homeless fluctuated somewhat in this period (rising in the late eighteenth century and in the 1820s), concern about the homeless was not widespread. The homeless were also largely an urban phenomenon; rural residents rarely encountered homeless persons. The Civil War introduced soldiers to railroad travel and to foraging, and after the war, some veterans continued to ride the rails and lead a homeless existence. However, it was during the depression of the 1870s that the numbers of homeless rose substantially and there were a series of violent confrontations between railroad-riding tramps and railroad employees. Thanks to trains, rural residents first confronted large numbers of tramps or hobos and reacted to them with alarm. The homeless became a...

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