The United States Homeless Population Essay

1237 words - 5 pages

Introduction

In the United States the homeless population continues to grow rapidly. Homelessness has been a public health issue for many decades. Often times these individuals feel as though society has turned a blind eye to them. This at risk population is seen by society as lazy or chose to live a life on the streets, but if one would examine this population closely would see that there is more to this at risk population than what society has labeled them as. The forces, which affect homelessness, are multifaceted. Social forces such as family breakdown, addictions, and mental illnesses are in combined with structural forces such as lack of low-cost housing, insufficient health services, and poor economic conditions. Many would never know that our veteran population makes up a huge number of out homeless population. The focus of this paper is to provide an in depth review of literature, review of group interventions, and a critique of the current group interventions.
Review of Literature of Homeless Population

Today in the United States homelessness is affecting approximately 1.5 million
Americans each year (Brown, Thomas, Cutler, & Hinderlie, 2013). For decades America
described the homeless population as alcoholic men. That description has changed today. Many individuals that are homeless include families, children, and woman. More studies are showing that the new homeless population as younger and single woman. Minorities have significantly contributed more to the homeless population than ever before. Families with younger children currently are the fastest growing element to the homeless population
(Fischer & Breakey, 1991).).
The definition of homelessness is often defined by congress’s 1987 Mckinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C 11431 et seq) as individual or family without “a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence,” In 2009 Congress expanded this definition to include individuals at imminent risk of homelessness (42 U.S.C 11302). Homelessness is often accompanied by many other problems such as mental disorders, substance abuse issues, isolation from family and friends, and poor general health. Often time’s people that suffer from homelessness experience a lower quality of life than those who have a place to call home.
While there are many reasons why the homeless population continues to increase social and economic factors have contributed to this epidemic. The global financial crisis has contributed to the prevalence of homelessness in the United States. The social factors that contribute to homelessness include living in poverty and not enough affordable housing.
The widespread of the crack cocaine in the 1980 also increased homelessness. Many individuals suffering from homelessness also suffer from many different type of drug addictions. It is estimated that 40 % of homeless people are dependent on alcohol and 25% on other drugs. Alcoholism is increasingly being recognized as the...

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