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Through January of 2019, the national unemployment rate rose to 4.0% and it is the leading cause of homelessness. Causes of unemployment include job outsourcing, advances in technology, and demand-deficient unemployment. Job outsourcing entails producers to employ workers from other countries with lower costs of living which causes American workers to lose their jobs. Advances in technology usually means that some sort of computer or robot has the ability to do the job faster and better than a human so producers replace the human workers with robots.
Demand-deficient unemployment means that there are more workers than jobs available and people are unable to find jobs. Because of this loss of income, people are unable to afford their homes and bills and are forced to live on the streets.
American drug users spend excessive amounts of money on drugs and in turn, are not able to afford their homes. The average drug user in the United States can spend anywhere from $8,000 to $70,000 on drugs a year, depending on the drug.
The most common drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroine, and a variety of opioids. With these numbers, it would be incredibly difficult to be able to afford rent or bills. Some of these drug users may be well off and are able to afford their rent but most of the time, that is not exactly the case. Additionally, despite being able to afford the cost of the drugs and a home, they may have developed a chronic substance abuse disorder. This often causes disrupted family and friend relationships and unemployment.
This loss of support combined with substance abuse would make it difficult to keep a home. Many drug addicts do not have their priorities lined up and would not see keeping their home as a top priority and as a result, end up homeless.
The transition from prison to the community is extremely difficult, but before formerly incarcerated people can find jobs or learn new skills, they need a place to live. According to an article by The Prison Policy Initiative, previously imprisoned Americans are ten times more likely to be homeless than the general public. Discrimination and barriers to employment make it difficult for these people to find homes. The rates of homelessness are particularly high among people of color and women that have been released from prison. Additionally, many people that sell or rent homes may be influenced by the fact that the buyers have been previously incarcerated and not want to sell to them. This makes it incredibly difficult for them to find homes. The same thing may happen with employers so the lack of income and the lack of home gives these formerly incarcerated people a burdensome time finding a home.
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