Homelessness has been an issue for many years. This social problem is still a major issue in today’s society. Everyone has seen this issue in their own community. These are the people who are on the streets trying to find a way to make money. In, many communities there are people who are not willing to help these people because they are quick to judge. The only thing is no one ever knows how they got there in the first place and if they have tried to get themselves out of that situation.

Instead, many make a quick judgement and are not willing to help these people. According to Leon-Guerrero (2016) explains “Although most Americans still aspire to own a home, for many poor and working Americans, homeownership is just a dream” (p. 50). There are many people who are living on the streets and are not able to afford a home. The reason is instead of focusing all of their attention on buying a place to live, they are focusing on how they are going to get their next meal.

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This paper will examine the different types of homelessness, contributing factors, homelessness in Laredo, and possible solutions.

Different Types of Homelessness

There are many people who have faced this social problem in different types of ways. In which, that is why there are many different types of homelessness. National Health Care for the Homeless Council (n.d.) explained these types of homelessness:

Children on their own or with their families, single adults, seniors, and veterans compose various demographic groups that may use different types of programs or services or have differing factors that contribute to their homelessness.

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There are also those who experience homelessness for various lengths of time or who experience multiple episodes of homelessness. (“Are there different types of homelessness?,” para.1)

This article showed all of the different issues that each group faces. Looking at the youth, there are many reasons on why someone young might become homeless. Some of these reasons this may happen is because they may have decided to run away from home. Another reason this may occur is because they could have been kicked out of their parent’s house.

This graph shows the year of 2017, in which it shows that there is still an issue with homelessness. Over the years of 2007 to 2017, the total of people experiencing homelessness has decreased. Of the 50 states, 30 reported a decrease in homelessness. While the other 20 states reported an increase of individuals who are homeless. The only thing is that homelessness is still a huge social problem. Focusing on this graph, it shows that the majority of people in a group who are not sheltered are the ones who have chronically mental illnesses. California has the largest amount of unsheltered homelessness and it also has the largest amount of chronically mental illness individuals who are homeless.

Contributing Factors

The social problem of people who are homeless, have many contributing factors. Looking at youth who are homeless, there are many contributing factors that can lead to homelessness. According to Murphy and Tobin (2014) explained the possible reasons on why children and you become homeless:

We know that there are conditions that place children and youth at risk of homelessness. First, and most important, is living is a low-income family. Second id a history of high unemployment in the family. Third is spending time in foster care. Fourth is living in a house-hold with a history of homelessness. Fifth is coming from a household with eight or more individuals. Sixth is being gay or lesbian. (p. 279)

Just focusing on the youth who are homeless. There are a lot of different factors that can contribute to the leading of children and youth becoming homeless. Looking at the other groups that face this social problem of homelessness. Some contributing factors can be because they cannot find a job. Where they might be living in a house or an apartment and are trying to find a job. Then, when they cannot find a job, they are not able to afford the bills that come with the payment. This is where they can lose their house and become homeless. Another contributing factor can be because someone could have lost their job. A possible situation can be that in a family, there was only one person who was making money from a job. Then, they were let go from their job. In which, they could no longer afford their bills to keep the house. Lastly, another contributing factor that can lead to homelessness is that a person might have a chronic mental illness and the person who took care of them could have passed away. Then, that person is to fend for themselves, but no one will hire them. So, they are not able to make any money and pay for bills.

Homelessness in Laredo

There are many homeless people in the city of Laredo. One may see a homeless person if they are getting off of Highway 35 and are crossing the bridge to Mexico. Where they are trying to make money any way they can. According to Pedraza (2016) explains “The number of homeless people continues to grow in Laredo” (“Laredo, Texas,” line 2). This social problem has increased significantly over the years. Many of these homeless people are trying different ways to make money. Not only are they holding signs that they say they need help and money, but they are also trying other ways to make money.

Such as, pouring water on to windshields of people’s cars that are stopped at stoplights and then are wiping them off. In other cities, rarely someone may see a homeless person trying to clean a windshield for money. The reason is because this is a major issue in the city of Laredo. That many of them are not able to find jobs and are trying to find ways for people to give them money. Some of the reasons why some of these people are homeless can be because they are coming from Mexico. That they do not have documentation for them to work in the United States. So, they are not able to make any income and are forced to live their life on the streets. These homeless people are poor, and they are more likely to stay poor.

Possible Solutions

There are many possible solutions that can decrease the amount of homeless people living in America. According to Rabinovitch, Pauly, and Zhao (2016) explained the possible solutions to end homelessness by using shelters:

Homelessness can be understood as a consequence of structural, systematic, and individual factors. The finding of the three clusters of shelter use can be used to provide support and insight into the range of solutions needed to end homelessness. If the majority of those who use shelters do so temporarily, this points to important short-term emergency solutions such as crisis grants, short-term rental assistance, and the need for rental supplements that can help bridge income and housing gaps. For those experiencing episodic and chronic homelessness, longer-term solutions such as permanent affordable housing, adequate income, mental health, and substance use supports are needed.

For example, housing First, which prioritizes the provision of permanent housing along with appropriate supports, would be a more intensive strategy appropriate for those who are episodically and chronically homeless. As evidenced by the At Home/Chez Soi Study, the success of this strategy requires an available supply of affordable permanent housing. Thus, prioritizing the building of social housing, and permanent and ongoing rent controls or rental supplements in market housing are needed for these groups. (p.995)

These authors in this article focused on the issue of homelessness and also gave an insight to shelters about homeless people. They also informed the shelters about the different solutions for this social problem. Shelters are one solution that can help decrease the amount of homeless people living in America. One shelter that strives to help those in need is the Salvation Army. This non-profit organization serves more than 100 countries and in the United States there are almost 8,000 locations. If a homeless person were to travel to another city, they could always depend on this organization to help with their needs.

The Salvation Army has shelters for homeless people to stay and offer three meals a day. This organization offers many different free services. They offer social services and also housing services. They also give free clothing to whoever may need it. The Salvation Army also fights Natural Disasters and those who were affected were offered social services, food, shelter, and clothing. This organization is also a church as well. They share God’s word and love to everyone without any type of discrimination. They also encourage the youth in their community. According to The Salvation Army (n.d.) explains “Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination” (“Our Mission” para. 1).

The Salvation Army is an organization that helps decrease the amount of homeless people in the United States. Another solution that could possibly help decrease this issue, is by informing people in their own community about this social problem. To spread the word about this ongoing problem. That by informing these people, the people might go and tell others and may donate money to shelters. Where the shelters can continue to run and help more of those who are in need. Lastly, another solution that anyone can do to help the homeless and does not have to give them money. Is informing the homeless people about the different shelters and programs that are in their community. In which, one can tell about all of the services that the shelter or program offers.


Overall, homelessness has been an ongoing issue for many years. Even now, there is still a huge amount of people who are homeless. Ages ranging from the elderly to the youth. This is an issue that everyone has seen in their own community and that needs to be solved or to reduce the amount of those who are homeless. In this paper, it showed the different types of homelessness. From veterans to the chronically ill. This paper also discussed the contributing factors, homelessness in Laredo, and possible solutions. There were many contributing that were found through research.

Within each group of people there were many different contributing factors. In the community of Laredo there has been an increase of homeless people. There were many solutions that could help decrease the amount of homeless people in the United States. One main solution that was found was shelters. There are many shelters in different cities that focus on this issue and are trying to help the homeless. Such as the Salvation Army, in which they are serving those who need help. By offering all types of services, food, clothing, and much more. Homelessness has been an issue but has decreased over the years, if people continue to fight this issue. This social problem may be reduced significantly.


  1. Rabinovitch, H., Pauly, B., & Zhao, J. (2016). Assessing Emergency Shelter Patterns to Inform Community Solutions to Homelessness. Housing Studies, 31(8), 984-997. doi:10.1080/02673037.2016.1165801
  2. Leon-Guerrero, A. (2016). Social Problems: Community, Policy, and Social Action. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  3. Murphy, J., & Tobin, K. (2014). Homelessness in the U.S.: A Historical Analysis. American Educational History Journal, 41(2), 267-284
  4. National Alliance to End Homelessness. (n.d.). State of Homelessness. Retrieved from https://endhomelessness.org/homelessness-in-america/homelessness-statistics/state-of-homelessness-report/
  5. National Health Care for the Homeless Council. (n.d.). Are there different types of homelessness? Retrieved from https://www.nhchc.org/faq/types-homelessness/
  6. Peraza, M. (2016). Joint Study Seeks to Prevent Homelessness in Laredo. Retrieved from https://www.kgns.tv/content/news/homeless-383837191.html
  7. The Salvation Army. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/give/164006?pid=cpc:red_kettle_national::google:::::uss:salvation_army_brand:brand&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=red_kettle_national&utm_content=uss&utm_term=salvation_army_brand/#!/donation/checkout
Updated: Aug 15, 2022
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Issue and Solution of Homelessness in America. (2021, Dec 09). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/issue-and-solution-of-homelessness-in-america-essay

Issue and Solution of Homelessness in America essay
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