Understanding and Addressing Homelessness in America

Introduction to Homelessness in America

In the vast and diverse landscape of the United States, homelessness remains a poignant issue, affecting approximately 0.17% of the population. This figure translates to 552,830 individuals who, for various reasons, find themselves without a stable place to call home. The visibility of homelessness is undeniable, as these individuals are often seen in public areas such as parks, streets, and near businesses, serving as a constant reminder of the societal issue at hand. In Florida, the situation is particularly pressing, with 0.

15% of the state's population experiencing homelessness. This ranks Florida as having the third-largest homeless population in the country, a statistic that underscores the urgency of addressing this issue.

The composition of the homeless population is diverse, with 65% finding temporary shelter in various facilities, while the remaining 35% are left to fend for themselves on the streets. Among these are families, veterans, and youth, each group facing unique challenges in their plight. Florida's homeless population includes 2,757 family households, 2,543 veterans, and 1,892 young people, indicating a widespread and multi-faceted problem.

Get quality help now
Writer Lyla
Writer Lyla
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Homelessness In America

star star star star 5 (876)

“ Have been using her for a while and please believe when I tell you, she never fail. Thanks Writer Lyla you are indeed awesome ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

The presence of homelessness in America is not just a social issue but a humanitarian crisis, calling for immediate and effective solutions.

Causes of Homelessness

The pathways leading to homelessness are numerous and complex. Foremost among these are the lack of affordable housing and the challenges posed by unemployment and poverty. These issues are compounded by mental health struggles and substance abuse, creating a perfect storm that leaves many without a roof over their heads. The affordable housing crisis is particularly acute, with many unable to find housing that fits their financial means, especially those with families to support.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

The stark reality is highlighted by Rob Dicke’s statement that no U.S. county offers affordable two-bedroom apartments to minimum wage earners.

In Florida, where the affordable housing market ranks as the 15th most expensive in the nation, the situation is dire. To afford the average rent of $1,189 a month, a Floridian needs to earn $22.86 per hour, a far cry from the state's minimum wage of $8.46. This gap between earnings and housing costs forces many into precarious financial situations, often having to choose between paying rent and other essential expenses like healthcare. Moreover, the causes of homelessness extend beyond economic factors. Debilitating debts, low-income jobs, the aftermath of natural disasters, domestic violence, disabilities, and diseases also contribute significantly to the rising number of homeless individuals. Each factor intertwines with the others, creating a complex web that entraps people from all walks of life into homelessness.

Effects of Homelessness

The impact of homelessness extends far beyond the lack of physical shelter; it profoundly affects the mental and physical well-being of those it touches. The psychological burden of homelessness often manifests in depression, anxiety, and a pervasive sense of fear and insecurity. Tragically, this can lead to a heightened prevalence of suicidal thoughts, with 61% of homeless adults reporting such ideations, a stark comparison to the general population. Furthermore, the stress and uncertainty inherent in homelessness can exacerbate existing mental illnesses or even trigger new ones.

The physical health of homeless individuals is equally compromised. The majority, over eight in ten, suffer from at least one chronic health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease. These conditions occur at rates three to six times higher than those in the general population, illustrating the severe health disparities faced by the homeless. Additionally, the lack of access to regular healthcare and nutritious food further aggravates these health issues, creating a cycle of illness and deprivation that is hard to break. The effects of homelessness also extend to the community at large, putting a strain on public resources and services, and influencing public health and safety.

Efforts to Combat Homelessness

In response to the homelessness crisis, a myriad of organizations at both national and local levels are tirelessly working to provide relief and support. The National Alliance to End Homelessness stands at the forefront of this battle, striving to prevent and ultimately eradicate homelessness across the United States through policy advocacy and practical solutions. On a more localized front, organizations like Family Promises of Brevard and Brevard Rescue Mission in Florida are making significant strides. While Family Promises focuses on ending family homelessness, Brevard Rescue Mission dedicates its resources to assisting women with children, providing them with housing, healthcare, education, and transportation.

These organizations, among countless others, offer a beacon of hope and a pathway to stability for many. However, their efforts are significantly amplified through community involvement. Volunteering time and resources or making financial donations to these charities can have a profound impact. Beyond these immediate actions, there is also a need for sustainable long-term solutions. These include policies and initiatives aimed at affordable housing, job training, education, and long-term mental health services, which address the root causes of homelessness rather than just its symptoms. The success stories from various regions where homelessness has been effectively reduced through such comprehensive approaches serve as a testament to what can be achieved with concerted effort and strategic planning.


Homelessness in America is a complex and multifaceted issue that affects hundreds of thousands of individuals and families. With 0.17% of the national population and 0.15% of Florida's population grappling with homelessness, the urgency of addressing this crisis cannot be overstated. The causes of homelessness are diverse, ranging from economic factors like the lack of affordable housing and low-paying jobs to personal issues such as mental illness, substance abuse, and the aftermath of natural disasters. Each cause contributes to a cycle of poverty and instability that is difficult to escape.

The effects of homelessness are profound and far-reaching, impacting not only the individuals who experience it but also the broader community. The psychological toll, characterized by depression, anxiety, and a higher prevalence of suicidal thoughts, is significant. Physically, the homeless are more susceptible to chronic health conditions, often exacerbated by inadequate access to healthcare. This situation not only affects the individuals but also places a substantial burden on public resources and health systems.

Efforts to combat homelessness are varied and require the support of the entire community. National organizations like the National Alliance to End Homelessness, along with local groups such as Family Promises of Brevard and Brevard Rescue Mission, play a crucial role in providing support and resources. However, their work is greatly enhanced by community involvement through volunteering and donations. Beyond immediate aid, there is a need for long-term, sustainable solutions focusing on affordable housing, job training, education, and comprehensive mental health services. These initiatives not only provide immediate relief but also address the underlying causes of homelessness, paving the way for a more stable and prosperous society.

In conclusion, while homelessness remains a significant challenge, it is not insurmountable. Through concerted efforts at both the individual and policy levels, and by learning from successful interventions, we can work towards a future where homelessness is a thing of the past. As citizens and compassionate human beings, we have the power and responsibility to contribute to this change, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to lead a dignified and fulfilling life.

Updated: Jan 21, 2024
Cite this page

Understanding and Addressing Homelessness in America. (2024, Jan 21). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/understanding-and-addressing-homelessness-in-america-essay

Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment