How do people become homeless?


Quick Answer

People become homeless when their ability to maintain housing fails. This can happen due to divorce, physical or mental illness, leaving a physically or emotionally abusive situation, inability to secure a job (often after being discharged from a prison, rehab facility or mental institution) or being ejected from home at a young age.

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Full Answer

In all situations in which people are homeless, it is because they cannot afford housing in addition to other financial obligations. For some individuals, other obligations include obtaining food and clothing not only for themselves but also for children or other dependents who are incapable of caring for themselves. Others are dependents who are incapable of caring for themselves, and their guardians or providers either become incapable of providing basic needs or simply refuse further responsibility.

Many homeless individuals are mentally ill or are adolescents, but a growing number of people are becoming working homeless. This means they have a job -- in some cases, two or three -- and are still incapable of earning enough money to maintain adequate housing for themselves and any dependents.

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