homelessness in the usa

Topics: Schizophrenia, Homelessness, Mental disorder Pages: 4 (1182 words) Published: December 4, 2013


Psychology
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Homelessness in the USA
There still exist problem of homelessness in the United States long after the United States Housing Act of 1937 made it clear that the federal government would provide safe, decent and affordable housing. It is not that the government has neglected the poorest people in the country. The United States Quality of Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 reveals that the federal government has little role to play in ensuring that every citizen is housed. This is a show that there are other factors contributing to the growing problem of homelessness. In every American city, one is likely to find homeless families living in abandoned buildings, cars, shelters among other places. This paper looks at two biological factors and two social factors that may be related to becoming or being homeless. History on mental illness is one of the contributing factors to increase in homelessness. A majority of the homeless persons experience mental problems as a result of traumatic circumstances that dominate their lives (The United States Conference of Mayors, 2008). The illness takes different forms and mainly affects the functioning of the mind. This makes it difficult for an individual to lead a normal life as it becomes hard to perform daily duties. In addition, relatives or close friends often avoid associating with the mentally ill pushing them to the streets. Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness affecting homeless individuals. According to the National Institute of Health (2011), approximately twenty-five per cent of the mentally ill population comes from the homeless population. This is a high figure that is attributed to the stressful situations characterized by the depression. Individuals in such situations have a negative outlook towards life and are constantly struggling to make things work out. A person without a home feels lost and has a general...

References: Marcuse, P. (1988). Neutralizing homelessness, Socialist Review, 18, 69-96
Quigley, J. M., Raphael, S., & Smolensky, E. (2001). “Homelessness in America, Homelessness in California,” The Review of Economics and Statistics, (83) 1
Ravenhill, M. (2008) The culture of homelessness. Abingdon, Oxon: Ashgate Publishing Group
National Institute of Mental Health. (2011) Statistics. Retrieved November 22, 2013 from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml
Richardson, S. and Bacon, H. (2003) Creative responses to child sexual abuse: challenges and dilemmas. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
The United States Conference of Mayors. (2008). A status report on hunger and homelessness in America’s cities. Retrieved November 22, 2013 from http://usmayors.org/publications
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