Homelessness is the condition of people without a permanent dwelling,
such as a house or apartment. People who are homeless are most often
unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate
housing. The legal definition of homeless varies from country to
country, or among different jurisdictions in the same country or
region. The term homeless may also include people whose primary
night-time residence is in a homeless shelter, a domestic violence
shelter, long-term residence in a motel, a vehicle, squatting,
cardboard boxes, a tent city, tarpaulins, shanty town structures made
of discarded building materials or other ad hoc housing situations.
According to the UK homelessness charity Crisis, a home is not just a
physical space: it also provides roots, identity, security, a sense of
belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. United States
government homeless enumeration studies also include people who
sleep in a public or private place not designed for use as a regular
sleeping accommodation for human beings. There are a number of
organizations who provide help for the homeless.
In 2005, an estimated 100 million (1 in 65 at the time) people
worldwide were homeless and as many as 1 billion people live as
squatters, refugees or in temporary shelter, all lacking adequate
housing. In Western countries, the large majority of
homeless are men (75–80%), with single males particularly
Most countries provide a variety of services to assist homeless
people. These services often provide food, shelter (beds) and clothing
and may be organized and run by community organizations (often with
the help of volunteers) or by government departments or agencies.
These programs may be supported by the government, charities, churches
and individual donors. Many cities also have street newspapers, which
are publications designed to provide employment opportunity to
homeless people. While some homeless have jobs, some must seek other
methods to make a living.
Begging or panhandling is one option, but is
becoming increasingly illegal in many cities. People who are homeless
may have additional conditions, such as physical or mental health
issues or substance addiction; these issues make resolving
homelessness a challenging policy issue.
Homeless people, and homeless organizations, are sometimes accused or
convicted of fraudulent behaviour. Criminals are also known to exploit
homeless people, ranging from identity theft to tax and welfare
scams. These incidents often leads to negative
connotations on the homeless as a group.
1 Definition and classification
United Nations definition
1.2 European typology
1.3 Other terms
2.1 Early history through the 1800s
3 Social science
3.2.1 Victimization by violent crimes
3.2.2 Rent control
3.2.3 Stigma attached to the term
3.2.4 Consequences of this stigma
4 Assistance and resources
4.1 Social supports
4.2 Income sources
4.3.1 Street newspapers
4.4.1 Community organization housing initiative
4.4.2 Organizing in homeless shelters
4.5 Political action: voting
4.6 Legislation and legal pro bono efforts
6.1 Urban homeless shelters
6.2 Refuges and alternative accommodation
6.3 Other housing options
6.3.1 Savings from housing homeless in the US
7 Health care
7.1 Effect on life expectancy
8 Global statistics
8.2 Statistics for developed countries
8.3 Developing and undeveloped countries
9 By country
9.2 United States
9.3 United Kingdom
9.4 South Africa
9.7 Russia and the USSR
10 Popular culture
11 Public awareness
12 See also
14 Further reading
15 External links
Definition and classification
United Nations definition
In 2004, the
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
defined a homeless household as those households without a shelter
that would fall within the scope of living quarters. They carry their
few possessions with them, sleeping in the streets, in doorways or on
piers, or in another space, on a more or less random basis.
In 2009, at the
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Conference of European Statisticians (CES), held in Geneva,
Switzerland, the Group of Experts on Population and
defined homelessness as:
In its Recommendations for the Censuses of Population and Housing, the
CES identifies homeless people under two broad groups:
(a) Primary homelessness (or rooflessness). This category includes
persons living in the streets without a shelter that would fall within
the scope of living quarters;
(b) Secondary homelessness. This category may include persons with no
place of usual residence who move frequently between various types of
accommodations (including dwellings, shelters, and institutions for
the homeless or other living quarters). This category includes persons
living in private dwellings but reporting 'no usual address' on their
The CES acknowledges that the above approach does not provide a full
definition of the 'homeless'.
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted 10
December 1948 by the UN General Assembly, contains this text regarding
housing and quality of living:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health
and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right
to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability,
widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond
Homelessness is perceived and addressed differently according to
country. The European Typology of
(ETHOS) was developed as a means of improving understanding and
measurement of homelessness in Europe, and to provide a common
"language" for transnational exchanges on homelessness. The ETHOS
approach confirms that homelessness is a process (rather than a static
phenomenon) that affects many vulnerable households at different
points in their lives.
The typology was launched in 2005 and is used for different purposes:
as a framework for debate, for data collection purposes, for
policy purposes, monitoring purposes, and in the media. This typology
is an open exercise which makes abstraction of existing legal
definitions in the EU member states. It exists in 25 language
versions, the translations being provided mainly by volunteer
The terms unsheltered and unhoused refer to that segment of a homeless
community who do not have ordinary lawful access to buildings in which
to sleep; the latter term is defined by the
United States Department
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as describing persons occupying
"place not designed for ... sleeping accommodation for human beings".
Such persons frequently prefer the term houseless to the term
homeless. Recent homeless enumeration survey documentation utilizes
the term unsheltered homeless. The common colloquial term street
people does not fully encompass all unsheltered people, in that many
such persons do not spend their time in urban street environments.
Many shun such locales, because homeless people in urban environments
may face the risk of being robbed or beaten up. Some people convert
unoccupied or abandoned buildings ("squatting"), or inhabit
mountainous areas or, more often, lowland meadows, creek banks and
beaches. Many jurisdictions have developed programs to provide
short-term emergency shelter during particularly cold spells, often in
churches or other institutional properties. These are referred to as
warming centers, and are credited by their advocates as
HUD requires jurisdictions which participate in Continuum of Care
grant programs to count their homeless every two years. These counts
have led to a variety of creative measures to avoid undercounting.
Thus teams of counters, often numbering in the hundreds in
logistically complex volunteer efforts, seek out the unsheltered in
various nooks and crannies. These counts include people sleeping
in official shelters and people sleeping in parks, alleys and other
A portion of the homeless population are generally in transit, but
there is no generally accepted terminology to describe them; some
nomenclature is frequently associated with derogatory connotations,
and thus the professional and vernacular lingo to describe these
persons is both evolving and not lacking in controversy. Much of the
concern stems from the European situation, where homeless persons of
Sinti and other ethnic descent have rejected the term gypsy,
which they view as a racial slur. Other terms which some use regarding
in-transit persons are: transient, vagabond, tramp or drifter.
Occasionally, these terms are interchanged with terms not necessarily
implying that the person is a traveler, e.g. hobo. The pejorative term
bum is used for persons who are alleged to be lacking a work ethic.
The term transient is frequently used in police reports, without any
precise definitions across jurisdictions.
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Early history through the 1800s
Homelessness in England
Homelessness in England and
Homelessness in the
Bowery Mission in New York City, New York, the US, in the 1800s
German illustration of a homeless mother and her children in the
street, before 1883
A homeless man living in a sewer, Vienna, Austria, c. 1900
Homeless memorial in Toronto
Following the Peasants' Revolt, English constables were authorised
English Poor Laws
English Poor Laws statute to collar vagabonds and force
them to show support; if they could not, the penalty was gaol.
Vagabonds could be sentenced to the stocks for three days and nights;
in 1530, whipping was added. The presumption was that vagabonds were
unlicensed beggars. In 1547, a bill was passed that subjected
vagrants to some of the more extreme provisions of the criminal law,
namely two years servitude and branding with a "V" as the penalty for
the first offense and death for the second. Large numbers of vagabonds
were among the convicts transported to the American colonies in the
18th century. During the 16th century in England, the state first
tried to give housing to vagrants instead of punishing them, by
introducing bridewells to take vagrants and train them for a
profession. In the 17th and 18th centuries, these were replaced by
workhouses but these were intended to discourage too much reliance on
The growing movement toward social concern sparked the development of
rescue missions, such as the U.S. first rescue mission, the New York
City Rescue Mission, founded in 1872 by Jerry and Maria
McAuley. In smaller towns, there were hobos, who temporarily
lived near train tracks and hopped onto trains to various
destinations. Especially following the American Civil War, a large
number of homeless men formed part of a counterculture known as
"hobohemia" all over the United States. This phenomenon re-surged in
the 1930s during and after the Great Depression.
Food line at the
Yonge Street Mission, 381 Yonge Street, Toronto,
Canada in the 1930s
How the Other Half Lives
How the Other Half Lives and Jack London's The People of the Abyss
(1903) discussed homelessness, and raised public awareness, which
caused some changes in building codes and some social conditions. In
England, dormitory housing called "spikes" was provided by local
boroughs. By the 1930s in England, there were 30,000 people living in
these facilities. In 1933,
George Orwell wrote about poverty in London
and Paris, in his book Down and Out in
Paris and London. In general,
in most countries, many towns and cities had an area which contained
the poor, transients, and afflicted, such as a "skid row". In New York
City, for example, there was an area known as "the Bowery",
traditionally, where alcoholics were to be found sleeping on the
streets, bottle in hand.
Great Depression of the 1930s caused a devastating epidemic of
poverty, hunger, and homelessness. There were two million homeless
people migrating across the United States. Many lived in
shantytowns they called "Hoovervilles". In the 1960s, the nature and
growing problem of homelessness changed in
England as public concern
grew. The number of people living "rough" in the streets had increased
dramatically. However, beginning with the Conservative
administration's Rough Sleeper Initiative, the number of people
sleeping rough in
London fell dramatically. This initiative was
supported further by the incoming Labour administration from 2009
onwards with the publication of the 'Coming in from the Cold' strategy
published by the Rough Sleepers Unit, which proposed and delivered a
massive increase in the number of hostel bed spaces in the capital and
an increase in funding for street outreach teams, who work with rough
sleepers to enable them to access services.
Modern homelessness started as a result of economic stresses in
society and reductions in the availability of affordable housing such
as single room occupancies (SROs) for poorer people.
In the United States, in the 1970s, the deinstitutionalisation of
patients from state psychiatric hospitals was a precipitating factor
that seeded the homeless population, especially in large cities like
New York City. This theory is vigorously disputed by clinical
psychologist Seth Farber who points out that "the emptying of the
state mental hospitals took place almost entirely in the 1960s and
1970s," a decade or more before the steep rise in homelessness which
began in the late 1980s. Some feel that Ronald Reagan's signing
(as governor of California in 1967) of the Lanterman–Petris–Short
Act greatly exacerbated homelessness among the mentally ill. This law
lowered the standards for involuntary commitment in civil courtrooms
and was followed by significant de-funding of 1700 hospitals caring
for mental patients [unclear why lowering standards
would cause less committals].
Community Mental Health Act
Community Mental Health Act of 1963 was a predisposing factor in
setting the stage for homelessness in the United States. Long term
psychiatric patients were released from state hospitals into SROs and
supposed to be sent to community mental health centers for treatment
and follow-up. It never quite worked out properly, the community
mental health centers mostly did not materialize, and this population
largely was found living in the streets soon thereafter with no
sustainable support system.
Also, as real estate prices and neighborhood pressure increased to
move these people out of their areas, the SROs diminished in number,
putting most of their residents in the streets. Other populations were
mixed in later, such as people losing their homes for economic
reasons, and those with addictions, the elderly, and others. Trends in
homelessness are closely tied to neighborhood conditions according to
a report by the
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in 1990.
In 2002, research showed that children and families were the largest
growing segment of the homeless population in the United
States, and this has presented new challenges, especially in
services, to agencies. Some trends involving the plight of homeless
people have provoked some thought, reflection and debate. One such
phenomenon is paid physical advertising, colloquially known as
"sandwich board men".
Another trend is the side-effect of unpaid free advertising of
companies and organizations on shirts, clothing, and bags, to be worn
by homeless and poor people, given out and donated by companies to
homeless shelters and charitable organizations for otherwise
altruistic purposes. These trends are reminiscent of the "sandwich
board signs" carried by poor people in the time of
Charles Dickens in
the Victorian 19th century in England and later during the Great
Depression in the
United States in the 1930s.
In the US, the government asked many major cities to come up with a
ten-year plan to end homelessness. One of the results of this was a
Housing first" solution, rather than to have a homeless person remain
in an emergency homeless shelter it was thought to be better to
quickly get the person permanent housing of some sort and the
necessary support services to sustain a new home. But there are many
complications of this kind of program and these must be dealt with to
make such an initiative work successfully in the middle to long
term. Some formerly homeless people, who were finally able to
obtain housing and other assets which helped to return to a normal
lifestyle, have donated money and volunteer services to the
organizations that provided aid to them during their homelessness.
Alternatively, some social service entities that help homeless people
now employ formerly homeless individuals to assist in the care
Homeless children in the United States. The number of homeless
children reached record highs in 2011, 2012, and 2013 at
about three times their number in 1983.
Homelessness has migrated toward rural and suburban areas. The number
of homeless people has not changed dramatically but the number of
homeless families has increased according to a report of HUD. The
United States Congress appropriated $25 million in the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Grants for 2008 to show the effectiveness of Rapid
Re-housing programs in reducing family homelessness. In
February 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009, part of which addressed homelessness
prevention, allocating $1.5 billion for a
Homeless Prevention Fund.
Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) program's name was changed to Emergency
Solution Grant (ESG) program, and funds were re-allocated to assist
with homeless prevention and rapid re-housing for families and
On 20 May 2009, President Obama signed the
Assistance and Rapid Transition to
Housing (HEARTH) Act into Public
Law (Public Law 111-22 or "PL 111-22"), reauthorizing HUD's Homeless
Assistance programs. It was part of the Helping Families Save Their
Homes Act of 2009. The HEARTH act allows for the prevention of
homelessness, rapid re-housing, consolidation of housing programs, and
new homeless categories. In the eighteen months after the bill's
signing, HUD must make regulations implementing this new McKinney
The HEARTH Act also codifies in law the
Continuum of Care
Continuum of Care planning
process, long a part of HUD's application process to assist homeless
persons by providing greater coordination in responding to their
needs. This final rule integrates the regulation of the definition of
homeless, and the corresponding recordkeeping requirements, for the
Shelter Plus Care program, and the Supportive
Housing Program. This
final rule also establishes the regulation for the definition
developmental disability and the definition and recordkeeping
requirements for homeless individual with a disability for the Shelter
Plus Care program and the Supportive
In late 2009, some homeless advocacy organizations, such as the
National Coalition for the Homeless, reported and published perceived
problems with the HEARTH Act of 2009 as an HUD McKinney-Vento
Reauthorization bill, especially with regard to privacy, definitional
ineligibility, community roles, and restrictions on eligible
Major reasons and causes for homelessness as documented by many
reports and studies include:
Abuse by government officials, police or by other people with power.
Forced eviction – In many countries, people lose their homes by
government orders to make way for newer upscale high rise buildings,
roadways, and other governmental needs. The compensation may be
minimal, in which case the former occupants cannot find appropriate
new housing and become homeless.
Foreclosures on landlords often lead to eviction of their tenants.
"The Sarasota, Florida, Herald Tribune noted that, by some estimates,
more than 311,000 tenants nationwide have been evicted from homes this
year after lenders took over the properties."
Gentrification, the process where a neighborhood becomes popular with
wealthier people, and the poor residents are priced out
Lack of accessible healthcare
Lack of affordable housing
Homeless Military veteran in New York
Living with a disability, especially where disability services are
non-existent or poorly performing
Living with a mental disorder, where mental health services are
unavailable or difficult to access. A
United States federal survey
done in 2005 indicated that at least one-third of homeless men and
women have serious psychiatric disorders or problems. Autism spectrum
disorders and schizophrenia are the top two common mental disabilities
among the U.S. homeless. Personality disorders are also very
prevalent, especially Cluster A .
Migration, either domestic or foreign to the country, where the number
of migrants outstrips the supply of affordable housing
Mortgage foreclosures where mortgage holders see the best solution to
a loan default is to take and sell the house to pay off the debt. The
popular press made an issue of this in 2008.
Natural disasters, including but not limited to earthquakes and
Poverty, caused by many factors including unemployment and
Prison release and re-entry into society
Relationship breakdown, particularly in relation to young people and
their parents, such as disownment
Social exclusion because of sexual orientation (e.g., LGBT+) and
Substance abuse or addiction, such as alcoholism or drug addiction
Traumatic brain injury, a condition which, according to a Canadian
survey, is widespread among homeless people and, for around 70% of
respondents, can be attributed to a time "before the onset of
War or armed conflict, which can create refugees fleeing the violence
A substantial percentage of the US homeless population are individuals
who are chronically unemployed or have difficulty managing their lives
effectively due to prolonged and severe drug and/or alcohol abuse.
Substance abuse can cause homelessness from behavioral patterns
associated with addiction that alienate an addicted individual's
family and friends who could otherwise provide support during
difficult economic times. Increased wealth disparity and income
inequality causes distortions in the housing market that push rent
burdens higher, making housing unaffordable. Dr. Paul Koegel of
RAND Corporation, a seminal researcher in first generation
homelessness studies and beyond, divided the causes of homelessness
into structural aspects and then individual vulnerabilities.
Main article: Discrimination against the homeless
The basic problem of homelessness is the need for personal shelter,
warmth, and safety. Other difficulties include:
Cleaning and drying of clothes
Hostility from the public and laws against urban vagrancy
Hygiene and sanitary facilities
Keeping contact with friends, family and government services without a
permanent location or mailing address
Medical problems, including issues caused by an individual's homeless
state (e.g., hypothermia or frostbite from sleeping outside in cold
weather) or issues which are exacerbated by homelessness, due to lack
of access to treatment (e.g., mental health issues which are
exacerbated by the individual not having privacy, quiet and a safe
place to store prescription drugs for conditions such as
Obtaining, preparing and storing food
Personal security, quiet, and privacy, especially for sleeping,
bathing, and other hygiene activities
Safekeeping of bedding, clothing, and possessions, which may have to
be carried at all times
Homeless people face many problems beyond the lack of a safe and
suitable home. They are often faced with many social disadvantages
also, reduced access to private and public services, gaps in their
personal infrastructures, and reduced access to vital necessities:
General rejection or discrimination from other people.
Increased risk of suffering from violence and abuse
Limited access to education
Loss of usual relationships with the mainstream
Not being seen as suitable for employment
Reduced access to banking services
Reduced access to communications technology
Reduced access to health care and dental services
Targeting by municipalities to exclude from public space
Difficulties forming trust in relation to services, systems and other
people; exasperating pre-existing difficulties with accessing aid and
escaping homelessness, particularly present in the Chronically
There is sometimes corruption and theft by the employees of a shelter,
as evidenced by a 2011 investigative report by FOX 25 TV in Boston
wherein a number of
Boston public shelter employees were found
stealing large amounts of food over a period of time from the
shelter's kitchen for their private use and catering. The
homeless are often obliged to adopt various strategies of
self-presentation in order to maintain a sense of dignity, which
constrains their interaction with passers-by and leads to suspicion
and stigmatization by the mainstream public.
Homelessness is also a risk factor for depression caused by prejudice
(i.e. "deprejudice"). When someone is prejudiced against people who
are homeless and then becomes homeless themselves, their
anti-homelessness prejudice turns inward, causing depression. "Mental
disorders, physical disability, homelessness, and having a sexually
transmitted infection are all stigmatized statuses someone can gain
despite having negative stereotypes about those groups." 
Difficulties can compound exponentially. For example, a homeless man
New Jersey found that he could not get food from some volunteer
organizations if he did not have a legally-recognized address; after
being mugged, he lost valuable identification documents and contact
information so he could not contact his daughter; since his hips and
knee had been broken because of the attack, it was harder for him
after recovering in the hospital to walk to those places which did
offer free food; in numerous instances, problems seemed to exacerbate
other problems in a downward cycle. A study found that in the city
Hong Kong over half of the homeless population in the city (56%)
suffered from some degree of mental illness. Only 13% of the 56% were
receiving treatment for their condition leaving a huge portion of
homeless untreated for their mental illness.
Victimization by violent crimes
The homeless are often the victims of violent crime. A 2007 study
found that the rate of violent crimes against the homeless in the
United States is increasing. In the
United States in 2013
there were 109 reported attacks on homeless people, an increase of 24
per cent on the previous year, according to the National Coalition for
the Homeless. Eighteen of those attacked died as a result. In July
2014 three boys 15, 16 and 18, were arrested and charged with beating
to death two homeless men with bricks and a metal pole in
Albuquerque. The 18-year-old was subsequently found guilty of
second-degree murder and other felony charges and sentenced to 67
years in prison, the 16-year old was sentenced to 26 years in
Rent controlled apartments contribute to shelter and street
populations (around .04%). Apartments that are rent controlled
encourage people to not move out or pass apartments along between
families, this leads to the price of apartments being higher for new
renters and, consequently, it is harder for people to afford their
rents. About 10% of housing in the
United States is under the control
of price control laws. Most laws were enacted to deal with the high
inflation rates experienced during the 1970s and 80s. These laws
can motivate apartment owners to convert the property to a more
profitable enterprise, which can reduce the amount of housing
available to potential tenants. A black market can also develop, with
tenants leasing rent controlled premises at prices above the legal
maximum. This can price out low income individuals and families.
Stigma attached to the term
Prior to 1983, the term homeless implied that economic conditions
caused homelessness. However, after 1983, conditions such as
alcoholism and mental illness also became associated with the term in
the media. Claims were often backed up with testimony made by
high-ranking officials. For example,
Ronald Reagan stated that "one
problem that we’ve had, even in the best of times, is the people who
are sleeping on the grates, those who are homeless by
choice.". This claim made homelessness into a
personal choice and a mental condition only, and unhinged it from the
neoliberal reforms sweeping through the economic system. In the
broader sense, it made homelessness something that would exist even
under the best economic conditions, and therefore independent of
economic policies and economic conditions.
Consequences of this stigma
Due to this stigma attached to the term, consequences have arisen.
Fear is a large consequence of this portrayal. Many people fear the
homeless due to the stigma surrounding the homeless community. It has
been discovered through surveys that before spending time with the
homeless that people fear them, but after spending time with them that
the fear is lessened or no longer there. Another effect of this
stereotype is isolation.
Homeless people experience isolation by many
people. This gives the homeless community no say in how things are. No
one really listens to them.
Assistance and resources
Most countries provide a variety of services to assist homeless
people. They often provide food, shelter and clothing and may be
organized and run by community organizations (often with the help of
volunteers) or by government departments. These programs may be
supported by a government, charities, churches and individual donors.
In 1998, a study by Koegel and Schoeni of a homeless population in Los
Angeles, California, reported that a significant number of homeless do
not participate in government assistance programs, and the authors
reported being puzzled as to why that was, with the only possible
suggestion from the evidence being that transaction costs were perhaps
too high. The
United States Department of
Housing and Urban
Development and Veterans Administration have a special Section 8
housing voucher program called VASH (Veterans Administration Supported
Housing), or HUD-VASH, which gives out a certain number of Section 8
subsidized housing vouchers to eligible homeless and otherwise
vulnerable US armed forces veterans. The HUD-VASH program has
shown success in housing many homeless veterans.
Non-governmental organizations also house, and/or redirect homeless
veterans to care facilities. Social Security Income/Social Security
Disability Income, Access, Outreach, Recovery Program (SOAR) is a
national project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration. It is designed to increase access to SSI/SSDI
for eligible adults who are homeless or at risk of becoming
homelessness and have a mental illness and/or a co-occurring substance
use disorder. Using a three-pronged approach of Strategic Planning,
Training, and Technical Assistance (TA), the SOAR TA Center
coordinates this effort at the state and community level.
See also: Wall of kindness
Wall of Kindness
Wall of Kindness in Pakistan provides donated items to homeless
While some homeless people are known to have a community with one
another, providing each other various types of support,
people who are not homeless also may provide them friendship, food,
relational care, and other forms of assistance. Such social supports
may be done through a formal process, such as under the auspices of a
non-governmental organization, religious organization, or homeless
ministry, or may be done on an individual basis. In Los Angeles, a
collaboration between the Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University
of Southern California and the Union Rescue Mission shelter offer
homeless people in the Skid Row area free dental services.
Many non-profit organizations such as
Goodwill Industries "provide
skill development and work opportunities to people with barriers to
employment", though most of these organizations are not primarily
geared toward homeless individuals. Many cities also have street
newspapers or magazines: publications designed to provide employment
opportunity to homeless people or others in need by street sale. While
some homeless have paying jobs, some must seek other methods to make
Begging or panhandling is one option, but is becoming
increasingly illegal in many cities. Despite the stereotype, not all
homeless people panhandle, and not all panhandlers are
homeless. Another option is busking: performing tricks,
playing music, drawing on the sidewalk, or offering some other form of
entertainment in exchange for donations. In cities where
plasmapheresis (blood donation) centers still exist, homeless people
may generate income through visits to these centers.
Homeless people can also provide waste management services to earn
money. Some homeless people find returnable bottles and cans and bring
them to recycling centres to earn money. For example, they can sort
out organic trash from other trash, and/or separate out trash made of
the same material (for example, different types of plastics, and
different types of metal). Especially in Brazil, many people are
already engaged in such activities. In addition, rather than
sorting waste at landfills, ... they can also collect litter found
on/beside the road to earn an income.
Homeless people have been
known to commit crimes just to be sent to jail or prison for food and
shelter. In police slang, this is called "three hots and a cot"
referring to the three daily meals and a mattress to sleep on which
are given to prisoners.
Invented in 2005, in Seattle, Bumvertising, an informal system of
hiring homeless people to advertise by a young entrepreneur is
providing food, money, and bottles of water to sign-holding homeless
in the Northwest.
Homeless advocates accuse the founder, Ben Rogovy,
and the process, of exploiting the poor and take particular offense to
the use of the word "bum" which is generally considered
pejorative. In October 2009, The
Boston Globe carried a
story on so-called cyberbegging, or Internet begging, which was
reported to be a new trend worldwide.
United States Department of Labor has sought to address one of the
main causes of homelessness, a lack of meaningful and sustainable
employment, through targeted training programs and an increase in
access to employment opportunities that can help homeless people to
develop sustainable lifestyles. This has included the development
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, which
addresses homelessness on the federal level in addition to connecting
homeless individuals to resources at the state level. All
individuals who are in need of assistance are able, in theory, to
access employment and training services under the Workforce Investment
Act (WIA), although this is contingent upon funding and program
support by the government, with veterans also being able to use the
Veterans Workforce Investment Program.
Under the Department of Labor, the Veterans' Employment and Training
Service (VETS) offers a variety of programs targeted at ending
homelessness among veterans. The
Homeless Veterans' Reintegration
Program (HVRP) is the only national program that is exclusively
focused on assisting veterans as they reenter the workforce. In
addition, the VETS program also has an Incarcerated Veterans'
Transition Program as well as services that are unique to female
Veterans. Mainstream programs initiated by the Department of
Labor have included the Workforce Investment Act, One-Stop Career
Centers, and a Community
Voice Mail system that helps to connect
homeless individuals around the
United States with local
resources. In addition, targeted labor programs have included the
Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Project, the
Navigator Initiative, efforts to end chronic homelessness through
providing employment and housing projects, Job Corps, and the Veterans
Workforce Investment Program (VWIP).
Main article: street newspaper
Street newspapers are a tool for allowing homeless individuals to
work. In New York City, in 1989, a street newspaper was created called
Street News which put some homeless to work, some writing, producing,
and mostly selling the paper on streets and trains. Street News
is written pro bono by a combination of homeless, celebrities, and
established writers. In 1991, in England, a street newspaper,
following the New York model was established, called
The Big Issue
The Big Issue and
is published weekly. Its circulation has grown to 300,000.
StreetWise which has the second largest circulation of its
kind in the United States, 30,000.
Boston has a Spare Change News
newspaper, founded in 1992 by a small group of homeless people in
Boston, built on the same model as the others: homeless helping
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California has a twice monthly Street Sheet
newspaper, founded in 1989, with a distribution of 32,000 per month.
In central and southern Florida,
The Homeless Voice works to spread
awareness of homelessness and provide aid to victims through its
street paper. The publication is the oldest continuously published
street newspaper, operates advertising free, contains poverty-related
news stories, artwork, poetry, and is provided to street vendors free
Seattle has Real Change, a $1 newsletter that aims to benefit directly
homeless people and also reports on economic issues in the area.
Portland, Oregon has Street Roots, with articles and poetry by
homeless writers, sold on the street for a dollar. More recently,
Street Sense, in Washington, D.C. has gained a lot of popularity and
helped many make the move out of homelessness. Students in Baltimore,
MD have opened a satellite office for that street paper as well.
The Challenger Street Newspaper is written and run by people
experiencing homelessness and their allies in Austin, Texas – one of
the most economically segregated cities in America. Sacramento,
California has Homeward Street Journal, published bimonthly, with a
circulation of about 11,000 per issue.
Community organization housing initiative
Many housing initiatives involve homeless people in the process of
building and maintaining affordable shared housing. This process works
as a double impact by not only providing housing but also giving
homeless people employment income and work experience. One example of
this type of initiative is the nonprofit organization Living
Solutions, which is located in downtown San Diego, CA. This community
initiative provides the homeless population with a source of housing
as well as giving them jobs building affordable homes. The initiative
also builds community empowerment by asking formerly homeless
residents to help to maintain and repair these homes. Residents are
responsible for all household duties, including menu planning,
budgeting, shopping, cooking, cleaning, yard work, and home
maintenance. The environment of responsibility over a living space
fosters a sense of ownership as well as involvement in all parts of
the decision-making process.
Photo of housing initiative for the homeless
Organizing in homeless shelters
Homeless shelters can become grounds for community organization and
the recruitment of homeless individuals into social movements for
their own cause. Cooperation between the shelter and an elected
representative from the homeless community at each shelter can serve
as the backbone of this form of initiative. The representative
presents and forwards problems, raises concerns and provides new ideas
to the director and staff of the shelters. A few examples of possible
problems are ways to deal with drug and alcohol use by certain shelter
users and resolve interpersonal conflicts. SAND, the Danish National
Homeless People, is one example of an organization
that uses this empowerment approach. Issues reported at the
homeless shelters are then addressed by SAND at the regional or
national level. To open further dialogue, SAND organizes regional
discussion forums where staff and leaders from the shelters, homeless
representatives, and local authorities meet to discuss issues and good
practices at the shelters.
Political action: voting
Voting for elected officials is important for the homeless population
to have a "voice" in the democratic process. Equal access to the
right to vote is a crucial part of maintaining a democracy. However,
in some jurisdictions, it may be hard for homeless people to vote, if
they do not have identification, a fixed address, or a place to
receive mail. Voting enables homeless people to play a part in
deciding the direction of their communities by voicing their opinions
on local, regional and national issues that are important and relevant
to their lives. With each election, low income and homeless
individuals vote at a lower rate than people with higher incomes,
despite the fact that many policy decisions directly impact people who
are economically disadvantaged. Currently, issues such as raising the
minimum wage and funding certain social welfare and housing programs
are being debated in the U.S. Congress and in communities around the
country. In order for the government to represent the people, citizens
must vote—especially those who are economically disadvantaged.
An example of how to overcome these obstacles and encourage greater
voter participation among low income and homeless citizens was done by
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Coalition for the Homeless and other national advocacy
and grassroots social movement groups. These groups collaborated to
create a manual that promotes voting access for low income and
homeless persons to ensure that those who are economically
disadvantaged maintain an active role and voice in shaping their
futures. The manual is designed to provide ideas to help overcome the
many obstacles that prevent people experiencing homelessness from
becoming registered, active voters. By working together with
homeless persons, low-income individuals, and advocates around the
country, grassroots social movement organizations can work alongside
homeless and low-income persons to make their voices heard on Election
Legislation and legal pro bono efforts
In 1979, a
New York City
New York City lawyer, Robert Hayes, brought a class action
suit before the courts, Callahan v. Carey, against the City and State,
arguing for a person's state constitutional "right to shelter". It was
settled as a consent decree in August 1981. The City and State agreed
to provide board and shelter to all homeless men who met the need
standard for welfare or who were homeless by certain other standards.
By 1983 this right was extended to homeless women.
By the mid-1980s, there was also a dramatic increase in family
homelessness. Tied into this was an increasing number of impoverished
and runaway children, teenagers, and young adults, which created a new
sub-stratum of the homeless population (street children or street
youth). Also, in the 1980s, in the United States, some
federal legislation was introduced on homelessness as a result of the
work of Congressman Stewart B. McKinney. In 1987, the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act was enacted.
Further information: List of homelessness organizations
There are many community organizations and social movements around the
world which are taking action to reduce homelessness. They have sought
to counteract the causes and reduce the consequences by starting
initiatives that help homeless people to transition to
self-sufficiency. Social movements and initiatives tend to follow a
grassroots, community-based model of organization. This form of
movement is generally characterized by a loose, informal and
decentralized structure, with an emphasis on radical protest politics.
An interest group gives more of an emphasis on influencing government
policies and relies on more of a formal organization structure.
These different groups share a common element: they are both made up
of and run by a mix of allies of the homeless population and former or
current members of the homeless population. Both grassroots groups and
interest groups aim to break stereotyped images of the homeless as
being weak, criminals, drug addicts and excluded and to ensure that
the voice of homeless people and their representatives is clearly
heard by policymakers.
Homeless shelter in Poznan, Poland
Urban homeless shelters
Homeless shelters, which generally are night shelters, make people
leave in the morning to whatever they could manage and return in the
evening when the beds in the shelters opened up again for sleeping. An
example of a homeless shelter is Pine Street Inn in Boston's South End
neighborhood. There are some daytime shelters where people could go,
instead of being stranded on the streets, and they could be helped,
get counseling, avail themselves of resources, meals, and otherwise
spend their day until returning to their overnight sleeping
arrangements. An example of such a day center shelter model is Saint
House in Boston, Massachusetts, founded in the early 1980s,
which opens for homeless people all year long during the daytime hours
and was originally based on the settlement house model.
Many homeless people keep all their possessions with them because they
have no access to storage. There was also the reality of the "bag"
people, the shopping cart people, and the soda can collectors (known
as binners or dumpster divers) who sort through garbage to find items
to sell, trade and eat. These people carry around all of their
possessions with them all the time because they have no place to store
them. If they had no access to or capability to get to a shelter and
possible bathing, or access to toilets and laundry facilities, their
hygiene was lacking. This again creates social tensions in public
These conditions created an upsurge in tuberculosis and other diseases
in urban areas. In 1974, Kip Tiernan founded Rosie's
Place in Boston, the first drop-in and emergency shelter for women in
the United States, in response to the increasing numbers of needy
women throughout the country.
Refuges and alternative accommodation
There are many places where a homeless person might seek refuge:
Internet cafes are now used by over 5,000 Japanese "Net cafe
refugees". An estimated 75% of Japan's 3,200 all-night internet cafes
cater to regular overnight guests, who in some cases have become their
main source of income.
McDonald's restaurants are used by McRefugees in Japan, China
and Hong Kong. There are about 250 McRefugees in Hong Kong.
Derelict structures: abandoned or condemned buildings
Friends or family: Temporarily sleeping in dwellings of friends or
family members ("couch surfing"). Couch surfers may be harder to
recognize than street homeless people
Homeless shelters: such as emergency cold-weather shelters opened by
churches or community agencies, which may consist of cots in a heated
warehouse, or temporary Christmas Shelters. More elaborate homeless
shelters such as Pinellas Hope in Florida provide their residents with
a recreation tent, a dining tent, laundry facilities, outdoor tents,
casitas, and shuttle services that help inhabitants get to their jobs
Inexpensive boarding houses: Also called flophouses, they offer cheap,
low-quality temporary lodging.
Inexpensive motels also offer cheap, low-quality temporary lodging.
However, some who can afford housing live in a motel by choice. For
example, David and Jean Davidson spent 22 years at a UK
Outdoors: On the ground or in a sleeping bag, tent, or improvised
shelter, such as a large cardboard box, dumpster, in a park or vacant
Public places: Parks, bus or train stations, public libraries,
airports, public transportation vehicles (by continual riding where
unlimited passes are available), hospital lobbies or waiting areas,
college campuses, and 24-hour businesses such as coffee shops. Many
public places use security guards or police to prevent people from
loitering or sleeping at these locations for a variety of reasons,
including image, safety, and comfort.
Residential hotels, where a bed as opposed to an entire room can be
rented cheaply in a dorm-like environment.
Shantytowns: Ad hoc dwelling sites of improvised shelters and shacks,
usually near rail yards, interstates and high transportation veins.
Some shanty towns have interstitial tenting areas, but the predominant
feature consists of the hard structures. Each pad of site tends to
accumulate roofing, sheathing, plywood, and nailed two by fours.
Squatting in an unoccupied structure where a homeless person may live
without payment and without the owner's knowledge or permission.
Tent cities: Ad hoc campsites of tents and improvised shelters
consisting of tarpaulins and blankets often near industrial and
institutionally zoned real estate such as rail yards, highways and
high transportation veins. A few more elaborate tent cities, such as
Dignity Village, are actually hybrids of tent cities and shantytowns.
Tent cities frequently consist only of tents and fabric improvised
structures, with no semi-permanent wood structures at all.
Underground tunnels such as abandoned subway, maintenance, or train
tunnels are popular among the permanent homeless.
Vehicles: Cars or trucks are used as a temporary or sometimes
long-term living refuge, for example by those recently evicted from a
home. Some people live in recreational vehicles (RVs), school buses,
vans, sport utility vehicles, covered pick-up trucks, station wagons,
sedans, or hatchbacks. The vehicular homeless, according to homeless
advocates and researchers, make up the fastest-growing segment of the
homeless population. Many cities now have safe parking programs
in which lawful sites are permitted at churches or in out of the way
places. For example, because it is illegal to park on the streets in
Santa Barbara, the New Beginnings Counseling Center worked with the
city to make parking lots available to accommodate homeless
The inhabitants of such refuges are called in some places, like New
York City, "Mole People". Natural caves beneath urban centers allow
for places where people can congregate. Leaking water pipes, electric
wires, and steam pipes allow for some of the essentials of living.
Other housing options
Transitional housing provides temporary housing for the certain
segments of the homeless population, including working homeless, and
is set up to transition their residents into permanent, affordable
housing. It's not in an emergency homeless shelter but usually a room
or apartment in a residence with support services. The transitional
time can be short, for example, one or two years, and in that time the
person must file for and get permanent housing and usually some
gainful employment or income, even if Social Security or assistance.
Sometimes, the transitional housing residence program charges a room
and board fee, maybe 30% of an individual's income, which is sometimes
partially or fully refunded after the person procures a permanent
place to live in. In the USA, federal funding for transitional housing
programs was originally allocated in the McKinney–Vento Homeless
Assistance Act of 1986.
Supportive housing is a combination of housing and services intended
as a cost-effective way to help people live more stable, productive
Supportive housing works well for those who face the most
complex challenges—individuals and families confronted with
homelessness and who also have very low incomes and/or serious,
persistent issues that may include substance abuse, addiction or
alcoholism, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, or other serious challenges to a
In 2007 urban designer and social theorist
Michael E. Arth
Michael E. Arth proposed a
controversial national solution for homelessness that would involve
building nearly carfree "Pedestrian Villages" in place of what he
terms "the current band-aid approach to the problem." A
prototype, Tiger Bay Village, was proposed for near Daytona Beach, FL.
He claims that this would be superior for treating the psychological
as well as psychiatric needs of both temporarily and permanently
homeless adults, and would cost less than the current approach. It
would also provide a lower cost alternative to jail, and provide a
half-way station for those getting out of prison. Work opportunities,
including construction and maintenance of the villages, as well as the
creation of work force agencies would help make the villages
financially and socially viable.
In South Australia, the State Government of Premier Mike Rann (2002 to
2011) committed substantial funding to a series of initiatives
designed to combat homelessness. Advised by Social Inclusion
David Cappo and the founder of New York's Common Ground
program, Rosanne Haggerty, the Rann Government established Common
Ground Adelaide  building high quality inner city apartments
(combined with intensive support) for "rough sleeping" homeless
people. The government also funded the Street to Home program and a
hospital liaison service designed to assist homeless people who are
admitted to the Emergency Departments of Adelaide's major public
hospitals. Rather than being released back into homelessness, patients
identified as rough sleepers are found accommodation backed by
professional support. Common Ground and Street to Home now operate
across Australia in other States.
Savings from housing homeless in the US
In 2013, a Central Florida Commission on
Homelessness study indicated
that the region spends $31,000 a year per homeless person to cover
"salaries of law-enforcement officers to arrest and transport homeless
individuals — largely for nonviolent offenses such as trespassing,
public intoxication or sleeping in parks — as well as the cost of
jail stays, emergency-room visits and hospitalization for medical and
psychiatric issues. This did not include "money spent by nonprofit
agencies to feed, clothe and sometimes shelter these individuals". In
contrast, the report estimated the cost of permanent supportive
housing at "$10,051 per person per year" and concluded that "[h]ousing
even half of the region's chronically homeless population would save
taxpayers $149 million over the next decade — even allowing for 10
percent to end up back on the streets again." This particular study
followed 107 long-term-homeless residents living in Orange, Osceola or
Seminole Counties. There are similar studies showing large
financial savings in Charlotte and Southeastern Colorado from focusing
on simply housing the homeless."
Health care for homeless people is a major public health
Homeless people are more likely to suffer injuries and
medical problems from their lifestyle on the street, which includes
poor nutrition, exposure to the severe elements of weather, and a
higher exposure to violence (robberies, beatings, and so on). Yet at
the same time, they have little access to public medical services or
clinics, in part because they often lack identification or
registration for public health care services. There are significant
challenges in treating homeless people who have psychiatric disorders
because clinical appointments may not be kept, their continuing
whereabouts are unknown, their medicines may not be taken as
prescribed and monitored, medical and psychiatric histories are not
accurate, and for other reasons. Because many homeless people have
mental illnesses, this has presented a crisis in care.
Homeless people often find it difficult to document their date of
birth or their address. Because homeless people usually have no place
to store possessions, they often lose their belongings, including
their identification and other documents, or find them destroyed by
police or others. Without a photo ID, homeless persons cannot get a
job or access many social services, including health care and clinic
access. They can be denied access to even the most basic assistance:
clothing closets, food pantries, certain public benefits, and in some
cases, emergency shelters. Obtaining replacement identification is
difficult. Without an address, birth certificates cannot be mailed.
Fees may be cost-prohibitive for impoverished persons. And some states
will not issue birth certificates unless the person has photo
identification, creating a Catch-22. This problem is far less
acute in countries which provide free-at-use health care, such as the
UK, where hospitals are open-access day and night and make no charges
for treatment. In the US, free-care clinics, for homeless and other
people, do exist in major cities, but they often attract more demand
than they can meet.
The conditions affecting homeless people are somewhat specialized and
have opened a new area of medicine tailored to this population. Skin
conditions, including scabies, are common because homeless people are
exposed to extreme cold in the winter and they have little access to
bathing facilities. They have problems caring for their feet and
have more severe dental problems than the general population.
Diabetes, especially untreated, is widespread in the homeless
population. Specialized medical textbooks have been written to
address this for providers.
There are many organizations providing free care to homeless people in
countries which do not offer free medical treatment organized by the
state, but the services are in great demand given the limited number
of medical practitioners. For example, it might take months to get a
minimal dental appointment in a free-care clinic. Communicable
diseases are of great concern, especially tuberculosis, which spreads
more easily in crowded homeless shelters in high-density urban
settings. There has been an ongoing concern and studies about the
health and wellness of the older homeless population, typically ages
fifty to sixty-four years of age, and even older, as to whether they
are significantly more sickly than their younger counterparts and if
they are under-served.
In 1985, the
Boston Health Care for the
Homeless Program was founded
to assist the growing numbers of homeless living on the streets and in
Boston and who were suffering from lack of effective
medical services. In 2004,
Boston Health Care for the
Homeless in conjunction with the National Health Care for the Homeless
Council published a medical manual called "The Health Care of Homeless
Persons", edited by James J. O'Connell, M.D., specifically for the
treatment of the homeless population. In June 2008, in Boston,
Massachusetts, the Jean Yawkey Place, a four-story, 77,653-square-foot
(7,214.2 m2) building, was opened by the
Boston Health Care for
Homeless Program. It is an entire full-service building on the
Boston Medical Center campus dedicated to providing health care for
homeless people. It also contains a long-term care facility, the
Barbara McInnis House, which expanded to 104 beds, and is the first
and largest medical respite program for homeless people in the United
A 2011 study led by Dr. Rebecca T. Brown in Boston, Massachusetts
conducted by the Institute for Aging Research (an affiliate of Harvard
Medical School), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Boston
Health Care for the
Homeless Program found the elderly homeless
population had "higher rates of geriatric syndromes, including
functional decline, falls, frailty and depression than seniors in the
general population and that many of these conditions may be easily
treated if detected". The report was published in the Journal of
Geriatric Internal Medicine. There are government avenues which
provide resources for the development of healthcare for the homeless.
In the United States, the Bureau of Primary Health Care has a health
care for the homeless program which provides grants to fund the
delivery of healthcare to the homeless. According to 2011 UDS
data community health centers were able to provide service to
1,087,431 homeless individuals. Furthermore, there are many
nonprofit and religious organizations which provide healthcare
services to the homeless. These organizations also contribute to the
large need which exists for expanding healthcare for the homeless.
The passage of the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010
may also provide new healthcare options for the homeless in the United
States, particularly through the optional expansion of Medicaid. A
2013 Yale study showed that a substantial proportion of the
chronically homeless population in America will be able to obtain
Medicaid coverage if states expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care
Act, although efforts will be needed to help the homeless enroll
There has been a significant number of unsheltered persons dying of
hypothermia, adding impetus to the trend of establishing warming
centers as well as extending the enumeration surveys with
Effect on life expectancy
In 1999, Dr. Susan Barrow of the Columbia University Center for
Homelessness Prevention Studies reported in a study that the
"age-adjusted death rates of homeless men and women were four times
those of the general US population and two to three times those of the
general population of New York City". A report commissioned by
homeless charity Crisis in 2011 found that on average homeless people
in the UK have a life expectancy of 47 years, 30 years younger than
the rest of the population.
In western countries such as the United States, the typical homeless
person is male and single, with the
Netherlands reporting 80% of
homeless people aged 18–65 to be men. Some cities have particularly
high percentages of males in homeless populations, with men comprising
eighty-five percent of the homeless in Dublin. Non-white people
are also over represented in homeless populations, with such groups
two and half times more likely to be homeless in the U.S. The median
age of homeless people is approximately thirty-five.
Statistics for developed countries
In 2005, an estimated 100 million people worldwide were homeless.
The following statistics indicate the approximate average number of
homeless people at any one time. Each country has a different approach
to counting homeless people, and estimates of homelessness made by
different organizations vary wildly, so comparisons should be made
European Union: 3,000,000 (
United Kingdom: 10,459 rough sleepers, 98,750 households in temporary
Department for Communities and Local Government
Department for Communities and Local Government 2005)
Australia: On census night in 2006 there were 105,000 people homeless
across Australia, an increase from the 99,900 Australians who were
counted as homeless in the 2001 census
United States: According to HUD's July 2010 5th Homeless
Assessment Report to Congress, in a single night in January 2010,
single point analysis reported to HUD showed there were 649,917 people
experiencing homelessness. This number has increased from January
2009's 643,067. The unsheltered count increased by 2.8 percent while
the sheltered count remained the same. Also, HUD reported the number
of chronically homeless people (persons with severe disabilities and
long homeless histories) decreased one percent between 2009 and 2010,
from 110,917 to 109,812. Since 2007 this number has decreased by
eleven percent. This is mostly due to the expansion of permanent
supportive housing programs.
The change in the numbers has happened due to the prevalence of
homelessness in local communities rather than other changes. According
to HUD's July 2010
Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, more than
1.59 million people spent at least one night in an emergency shelter
or transitional housing program during 2010 reporting period, this is
a 2.2 percent increase from 2009. Most users of homeless shelters used
only emergency shelter, while 17 percent used only transitional
housing and less than 5 percent used both during the reporting period.
Since 2007 the annual number of those using homeless shelters in
cities has decreased from 1.22 million to 1.02 million. That is a 17
percent decrease. The number of those using homeless shelters in
suburban and rural areas has increased 57 percent from 367,000 to
576,000 In the USA, the federal government's HUD agency has
required federally funded organizations to use a computer tracking
system for homeless people and their statistics, called HMIS (Homeless
Management Information System). There has been some
opposition to this kind of tracking by privacy advocacy groups, such
However, HUD considers its reporting techniques to be reasonably
accurate for homeless in shelters and programs in its Annual Homeless
Assessment Report to Congress. Actually determining and
counting the number of homeless is very difficult in general due to
their lifestyle habits. There are so-called "hidden
homeless" out of sight of the normal population and perhaps staying on
private property. Various countries, states, and cities have come
up with differing means and techniques to calculate an approximate
count. For example, a one night "homeless census count", called a
point-in-time (PIT) count, usually held in the early Winter, for the
year, is a technique used by a number of American cities, especially
Boston, Massachusetts. Los Angeles, California uses a
mixed set of techniques for counting, including the PIT street
In 2003, The
United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) had begun requiring a PIT count in all "Continuum of Care"
communities which required them to report the count of people, housing
status, and geographic locations of individuals counted. Some
communities will give sub-population information to the PIT, such as
information on veterans, youth, and elderly individuals as done in
Japan: 20,000–100,000 (some figures put it at
200,000–400,000) Reports show that homelessness is on the rise
in Japan since the mid-1990s.
There are more homeless men than homeless women in Japan because it is
usually easier for women to get a job and they are less isolated than
men. Also Japanese families usually provide more support for women
than they do for men.
Developing and undeveloped countries
The number of homeless people worldwide has grown steadily in recent
years. In some developing countries such as Nigeria, and
South Africa, homelessness is rampant, with millions of children
living and working on the streets.
Homelessness has become a
problem in the countries of China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and the
Philippines despite their growing prosperity, mainly due to migrant
workers who have trouble finding permanent homes.
Determining the true number of homeless people worldwide varies
between 100 million and 1 billion people based on the exact definition
used. Refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons
(ITDs) can also be considered homeless in that they too experience
"marginalization, minority status, socio-economic disadvantage, poor
physical health, collapse of social supports, psychological distress,
and difficulty adapting to host cultures" like the domestic
In the past twenty years, scholars like Tipple and Speak have begun to
refer to homelessness as the "antithesis or absence of home" rather
than rooflessness or the "lack of physical shelter." This complication
in the homelessness debate further delineates the idea that home
actually consists of an adequate shelter, an experienced and dynamic
place that serves as a "base" for nurturing human relationships and
the "free development of individuals" and their identity. Thus,
the home is perceived to be an extension of one's self and identity.
In contrast, the homeless experience, according to Moore, constitutes
more as a "lack of belonging" and a loss of identity that leads to
individuals or communities feeling "out of place" once they can no
longer call a place of their own home 
This new perspective on homelessness sheds light on the plight of
refugees, a population of stateless people who are not normally
included in the mainstream definition of homelessness. It has also
created problems for researchers because the nature of "counting"
homeless people across the globe relies heavily on who is considered a
Homeless individuals, and by extension refugees, can
be seen as lacking lack the "crucible of our modern society" and
lacking a way of actively belonging to and engaging with their
respective communities or cultures  As Casavant demonstrates, a
spectrum of definitions for homelessness, called the "continuum of
homelessness," should refer to refugees as homeless individuals
because they not only lose their home, but they are also afflicted
with a myriad of problems that parallel those affecting the domestic
homeless, such as "[a lack of] stable, safe and healthy housing, an
extremely low income, adverse discrimination in access to services,
with problems of mental health, alcohol, and drug abuse or social
disorganization"  Refugees, like the domestic homeless, lose
their source of identity and way of connecting with their culture for
an indefinite period of time.
Thus, the current definition of homelessness unfortunately allows
people to simplistically assume that homeless people, including
refugees, are merely "without a place to live" when that is not the
case. As numerous studies show, forced migration and displacement
brings with it another host of problems including socioeconomic
instability, "increased stress, isolation, and new responsibilities"
in a completely new environment 
For people in Russia, especially the youth, alcoholism and substance
abuse is a major cause and reason for becoming and continuing to be
homeless. The United Nations,
United Nations Centre for Human
Settlements (UN-Habitat) wrote in its Global Report on Human
Settlements in 1995: "
Homelessness is a problem in developed as well
as in developing countries. In London, for example, life expectancy
among homeless people is more than 25 years lower than the national
Poor urban housing conditions are a global problem, but conditions are
worst in developing countries. Habitat says that today 600 million
people live in life- and health-threatening homes in Asia, Africa, and
Latin America. For example, more than three in four young people had
insufficient means of shelter and sanitation in some African countries
like Malawi. The threat of mass homelessness is greatest in those
regions because that is where population is growing fastest. By 2015,
the 10 largest cities in the world will be in Asia, Latin America, and
Africa. Nine of them will be in developing countries: Mumbai,
India – 27.4 million; Lagos, Nigeria – 24.4; Shanghai,
China – 23.4; Jakarta, Indonesia – 21.2; São Paulo,
Brazil – 20.8; Karachi, Pakistan – 20.6; Beijing,
China – 19.4; Dhaka, Bangladesh – 19; Mexico City,
Mexico – 18.8. The only city in a developed country that will
be in the top ten is Tokyo, Japan – 28.7 million."
In 2008, Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT,
referring to the recent report "State of the World's Cities Report
2008/2009", said that the world economic crisis we are in should
be viewed as a "housing finance crisis" in which the poorest of poor
were left to fend for themselves.
Further information: List of countries by homeless population
Homelessness in Australia
A homeless person's shelter under a fallen willow tree in Australia
Abandoned homeless shelter in Mawson, ACT
In Australia the
Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) is
a joint Commonwealth and state government program which provides
funding for more than 1,200 organisations which are aimed to assist
homeless people or those in danger of becoming homeless, as well as
women and children escaping domestic violence. They provide
accommodation such as refuges, shelters, and half-way houses, and
offer a range of supported services. The Commonwealth has assigned
over $800 million between 2000 and 2005 for the continuation of SAAP.
The current program, governed by the Supported Assistance Act 1994,
specifies that "the overall aim of SAAP is to provide transitional
supported accommodation and related support services, in order to help
people who are homeless to achieve the maximum possible degree of
self-reliance and independence. This legislation has been established
to help the homeless people of the nation and help rebuild the lives
of those in need. The cooperation of the states also helps enhance the
meaning of the legislation and demonstrates their desire to improve
the nation as best they can. In 2011, the Specialist Homelessness
Services (SHS) program replaced the SAAP program.
Homelessness in the United States
A woman giving a homeless man food in
New York City
New York City (2008)
In the United States, the number of homeless people grew in the 1980s,
as welfare cuts increased.
Housing First is an initiative to help homeless people reintegrate
into society, and out of homeless shelters. It was initiated by the
federal government's Interagency Council on Homelessness. It asks
cities to come up with a plan to end chronic homelessness. In this
direction, there is the belief that if homeless people are given
independent housing to start, with some proper social supports, then
there would be no need for emergency homeless shelters, which it
considers a good outcome. However this is a controversial
Miami, Florida's Community Partnership for
Homeless launched a
national outreach program in 2008 to help other communities throughout
United States address homelessness. Since its inception in 1993,
CPH has served nearly 76,000 residents with a successful outplacement
rate of nearly 62 percent in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The number of
homeless people in the county has declined by 83 percent. The national
program shares CPH's model of
Homeless Assistance Centers, job
training programs, on-site childcare, housing assistance and more. The
organization also provides background on its unique funding structure
and partnerships within the community.
Homelessness has increased
rapidly in the past decade. Domestic violence, substance abuse, losing
jobs, unaffordable rent and issues with family are significant
A homeless man sleeping in the
In the Bowery, homelessness used to be common, but has declined since
the 1970s. The area began revitalization in the 1990s and now is an
upscale Manhattan neighborhood.
Carrfour Supportive Housing, a nonprofit organization established
in 1993 by the
Homeless Committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of
Commerce – develops, operates and manages innovative housing
communities for individuals and families in need through a unique
approach combining affordable housing with comprehensive, on-site
supportive services. As the leading not-for-profit provider of
supportive housing in Florida, Carrfour has supplied homes for more
than 10,000 formerly homeless men, women and children since its
founding. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2007, a non-profit
organization named Back on My Feet was created by runner Anne Mahlum
as a running club for homeless men and women in the area, to help
overcome homelessness through a multi-step self-help program centered
on running three days a week, plus sponsored running events.
Participants, drawn from local homeless shelters partnered with the
organization, are assigned to different teams within each chapter and
monitored by a nonresident member, and are required to commit to
punctuality, endurance, self-optimism, team spirit, and sobriety. The
members earn incentives through continued participation and progress,
culminating in educational scholarships and assistance in finding
permanent housing and employment. Back on My Feet counted a total of
400 homeless runners in nine cities after five years, and by the
beginning of 2013 counted 10 different city chapters in the United
States, with four more chapters planned by the end of the
In Boston, Massachusetts, in September 2007, an outreach to homeless
people was established in the
Boston Common, after some arrests and
shootings, and in anticipation of the cold winter ahead. This outreach
targets homeless people who would normally spend their sleeping time
Boston Common, and tries to get them into housing, trying to
skip the step of an emergency shelter. Applications for
Authority were being handed out and filled out and submitted. This is
an attempt to enact by outreach the
Housing First initiative,
federally mandated. Boston's Mayor, Thomas Menino, was quoted as
saying "The solution to homelessness is permanent housing". Still,
this is a very controversial strategy, especially if the people are
not able to sustain a house with a proper community, health, substance
counseling, and mental health supportive programs.
In October 2009, as part of the city's Leading the Way initiative,
Mayor Thomas M. Menino of
Boston dedicated and opened the Weintraub
Day Center which is the first city-operated day center for chronically
homeless persons. It is a multi-service center, providing shelter,
counseling, healthcare, housing assistance, and other support
services. It is a 3,400-square-foot (320 m2) facility located in
the Woods Mullen Shelter. It is also meant to reduce the strain on the
city's hospital emergency rooms by providing services and identifying
health problems before they escalate into emergencies. It was funded
by $3 million in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009,
Massachusetts Department of
Housing and Community
Development (DHCD), the
Massachusetts Medical Society and Alliance
Charitable Foundation, and the
United States Department of Health
and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
In 2010 in New York City, where there were over 36,000 homeless people
in 2009, there was a mobile video exhibit in the streets showing
a homeless person on a screen and asking onlookers and passersby to
text with their cellphones a message for him, and they also could
donate money by cellphones to the organization Pathways to
Housing. In September 2010, it was reported that the Housing
First Initiative had significantly reduced the chronic homeless single
person population in Boston, Massachusetts, although homeless families
were still increasing in number. Some shelters were reducing the
number of beds due to lowered numbers of homeless, and some emergency
shelter facilities were closing, especially the emergency
Center. In 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive
Services for Veterans Families Initiative, SSVF, began funding
private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives to provide
supportive services to very low-income veteran families living in or
transitioning to permanent housing.
Enhanced data collection and evaluation
Homeless enumeration counts are mandated by HUD for all jurisdictions
participating in HUD
Continuum of Care
Continuum of Care grant programs. These occur as
frequently as every two years. More recently, organizations such as
Common Ground have compiled Vulnerability Indexes which prioritize
homeless persons. The factors include the existence of late stage
terminal disease, HIV-AIDS, kidney or liver disease, frequent
hospitalizations and frequent emergency room visits. The data which is
compiled which exceeds the BUD mandate is retained and held
confidential by Common Ground. Advocates of the system claim high
rates of success in placing the most vulnerable persons, but skeptics
remain concerned with confidentiality and security issues.[citation
Homelessness in the United Kingdom,
Homelessness in Scotland
Number of homeless in
England per 100,000 people, 1998–2014
Since the late 1990s, housing policy has been a devolved matter, and
state support for the homeless, together with legal rights in housing,
have therefore diverged to a certain degree. A national service,
called Streetlink, was established in 2012 to help members of the
public obtain near-immediate assistance for specific rough sleepers,
with the support of the Government (as housing is a devolved matter,
the service currently only extends to England). Currently, the service
does not operate on a statutory basis, and the involvement of local
authorities is merely due to political pressure from the government
and charities, with funding being provided by the government (and
others) on an ad-hoc basis. A member of the public who is concerned
that someone is sleeping on the streets can report the individual's
details via the Street Link website or by calling the referral
line number on 0300 500 0914. Someone who finds themselves sleeping on
the streets can also report their situation using the same methods. It
is important to note that the Streetlink service is for those who are
genuinely sleeping on the streets, and not those who may merely be
begging, or ostensibly living their life on the streets despite a
place to sleep elsewhere (such as a hostel or supported
The annual number of homeless households in
England peaked in
2003–04 at 135,420 before falling to a low of 40,020 in 2009–10.
In 2014–15, there were 54,430 homeless households, which was 60 per
cent below the 2003–04 peak. The UK has more than 80,000
children in temporary accommodation, a number which increases every
year. In 2007 the official figures for England were
that an average of 498 people slept rough each night, with 248 of
those in London. It is important to note that many individuals may
spend only a few days or weeks sleeping rough, and so any number for
rough sleepers on a given night hides the total number of people
actually affected in any one year.
Homelessness in England
Homelessness in England since 2010 has been rising. By 2016 it is
estimated the numbers sleeping rough had more than doubled since
2010. The National Audit Office say in relation to homelessness
England 2010-17 there has been a 60% rise in households living in
temporary accommodation and a rise of 134% in rough
sleepers. It is estimated 4,751 people bedded down outside
England in 2017, up 15% on previous year. The
housing charity Shelter used data from four sets of official 2016
statistics and calculated 254,514 people in
Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 places a new duty on local
England to assist people threatened with homelessness
within 56 days and to assess, prevent and relieve homelessness for all
eligible applicants including single homeless people from April
2018. In short, no one should be turned away.
Homelessness in South Africa
In South Africa, there are an estimated 200,000 homeless people from a
diverse range of backgrounds. Most South African municipalities
preimarily view homelessness as a social dependency issue, responding
with social interventions.
In Sweden, municipalities are required to provide a home to any
citizen who does not have one. However, landlords and lessors have the
right to select guests among applicants. Owners, including
municipalities themselves, avoid homeless people, unemployed people or
people with a bad credit score. People who cannot pay their rent will
be evicted, including families with small children. In 2009, 618
children were evicted. In cities with a lack of housing, the only
options for homeless are usually shelters; usually privately owned,
often of bad quality, for which municipalities pay.
Finland the municipalities are required by law to offer apartments
or shelters to every Finnish citizen who does not have a residence. In
2007 the centre-right government of Matti Vanhanen began a special
program of four wise men modeled after a US-originated
policy to eliminate homelessness in
Finland by 2015.
Russia and the USSR
Homelessness in Russia
After the abolition of serfdom in Russia in 1861, major cities
experienced a large influx of former peasants who sought jobs as
industrial workers in rapidly developing Russian industry. These
people often lived in harsh conditions, sometimes renting a room,
shared between several families. There also was a large number of
shelterless homeless. Immediately after the
October Revolution a
special program of "compression" ("уплотнение") was enabled:
people who had no shelter were settled in flats of those who had large
(4, 5 or 6 room) flats with only one room left to previous owners. The
flat was declared state property. This led to a large number of shared
flats where several families lived simultaneously. Nevertheless, the
problem of complete homelessness was mostly solved as anybody could
apply for a room or a place in dormitory (the number of shared flats
steadily decreased after large-scale residential building program was
implemented starting in the 1960s).
By 1922 there were at least 7 million homeless children in Russia as a
result of nearly a decade of devastation from World
War I and the
Russian Civil War. This led to the creation of a large number of
orphanages. By the 1930s the USSR declared the abolition of
homelessness and any citizen was obliged to have a propiska – a
place of permanent residency. Nobody could be stripped of propiska
without substitution or refuse it without a confirmed permission
(called "order") to register in another place. If someone wanted to
move to another city or expand their living area, he had to find a
partner who wanted to mutually exchange the flats. The right for
shelter was secured in the Soviet constitution. Not having permanent
residency was legally considered a crime.
After the breakup of the USSR, the problem of homelessness sharpened
dramatically, partially because of the legal vacuum of the early 1990s
with some laws contradicting each other and partially because of a
high rate of frauds in the realty market. In 1991 articles 198 and 209
of Russian criminal code which instituted a criminal penalty for not
having permanent residence were abolished. In Moscow, the first
overnight shelter for homeless was opened in 1992. In the late
1990s, certain amendments in law were implemented to reduce the rise
in homelessness, such as the prohibition of selling last flat with
Nevertheless, the state is still obliged to give permanent shelter for
free to anybody who needs better living conditions or has no permanent
registration, because the right to shelter is still included in the
constitution. Several projects of special cheap 'social' flats for
those who failed to repay mortgages were proposed to facilitate
There are estimated to be 15,000 homeless persons in Hungary of which
about 6,500 live in
Budapest (2016). There have been repeated
attempts at criminalising homelessness in Hungary by the Fidesz
government and homeless people face severe restrictions in many
cities. 131 homeless people died of cold exposure in Budapest
between 2006 and 2010.
Homelessness in popular culture
Homelessness in popular culture
Homelessness in popular culture is depicted in various works. The
issue is frequently described as an invisible problem, despite its
prevalence. Writers and other artists play a role in bringing the
issue to public attention.
Homelessness is the central theme of many
works; in other works homelessness is secondary, added to create
interesting characters or contribute authenticity to the setting
(e.g., for a story set in the impoverished inner city). Some stories
and films depict homeless people in a stereotypical or pejorative
manner (e.g., the exploitation film
Hobo With a Shotgun, which depicts
homeless people fighting).
Modern Times, 1936 film, shows negative effects of vagrancy laws.
Cathy Come Home, 1966, shows the effects of homelessness on
God Bless the Child, 1988, is a made-for-TV movie about a single
mother (Mare Winningham) living on the streets of
New York City
New York City with
her young daughter.
Dark Days, 2000, 81 minutes, is a documentary by Marc Singer, who
followed the lives of people living in the Freedom Tunnel, an Amtrak
tunnel in New York City.
Homeless to Harvard: The
Liz Murray Story, 2003 film about a homeless
girl, Liz Murray, who works her way up to admission to Harvard
You Can't Sleep Here
Advocates for the homeless have developed various events,
commemorations, and projects to raise awareness of the issue of
homelessness. In 1987, the
United Nations established an International
Year of Shelter for the Homeless. In England, advocates founded an
annual event named
Homelessness Action Week.In Australia, NGOs have
founded two main annual events:
Homeless Persons' Week, and Youth
Homelessness Matters Day. Some advocates have taken to social media to
raise awareness with projects such as I Have A Name.
Homelessness in Canada
Internally displaced person
Right to housing
United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development, "Federal
Definition of Homeless"
^ "Glossary defining homelessness". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
United Kingdom charity Crisis
^ Bogard, Cynthia J., "Advocacy and Enumeration: Counting Homeless
People in a Suburban Community", American Behavioral Scientist
September 2001 vol. 45 no. 1 105–120
^ Gabbard, W. Jay; et al., "Methodological Issues in Enumerating
Homeless Individuals", Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless
Volume 16, Number 2 / May 2007 90–103
^ Office of Applied Studies,
United States Department of Health and
Human Services, "Terminology"
United States Code, Title 42, Chapter 119, Subchapter I,
§ 11302". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
^ "A roof is not enough – a look at homelessness worldwide, by Monte
Leach, Share International Archives". Share-international.org.
Retrieved 7 December 2017.
Homelessness Statistics –
Homeless World Cup".
Homelessworldcup.org. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
Homelessness around the world". Boston.com. 14 December 2011.
^ Hurst, Charles E. (1 January 1998). "Social Inequality: Forms,
Causes, and Consequences". Allyn and Bacon – via Google Books.
^ Netherlands, Statistics. "17 homeless in every 10 thousand Dutch".
^ Roleff, Tamara L (1996). The Homeless: Opposing Viewpoints –
Google Books. ISBN 9781565103603. Retrieved 17 September
^ Claire Scott (5 July 2016). "Kinahan gang taking advantage of
homeless crisis as part of latest fraud scheme".
Retrieved 17 October 2017.
^ Kristin Rodine (5 May 2017). "Georgia man gets 10 months for
perpetrating 'Operation Homeless' fraud in Boise". Idaho Statesman.
Retrieved 17 October 2017.
^ Kevin Wendolowski (2014). "Fighting fraudsters who target homeless
in scams". Fraud Magazine (September–October). Retrieved 17 October
^ Nicholas Confessore (24 November 2009). "
Homeless Organization Is
Called a Fraud". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
^ David Barnett (31 October 2016). "Is
Begging Just A Scam, Or A
Lifeline For Those Most In Need?". The Independent. Retrieved 17
United Nations Demographic Yearbook review: National reporting of
household characteristics, living arrangements and homeless
households : Implications for international recommendations",
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Statistics
Division, Demographic and Social Statistics Branch, 14 April 2004
^ United Nations, "Enumeration of
Homeless People", United Nations
Economic and Social Council, 18 August 2009; Economic Commission for
Europe Conference of European Statisticians, Group of Experts on
Housing Censuses, Twelfth Meeting, Geneva, 28–30
^ "Article 25". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
^ "ETHOS Typology of
Housing Exclusion". Retrieved 11
^ Amore, Kate, Michael Baker and Philippa Howden-Chapman. "The ETHOS
Definition and Classification of Homelessness: An Analysis" (PDF). The
European Journal of Homelessness, Volume 5.2, December 2011. FEANTSA.
Retrieved 31 July 2012.
^ "Inside Straight Edge". Writer: David Shadrack Smith. Directors: Jim
Gaffey and David Shadrack Smith. Inside. National Geographic Society.
9 April 2008. Retrieved on 28 January 2011.
^ Svitek, Patrick. "Evanston homeless find warm shelters". Daily
^ "Breaking Ground: Building and Restoring Lives". Breaking Ground,
Renamed from "Common Ground" (previous ref): "Common Ground is now
Breaking Ground". 23 October 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2017. We are
pleased to share with you that as of October 23, 2015, Common Ground
has changed its name to Breaking Ground.
^ a b Marjorie Keniston McIntosh (1998). Controlling Misbehavior in
England,1370–1600. Cambridge University Press.
^ Convict Voyages (1): Overview, by Anthony Vaver, Early American
Crime, 6 January 2009
New York City
New York City Rescue Mission website". Retrieved 17 September
^ History of the New York Rescue Mission Archived 7 November 2011 at
the Wayback Machine.
^ Depastino, Todd, "Citizen Hobo: How a Century of
America", Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2003.
ISBN 0-226-14378-3. (Interview with Todd Depastino)
^ "Riding the Rails". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
^ Overproduction of Goods, Unequal Distribution of Wealth, High
Unemployment, and Massive
Poverty Archived 5 February 2009 at the
Wayback Machine., From: President's Economic Council
^ Wilson, Wendy. Rough Sleepers, Standard Note SN/SP/2007,
Commons Library, Archived 9 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Scherl DJ, Macht LB (September 1979). "Deinstitutionalization in the
absence of consensus". Hosp Community Psychiatry. 30 (9): 599–604.
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^ Seth Farber, "Homelessness, Madness, the Power Elites and Final
Battles of the East Village," in Clayton Patterson, ed., Resistance: A
Radical Social and Political History of the Lower East Side (2007).
^ Rochefort DA (1984). "Origins of the "Third psychiatric revolution":
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^ Feldman S (June 1983). "Out of the hospital, onto the streets: the
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^ Borus JF (August 1981). "Sounding Board. De-institutionalization of
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doi:10.1056/NEJM198108063050609. PMID 7242636.
^ Families on the move: Breaking the cycle of homelessness., Notkin,
S., Rosenthal, B., & Hopper, K., New York: Edna McConnell Clark
Foundation Ken Burnett, 1990
^ "FACS, "
Homeless Children, Poverty, Faith and Community:
Understanding and Reporting the Local Story", March 26, 2002 Akron,
Ohio". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
Homeless Youth" (PDF). National Coalition for the Homeless.
2005. (164 KB)
^ "Schreiber Cindy, "Sandwich men bring in the bread and butter",
Columbia (University) News Service, May 8, 2002". Jrn.columbia.edu.
Retrieved 7 December 2017.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 April 2006.
Retrieved 26 July 2006.
London site, "Sandwich Men"". Retrieved 17 September
^ Abel, David, "For the homeless, keys to a home: Large-scale effort
to keep many off street faces hurdles",
Boston Globe, 24 February
^ PBS, "Home at Last? – A radical new approach to helping the
homeless", NOW TV program, 21 December 2007.
^ Solutions at Work, "Formerly
Boston Man Donates Significant
Portion of Social Security Retro-Check to the Organizations and People
Who Gave Him a 'Hand Up'", 2002.
^ Bassuk, E.L., et al. (2011) America's Youngest Outcasts: 2010
(Needham, MA: The National Center on Family Homelessness) page 20
Homeless children at record high in US. Can the trend be
reversed?". The Christian Science Monitor. 13 December 2011. Retrieved
17 September 2014.
^ a b "State of the
Homeless 2012". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
^ "600 homeless children in D.C., and no one seems to care".
Washington Post. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved
17 September 2014.
^ Wendy Koch."
Homelessness in Suburbs Increases. USA Today, 9 July
^ National Alliance to End Homelessness, "Rapid Re-Housing", 8 July
United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development, "Homeless
Assistance Programs" Archived 10 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
^ National Alliance to End Homelessness, "HUD and McKinney-Vento
Appropriations" Archived 28 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine., FY
United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development
^ National Alliance to End Homelessness, "Summary of HEARTH Act"
Archived 17 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine., 8 June 2009
^ "The HEARTH Act – An Overview" Archived 8 October 2010 at the
Wayback Machine., National Law Center on
Homelessness and Poverty,
^ Federal Register/Vol.76, No 233 Monday, 5 December 2011, Rules and
^ National Coalition for the Homeless, "NCH Public Policy
Recommendations: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization", Washington,
D.C., 14 September 2009
^ a b "Hunger and
Homelessness Survey: A Status Report on Hunger and
Homelessness in America's Cities: A 27-City Survey December 2009"
United States Conference of Mayors. December 2009. Archived
from the original (PDF) on 10 January 2010.
United States Conference of Mayors, "A Status Report on Hunger and
Homelessness in America's Cities: a 27-city survey", December 2001.
United States Conference of Mayors, "US Conference of Mayors/Sodexho
Homelessness Survey: 2005" (PDF). Archived from the
original (PDF) on 30 December 2008. (1.19 MB),
December 2005, "Main Causes of Homelessness", p.63-64. "Survey Cities
Say Lack of Federal Commitment to
Hurricane Evacuees Will Strain Local
Limited Resources". Missing or empty url= (help)"Archived copy"
(PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 26
October 2009. (62.3 KB) sodexhousa.com
^ Vanneman, Reeve, "Main Causes of Homelessness" Archived 22 August
2009 at the Wayback Machine., University of Maryland
^ a b Cf. Levinson, Encyclopedia of Homelessness, article entry on
Causes of Homelessness: Overview by Paul Koegel, pp.50–58.
^ Elder, James, "Helping homeless victims of forced evictions in
Zimbabwe", UNICEF, 20 June 2005
^ "Homes Not Handcuffs: The Criminalization of
Homelessness in U.S.
Cities" (PDF). Nationalhomeless.org. July 2009. Retrieved 7 December
^ Shinn, Marybeth; et al. (2007). "Predictors of homelessness among
older adults in New York City: Disability, economic, human and social
capital and stressful events". Journal of Health Psychology. 12 (5):
696–708. doi:10.1177/1359105307080581. CS1 maint: Explicit use
of et al. (link)
^ a b Segal S. P.; Baumohl J. (1980). "Engaging the disengaged:
Proposals on madness and vagrancy". Social Work. 25: 358–365.
^ E. Fuller Torey (2008): The Insanity Offense – How America's
Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens,
^ Connolly, Adrian J. (2008). "Personality disorders in homeless
drop-in center clients" (PDF). Journal of Personality Disorders. 22
(6): 573–588. doi:10.1521/pedi.2008.22.6.573. PMID 19072678.
With regard to Axis II, Cluster A personality disorders (paranoid,
schizoid, schizotypal) were found in almost all participants (92% had
at least one diagnosis), and Cluster B (83% had at least one of
antisocial, borderline, histrionic, or narcissistic) and C (68% had at
least one of avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive) disorders also
were highly prevalent.
^ Goodman, Peter S., "Foreclosures Force Ex-Homeowners to Turn to
Shelters", The New York Times, 18 October 2009
^ An example is the
1999 Athens earthquake
1999 Athens earthquake in Greece in which many
middle class people became homeless and are still without a home as of
2009, with some of them living in containers, especially in the Nea
Ionia earthquake survivors container city provided by the government,
and in most cases their only property that survived the quake was
their car. Such people are known in Greece as seismopathis, meaning
^ Seymour, George "The Young and the Homeless" Online Opinion 9 April
^ The Yogyakarta Principles, Principle 11 and 15
^ Stephen W. Hwang MD MPH. "The effect of traumatic brain injury on
the health of homeless people". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
^ Coalition on
Housing in Ohio (17 September 2006).
Homelessness: The Causes and Facts Archived 18 June 2006 at the
Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2006-05-10.
^ For example, cf. "News Release: Personal Income for Metropolitan
Areas, 2006", Bureau of Economic Analysis.
^ Amster, Randall (2008). Lost in Space: The Criminalization,
Globalization, and Urban Ecology of Homelessness. New York: LFB
Scholarly. ISBN 1-59332-297-6.
^ Roark, Marc (28 February 2014). "
Homelessness at the Cathedral".
Working Paper Series. SSRN 2402925 . Missing or empty
^ Pendleton, Lloyd, The
Housing First approach to homelessness,
^ Beaudet, Mike, "FOX Undercover: Employees implicated in thefts from
local homeless" Archived 3 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine., FOX 25
TV, Boston, Tuesday, 22 February 2011
^ Smith, Stephen, "Shelter kitchen theft prevalent, report says", The
Boston Globe, 23 February 2011
^ Dromi, Shai M. (1 December 2012). "Penny for Your Thoughts: Beggars
and the Exercise of Morality in Daily Life". Sociological Forum. 27
(4): 847–871. doi:10.1111/j.1573-7861.2012.01359.x. Retrieved 16 May
^ Cox, William T. L.; Abramson, Lyn Y.; Devine, Patricia G.; Hollon,
Steven D. (2012). "Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Depression: The
Integrated Perspective". Perspectives on Psychological Science. 7 (5):
427–449. doi:10.1177/1745691612455204. PMID 26168502.
^ Thomas W. Sulcer, 10 September 2015, Westfield TAPinto, Westfield
Mom Rallies Community to Turn
Homeless Man’s Life Around in a Month,
Retrieved 11 September 2015, "..During one attack, all of his contact
information was taken from him ... lost the phone number and address
of his daughter... as well as important identifying documents....."
^ Yim L and others, 'Prevalence Of Mental Illness Among Homeless
People In Hong Kong' (2015) 10 PLOS ONE
^ Lewan, Todd, "Unprovoked Beatings of
Homeless Soaring", Associated
Press, 8 April 2007.
^ National Coalition for the Homeless, Hate, "Violence, and Death on
Main Street USA: A report on Hate Crimes and Violence Against People
Experiencing Homelessness, 2008", August 2009.
^ "Police arrest three teenagers for hammering homeless to death".
Albuquerque News.Net. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
^ "Judge gives Alex Rios maximum sentence for homeless men killing".
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fight against homelessness in Europe.
InvisiblePeople.tv, Mark Horvath of InvisiblePeople.tv, telling the
stories of homelessness and the organizations trying to help
Report Card on Child
Homelessness by the American Institutes for
Research. Summarized in Child homelessness on the rise in US (November
2014), Palm Beach Post
Utah found a brilliantly effective solution for homelessness (February
2015), Natasha Bertrand, Business Insider
Bill of Rights
Four penny coffin
Homeless Friendly Precincts
Homelessness Action Week
Homeless Persons' Week
Homeless World Cup
International Year of Shelter for the Homeless
Homelessness Matters Day
No fixed abode
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