| by BY KAYLA ROBBINS |OCTOBER 28, 2019| Invisible People
#homelessness could happen to you....We so often (conveniently) forget that someone who has no #home is still an #American, a member of our #community and that people become #homeless for many reasons. Ask yourself, have I ever stopped to hear their #story or do I just believe what I see in the #media?
You’ve heard it before: the root cause of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing.
That’s still true. However, anyone can become homeless. Setting aside the structural factors and systemic failures, here are the most common individual causes of homelessness.
Because this is a more personal look at the subject, I’ve included examples of someone who became homeless in these various ways.
Eviction or Foreclosure Unsurprisingly, losing your home can result in homelessness. It did for William when he lost his Detroit home to foreclosure in 2007 while undergoing treatment for colon cancer. It’s a huge change, and with the limited notice you’re sometimes given, it’s incredibly difficult to scrape together enough money for a security deposit along with first and last month’s rent. Rosalind is one such person who was evicted from her apartment and subsequently became homeless. That was four years ago now.
With housing prices rising across the country, many find themselves suddenly priced out of an apartment they’ve rented for years. Without the extra funds when prices increase by 50, 100, or even 200 percent, people must prepare for eviction.
Even worse, you may not even be given the option of paying ridiculously inflated rent. Your landlord may just decide to kick you out in order to sell the property for a hefty price. Or, he may turn your unit into a more lucrative, short-term vacation rental. This increase in malicious evictions is what led the UK government to ban no-fault evictions, though many individuals and families who became homeless as a result of these evictions in previous years are still without housing.
Ending a Relationship The end of a relationship can be a painful time for anyone. But the pain is magnified when it also forces you into homelessness. If you depend on a romantic partner or even a family member to provide housing, you could find yourself without a place to stay at the drop of a hat if the relationship suddenly goes sour.
It happens far too often. And, if one doesn’t have the necessary resources to quickly get into alternate housing, the end of a relationship could be the beginning of a period of homelessness. It has happened to men like Mark, and women like Michelle.
Domestic Violence A 2014 survey of 25 US cities showed that 15% of all homeless adults were survivors of domestic violence. Escaping domestic violence is a huge cause of homelessness for women, youth, and families. Often, survivors of domestic violence are cut off from their support networks and their finances, leaving them little resources with which to make their escape. A few brave people, like Monica, manage to break free anyway, though they may very well become homeless in the process.
Coming Out As LGBTIQ+ This is a big one, particularly for homeless youth. Many young people who come out to their families as gay, bi, trans, or any label that doesn’t fit in with their family’s values, may find themselves kicked out of their homes. That’s what happened to Jaleel when he came out as gay, and to JoJo when she came out as trans.
Health Issues Sudden health issues can be catastrophic for many in America. An injury, illness, or other medical event can quickly eat through any savings. It may cost you your job and even your home. Even if it’s not you who gets sick or injured, but a family member, as was the case for Carol, you may both end up homeless as a result.
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