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Olumide O.

Ogunrayi
ESOL 052
Prof. Robbins
July 2, 2014
Causes of Homelessness in America
The powerhouse America in all its strength and fame is faced with a dilemma that is affecting
other nations around the world both great and small. This elusive problem is something that
affects people of different races, religions and upbringings. It not only affects great cities in
America but it has seeds everywhere, According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development, 633,732 people across America are homeless (http://en.wikipedia.org, June 23,
2014). The problem so far, has and can be linked to a variety of causes ranging from, but not
limited to unemployment, eviction, natural disasters, mental illness, and addiction
First of all, the issue of homelessness is something that has being plaguing the land of the free as
early as the deep recession of 1982 to 1983, which according to the American Journal of Public
Health, brought upon the American public a great outpour of individuals into the unemployment
market. According to the deptofnumbers.com there are 9,799,000 unemployed individuals in the
United States, also a report on onecpd.info shows that there are over 600,000 homeless
individuals in the country, truly a sad situation. There is a growing influx of people into the
unemployment market, according to an article on the huffingtonpost.com, unemployment is
seen as one of the key problems of the American economy, it also stated that around 37% of
working age Americans have no jobs (TheHuffingtonPost.com, Feb. 2014). Due to the fact that
most of the homeless individuals have lost their job, which lead to basic life amenities being
viewed as too expensive that eventually resulted to the loss of their homes. In my opinion, most
of the people living on the streets or shelters today have become so due to the fact that their only
means of surviving was shut down. After a lot of personal reflection, I have discovered that most
of the workers are getting fired on a day-by-day is actually affecting the upward rate of
homelessness in America.
Second cause of homelessness in America is the issue of eviction. According to my observations,
most people are evicted because they couldnt pay the house rent due to lack of support from
friends and family. For example, my neighbor once said He was homeless for 6 years despite
being a citizen of America He got evicted because he couldnt pay for his rent; even though, he
has a very good family and generous friends. In my opinion, these days, people dont often get
paid well for a job well done, except for the well-educated ones. Most of this people are being
cheated because some of them are not well educated, so they are taken advantage off at work by
paying them lower wages, which might at the end of the day get them evicted since they cant
pay up their house rent. According to an article on motherjones.com, from around 2007, the
foreclosure crisis has displaced at least 10 million people from more than four million homes
across the country. Families have been evicted from colonials and bungalows, A-frames and
two-family brownstones, trailers and ranches, apartment buildings and the prefabricated cookie-
cutters that sprang up after World War II. The displaced are young and old, rich and poor, and of
every race, ethnicity, and religion. They are up to approximately the entire population of
Michigan (Mother Jones, Aug. 2013).
Natural disaster is another cause of homelessness in America. Natural disaster which may
involve: floods, hurricane, earthquakes and other ways Mother Nature decides to punish us.
Floods which are mostly caused by excessive rainfall, excessive snow melting, dam failure, and
storms from hurricanes have destroyed a lot of homes in America hereby causing people to
become homeless. According to npach.org, Natural disasters can increase significantly the
number of homeless people in a matter of hours. After Hurricane Katrina the number of
homeless was around four times the previews amount. Natural disasters temporary spikes
homeless population. But in the case of Katrina, homeless population have even increased.
Seems like being a victim of a natural disaster is no longer a guarantee of help (npach.org).
Natural disasters often cause current housing situations to become untenable and costly repairs
are often simply not possible. The results of Hurricane Katrina stand in bleak testimony to the
power of nature to displace people (homeaid.org). Another example is the case of the Colorado
flood of September 2013, which left 1,600 people homeless. Many people got stranded in remote
areas cut off by floodwater. In October 30, 2012 there were 50,000 people homeless in New
York city during the unfortunate hurricane sandy, these people were not even considered by the
weather emergency; even though, there were clear immediate needs for shelter because they had
been in the storm all night.
Finally, the most frustrating part of homelessness in America is mental illness. A mental illness
is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others
and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical
conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life
(namo.org). According to my observations, the poorly educated people feel very remorseful for
their selves, whenever they think of their past and the fact that they were not educated they begin
to feel and get frustrated the more, thus, leading to depression, a serious mental illness.
To sum up, the idea of homelessness, in a world leading industrialist/capitalist nation is one that
can be viewed as oil being found in a large pool of water. They dont just mix, and ruin the
amazing image future immigrants have no idea about. Homelessness has affected many people in
the America, both physically and emotionally. Some people become homeless because they get
evicted from the house which they live in due to lack of sufficient funds. Some because of
natural disasters and some it is because they are unemployed. Solutions in forms of ideas and
charities have been set up to try and aid the homeless, but what really can a few individuals with
their own problems truly do. In a nation more focused on fighting wars in other countries than in
its own, can the issue of homelessness truly be tackled effectively?




















Works Cited

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Travelandtourworldcom. N.p., 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 02 July 2014.
Rosenheck, Robert. "Editorial: Homelessness in America." Ed. Mervyn Susser. American
Journal of Public Health 84 (1994): 1885-886. Aphapublications.org. Dec. 1994. Web. 30 June
2014. <http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.84.12.1885>.
"Top Causes of Homelessness in America." HomeAid. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2014.
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Gottesdiener, Laura. "The Great Eviction: Black America and the Toll of the Foreclosure Crisis."
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<http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/black-america-foreclosure-crisis>.
Goyette, Braden. "Unemployment The Number 1 Problem For Americans, Gallup Poll Says."
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<http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness>.