Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness among women and children. Nearly 50% of homeless women and children are fleeing abuse in their home environment. Most women in an abusive situation don’t have the resources to leave, but if she stays at home, they may risk being injured again. Choosing homelessness over abuse is a brave and frightening decision many women with children make.
Another leading cause of homelessness is mental illness; 6% of the American population suffers from mental illness, whereas in the homeless population, that number jumps to 25%. Severe mental conditions can interfere with one’s ability to carry out functions critical for daily life, such as self-care and household management. Without assistance, these men and women have little chance of gaining stability.
Did you know that on any night, as many as 200,000 military veterans sleep on the street? This is due to the high percentage of veterans with post-traumatic stress, which continues to grow as more and more soldiers return. Once they produce and cannot cope, some leave homes, loved ones, and jobs behind for homelessness and addiction.
Throw Away Teens
Unfortunately, another common cause of teen homelessness is family conflicts. Disagreements surrounding drug/alcohol addiction, sexual orientation, or teen pregnancy can get teens thrown onto the street. Mental illness can also play a significant role in teen homelessness, just as it does for adults. Teens in foster care often end up on the street after they “age out” of the system at age 18 with nowhere else to go.
Grief and Despair
Lastly, and not always as identifiable, grief and despair can be significant factors for homelessness. It’s not uncommon to discover that most men and women in homeless shelters are burdened by grief. Grief and despair can become a roadblock to living. Whether it’s the death of a loved one or other significant trauma, grief can drive many people into homelessness, or on the verge of homelessness, into addiction. Addiction and apathy lead to the loss of jobs and homes. They stop caring if they live or die. “Once you get down this low, it’s hard to get back up,” we often hear homeless men and women say.
Be part of the solution with ShowerUp; contact us today to get involved.