Analysis of Homelessness - The Who, How & Why! [Chapter 1]

in homeless •  last year

Analysis of Homelessness – The Who, How & Why!

Chapter 1:Preconceptions

There are a wealth of preconceptions about the homeless. Sadly some of them are true; but most of them are just flat out wrong, discriminatory and sometime racist. For the majority of modern times "The Homeless" have been looked upon as a blight upon society. They have been regarded as outcasts, degenerates, socially or mentally ostricized and often times taken advantage of or abused.

The simple truth is that everyone who reads this is only a few mis-steps from being homeless, especially in the declining/slumping economy that most of the world is currently enduring. It doesn't take much to go wrong; to put most people "on the rocks" so to speak. I myself have been homeless multiple times in life and will be endeavoring to empart my unusual insight through the course of this book.

As mentioned earlier there are numerous preconceptions regarding the homeless. They include (but are not limited to):

  • They are all drug addicts or alcoholics
  • They are lazy and don't want to work
  • They are crazy, mentally challened or just completely unhinged
  • They rather be homeless than productive members of society
  • They are all criminals hiding from the law, or
  • They are convicts that can't get a job.

All of those preconceptions are true, sometime, but only account for a small fraction of the homeless population in the USA (and most likely the world). The truth is that the vast majority (80+%) of the homeless people are Victims. They have suffered a devestating loss either emotionally, physically, economically or have been abused/meglected to the point they ran with nothing and no where to go.

They are all drug addicts or alcoholics – It is very hard to find any accurate statistics on The Homeless, but I have met tens of thousands of homeless people in my life; while I was homeless and while I had a home. I can say with 100% certainty that 95% of them where not Drug Addicts or Alcoholics.

They are lazy and don't want to work – This preconception is insulting, to say the least. There are some "homeless" that refuse work but it is rarely because they are lazy. Many of them are not physically able to work, haven't eaten in days and don't have the energy to work, are sick, lack Identificaiton, or afraid they will loose any benefits and assistance they receive if they work. Faced with the choice of a few hours of work that often pays minimum wage or less (all homeless can get) they are better off, financially, not working and risking loosing their food stamps, medicaide, etc.

They are crazy, mentally challenged or just completely unhinged – This is most likely the truest preconception I have ever heard; but less than 10% of the homeless I have met throughout the 30+ years I have been on my own are crazy, mentally challened or unhinged. Most of the ones who are, became that way because of Societal or Familial Treatment/Abuse or are former Active Duty Military suffering extreme PTSD and can not get the help the need.

In fact over 90% of the homeless I have met with mental issues where ex military that saw combat and could not readjust to society when they returned from battle. There are very few assistance programs for PTSD sufferers and the ones that are out there are virtually impossible to get into. Which is probably why the highest suicide rates are among Active/Former Military; no other profession on Earth even comes close to Military suicide rates.

They rather be homeless than productive members of society – Really? Who in the hell believes this? The idea that a human being rather starve, spend all their time worrying about how/where they were gonna eat, sleep, etc. and about their personal safety while doing it is absolutely ludicrous! Now there are some people that have a "Nomadic Spirit" and do prefer to be "untethered" from society. While technically these people are homeless (by societal standards) they rarely see themselves as "homeless" but rather as "nomads", "free" or "survivalists". They are also typically much happier than most and actually work to travel. They are rarely bums, panhandlers or thieves.

They are all criminals hiding from the law – There are some people who become homeless to avoid a paper trail and tracking by law enforcement. They usually, however, work under the counter jobs and are not really homeless. They are often paranoid (about being discovered) and routinely only stay in one place a few days to a few weeks at most. The number of actually homeless people hiding from the law is most likely between 0 and .1% of the homeless population in the USA.

They are convicts that can't get a job – This is one of the largest segments of the homeless population in the USA. Most convicts upon release are required to Inform Potential Employers of their crimes and "release status" and as such most find it virtually impossible to find "gainful employment". They are often faced with "returning to a life of crime" or "becoming homeless". The smart ones choose "becoming homeless" and struggle to regain their place in society, often times dying in the streets having never managed to recover from the mistakes they served their time for.

While most of the preconceptions are actually misconceptions it is important to always remember, We Are All Human Beings who deserve a Chance to Become Productive Members of Society Once More. No matter why the circumstances, how long a person has been homeless, or what drove them to the streets they all deserve a helping hand, a safe place to live and a bed to lay their head upon at night.


If you are a traveler, homeless, vagabonding, couchsurfing or just have the spirit of a Nomad then join us over at #teemnomad on PAL Discord here:

"Freedom is living, living isn't freedom!" - by Richard Colbert (aka @venuspcs)




I am a proud supporter of minnowsupportproject (aka minnowsupport), if you haven't already joined check them out over on their Discord Channel by clicking below:


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4.1% = Tasty! :D

Fuck the stereotypes man, you're the best :)

Thank you for your article, it opened up my eyes to the different reasons people become homeless and it was very enlightening. So sad to see this happening so much in the USA.

Great article, I agree tides turn and before you know it anyone can be impacted and out of resources. around here in San Diego we have the highest "homeless" population in the country mainly because of our stable weather, I just wish people would treat them with respect unfortunately most people don't but it's harder on the people disrespecting when they find themselves in the same boat they just made fun of.

Nice, lots of details and insights on this post. :)

Yeah, this is a pretty accurate description.

"Freedom is living, living isn't freedom!"

I have so much to say on this issue ...
But i was at one time homeless its so scary to b sitting there with my 2 boys suitcases & my sister 10 min drive away has a 5 bedroom home she & husband no children 3 guestrooms but we r not allowed in as my second husband was half black ....
Great post!

We have been ministering to the homeless and disadvantaged in our area for the past 2 years. These are all accurate pre-assumptions. The one's who really look to get out of their situation are easy to spot and help. The others are our 'children' that never leave home. They are harmless and hungry.

The hardest part of the ministry is overcoming these assumptions by the general population and mostly the police. The empathy is missing. We have been able to find many of these folks homes, jobs, medical help and have reunited many with their families. None of the homeless give us trouble - it's people who are NOT HOMELESS that think we OWE them something. I tell them gently that we have nothing for them - please leave.

Thank you for your insight.
upvoted resteemed following

I like the whole "homeless" story. I choose to make choices to make myself uncomfortable, how many people can say that? To be a "productive" member of society and take pride in all of that crap is a fantacy. Security is a bunch of crap and if anybody believe that there is such a thing as security believes in fairytales because there is no such thing.

I did a little experiment and went to Florida this spring and went on a hike. On the way I met homeless people. I met some awsome people. They don't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of but I can say they are great people. I had a tent and they didn't but they made due with what they had. They didn't try to steal anything from me, not that I cared because it was just stuff. If you take the time to understand that they live a different way from what you do, they aren't just homeless. They are actually free humans that choose to live freely but are caught up thinking they have to depend.on the society to get what thet need to survive.

This is a world of perspectives so maybe you ought to change yours!

Something to think about. Have a great Sunday everybody!

Great post, Richard, and yeah, I believe your analysis is correct. :)

Resteeming this to 12,000+ followers. Hope it helps.


Thank you very much, maybe it will bring more people to steemit and help me a little too!

I heard 1 in 4 homeless people have some kind of mental well being issue, only very few on street because choose to be, I hope I never have spend long time on the streets, feel sorry for you guys but hang in there n light be at end of tunnel if you want it be.

Well said bro

I know a guy who was homeless as a teenager. His dad dissappear when he was younger, leaving his wife and two kids, and he kind of replaced his father around the house since he was the eldest brother. Then his mother met the wrong guy, brought him into the house and things got even more messed up. This guy didn't want his mom to work, he started restricting money and food from them, besides hitting his mom, so at one point he asked his mom to kick the stepfather out but she wasn't able to. So he decided to leave. Being to proud to ask for help or to tell anyone, even his friends, he just dissappeared, ditching school and everything. He lived in the streets for two years, I can't imagine what he must have gone through, he was just 15 years old. But I know he met some homeless people who saw his vulnerability and protected him, and taught him how to manage to find food and shelter. He never tasted alcohol or drugs then, nor now being 28 years old. Then he just said enough is enough and tried to forgive his mom, and came back. His friends said he came back changed and it took some years for him to be the cheerful guy he was before. Also he was able to talk about what he went through and they were shocked and couldn't understand why he didn't ask for help from them.

ya i was homeless for the better part of 10 years and im about to be homeless again so i know. thanks for getting the word out


Come to is a great place to be and be homeless.....if you got a Driver License when you get here I will hook you up!


Our ministry just sent a man to CO to be with his brother. They have jobs and a place to live.

I hope one day our society stops making it harder on people who already have it hard.

Great post, I loved being a Nomad, but it lasted for too little time.
Traded the life for a great woman and huge family.
Life is Good
I now have a stable place to have visitors at. and share travel stories, and steemit too :-)


I am assuming you live in Panama! When I start my "Steemian America's Tour" I am gonna find my way to your you or the wife can cook, I like to eat!


WE will take very good care of you :-)
I actually drove here after I had my wife in Canada for a year.
Here is the blog --->(* 11. $500.00 Car - Canada to Panama
Enjoy :-)

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I wouldnt have known this information about the homeless. Good luck!

this topic you wrote is so informative. And i agree everyone is just a few mis-steps from being homeless. Or some unfortunate events. Only recently, my neighbor's home unit burned down. Few more minutes of fire rescue delay would mean my unit goes down too.

thanks for sharing

I have not yet been homeless, thank God, but I do sympathize with those who fall on hard times and don't have the support system of friends and family to help get them back on their feet (I had that and that's the only reason I was never homeless).

One other preconception is that there are beggars who will stand at busy intersections and ask for handouts. I think many of these are scammers and not legit homeless people in need of help. Maybe there are some real homeless victims amongst them, but you really can't ever know, and perhaps they give people in real need a bad name.


I left that one out because "scammers " are not "homeless" and therefore it is not a "preconception about the homeless".


You are right, they're not the same, but I think that many people make that connection in their minds though. :(