Analysis of Homelessness – The Who, How & Why!
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.