For the most part, no one wants to be homeless. Often, homelessness is the result of a job loss, medical issue, domestic violence or eviction. Individuals in these unfortunate situations often need help to rise out of the poverty they face in order to become productive members of society again.
When we help the homeless, we improve our community. Returning these individuals to a safe living arrangement and helping them return to work improves the economy. To get a job, these individuals need a safe place to live, a shower to stay fresh and clean, and necessities, such as shampoo, laundry detergent and deodorant.
Here's a look at some of the causes of homelessness.
Losing a job can lead to homelessness rather quickly. On average, a single person under the age of 35 has less than $10,000 in savings. With day-to-day bills, that money can run out in a few months.
These individuals who have lost their jobs can max out their credit cards while working hard to find another job. And while unemployment can help, it only covers part of their original income and runs out after a set period.
With time, bills become too much and those who have lost a job unexpectedly end up homeless despite their best efforts to avoid it.
Medical bills add up very quickly. On average, one day in a hospital costs more than $3,000 and the average bills for a hospital visit are well over $15,000. It's no surprise that such bills could leave a person in financial trouble.
Depending on the medical issues a person is facing, they also might not be able to work, leading to added strains on their household finances. And so the bills pile up and they can no longer make their mortgage or lease payments to keep living where they are.
As many as 57% of homeless women reported domestic violence as the reason for their homelessness. For some, becoming homeless is the only way to escape an abusive situation at home.
No woman chooses to be a victim of domestic violence, but some do choose homelessness over remaining trapped in an abusive relationship.
For a family of four living in the U.S., the poverty line is $26,200. This extremely low line to be considered in poverty means that many working families do not qualify for financial aid. In comparison, a livable wage is more than $60,000 for a family of four.
So they work as hard as they can as long as they can until their bills become too much and they get evicted. And then these individuals that don’t meet the guidelines for being considered in poverty must turn to homelessness due not having somewhere safe to live.
Ways helping the homeless improves communities
Helping the homeless improves local communities in a variety of ways.
· Improves the economy through increased cash flow
· Can decrease crime
· Helps prevent homeless persons from contracting diseases and infections
· Reduces government aid by returning people to work
Poverty Impact Network strives to make it simple and cost-effective to help homeless adults in your community. You can order care kits for nonprofits in your community and have them delivered directly to those in need. Or, host a care kit packing event as a team-building activity or alternative to inviting people to bring gifts to celebrate special occasions or birthdays. Check out our kit offerings for more information.