Homelessness is an extremely pressing problem nowadays, which actually has always been a burning issue. It was first documented in America in 1640. Since that time, the number of homeless people has only been growing. According to various estimates, there are almost 650,000 homeless in the USA, while the NLCHP – the National Law Center of Homelessness and Poverty declares as many as 3.5 million. The reasons why such a great amount of people has once found themselves in the streets are variable. Natural disasters, like tornado and hurricanes and some other related catastrophes, have contributed much to that. Some people became homeless after being laid off from the job, losing their family, or surviving a house fire. So, nowadays, hundreds of thousands of people have no other option but to stay out in the streets, shelters, parks, etc.
Being a critical issue, homelessness has drawn the educators’ attention. That’s why students often write research papers and essays about homelessness and its various aspects.
Causes and reason of homelessness
In this section, we will consider the main causes of homelessness, which you can use as a basis for your paper.
The first group of factors is applied to the personal situations of the individuals. They may be associated with certain stressful events like job loss, house fires, a crisis in personal life like divorce or cases of domestic violence, problems with addictions or mental health, brain injury, or even fetal alcohol syndrome. The reasons why people become homeless may also be extreme poverty, mental health, or substance abuse problems in the family. Violence at home also has a direct and undeniable connection to homelessness.
Structural factors are social and economic issues, which influence the social environment and opportunities of the individuals. Lack of earnings, no access to the medical care, and discrimination are among them. Unfortunately, economic shifts countrywide and local generate challenges for citizens; they are forced to look for opportunities to earn more as they spend more on foodstuff and housing. The poor individuals often fail to cover their vital necessities such as childcare, education, housing, and healthcare.
Finally, systems failures are the ones, which occur when the care and support systems fail, making individuals look for their new way around, but in the streets. The examples of such may become the difficulties with moving of the individuals from child welfare, release from health facilities, hospitals, and correctional facilities without proper rehabilitation; lack of backing for immigrants and refugees also belong here.
Let’s go into more detail and consider the following reasons for homelessness in the US.
Unemployment is the main issue leading to homelessness. About 16% of US citizens live under the poverty line, meaning they fail to cover their everyday life expenditures.
Personal or family crisis. Individuals having steady income may be kicked into the street due to an emergency of some kind, which arises in the family. Each unforeseen situation threatens housing loss for those people who live already in scarcity. It may actually be something like simple car towing, poor health condition, or the death of a family member. Divorce, being an expensive matter, also influences the earnings of each participant and may quickly spin a person into living rough.
Unaffordable housing. In the USA, you are unlikely to be able to cover the expense of an average 2-bedroom flat anywhere around the country if only 1 family member is employed and paid a minimum wage.
Demographics. There is little statistics for the young generation homelessness, so the term “invisible homeless” – is often applied in this case. Young people can easily hang out with friends and do not need any services, that’s why it's difficult to make accurate estimations in this age group. Approximately 8% of the homeless American population is constituted by unaccompanied young people and children 380,000 individuals are still under 18 years old.
Substances abuse and problems with mental health. In 2013, every fifth homeless in the US suffered from chronic substance abuse. Altogether, such people made more than 130,000 US citizens. For this category of people, permanent supportive housing is vital, as they need to have a stable place where they can stay, combined with proper assistance and essential services to benefit from. According to an estimation made in the USA, about 20% of the homeless American population suffer from mental illnesses; veterans are a part of this category, struggling not only with a mental disorder but with PST - posttraumatic syndrome. Such people have a lot of challenges every day and often stay homeless for a longer period.
The usual effects of homelessness
It is also quite important to aware of the consequences that homelessness can bring:
Certain consequences of facing homelessness are quite obvious – it is the change in the overall lifestyle and worsening of the health conditions; some problems with health may even lead to death.
Though mental illnesses are often viewed as the reason for homelessness, they may also be its consequence. When a person loses everything he or she has worked and lived for, he or she may have a deep emotional impact resulting in mental problems. Malnutrition, a nutritional insufficiency, is another usual problem of the homeless. People living rough can’t afford eating out or having homemade meals; they often eat spoiled or even rotten food, which is definitely unhealthy and even dangerous.
Homeless individuals often suffer from heart diseases, colds, tuberculosis, sleep deprivation, skin infections, drug abuse, and AIDS.
Unfortunately, people living in the street often become the victims of physical and sexual exploitation, where the risk of sexual assault is 20 times higher for women having no home than for those who have it. Besides, lots of accidents of such kind remain unreported. The US National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty has reported more than six hundred attacks with baseball bats, chains, and other kinds of weapons in the past decade.
Possible solutions to the problem of homelessness
All around the world, experts on homelessness have solutions they think will work best. Lately, the idea of “managing homelessness” has shifted to “ending homelessness” in the US. The state has focused on certain subgroups - veterans, “chronic homeless,” families, and the young generation. Such efforts may help to develop new partners and shape public information awareness of what is needed to end homelessness. So, let’s consider some effective strategies in fighting with homelessness issue:
It’s obvious that housing is the most important base for solving the problem of homelessness. Actually, housing equals security, safety, and care. It is a firm Launchpad, which allows a person to be employed and keep the job, as well as to find a proper place in society. The right to housing is a basic right of every human being, and stable life is impossible without it. Overall national commitment is required to guarantee affordable housing for everyone.
The following important aspect in the struggle against homelessness is the right for shelter, which should be guaranteed as an essential legal protection for those having no home, whether it’s a family, a child, or an adult individual. In your paper, you should underline that sometimes a place to stay may become a decisive factor between life and death. It’s important to prevent the homeless from sleeping in the streets and city parks, subway, and other public places, which can lead to various cold-related injuries, like hypothermia or some others. The right to shelter protects thousands of homeless people. When individuals or families in a rough life situation have access to someplace to stay in, they may regain their life stability and start seeking permanent residence.
Definitely, housing is important, but it is not enough. All people need services: child care, transportation, health care, treatment, case management, education, and supported employment. Without all these, people will return to the streets due to instability. Society must do its best to ensure accessible, available, affordable, and comprehensive support to those individuals who have faced penury.
What can you do?
It’s not a secret that each of us can make a difference and change this world a bit. So let’s see how can you contribute to the solution of the issue:
Analyze possible policies and measures which can help overcome governmental bureaucracies. Housing assistance, for instance, can help escape homelessness to young people who have grown out of foster care, or low-income people with mental illness who leave hospitals, or those individuals, who exit correction institutions. Such people can benefit from such services as job training or counseling. You may prepare an essay or a speech on this topic and present it to the interested parties.
Donate your recyclables to the homeless collecting cans and bottles. It’s a win-win, by the way.
Donate to local shelters, food drives, churches, or coalitions.
Help the helpers - contribute to non-profits or other similar organizations that assist the homeless. They know how to spend your dollar with maximum efficiency.
You can also help in shelters or soup kitchens in various ways and fundraise as well at your school or workplace! You can even organize a food drive yourself, and more than that, get involved in local policymaking.
Some facts about homelessness
The facts below may be helpful in the process of paper creation.
The overall amount of the homeless population worldwide reaches an overwhelming figure of 100 million people.
In the US, there are almost 650,000 homeless; 37 percent of them have families, 25 percent are single women and about 20 are children, 25 percent suffer from mental disorders, while 35 percent have substance abuse problems.
21 percent of the homeless have graduated from high school, and 27 percent have higher education. Almost 45 percent of people in the street take occasional jobs and work about 30 hours weekly.
New York and California are the highest homeless areas, with hotspots in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
Above 90 percent of women found themselves in the streets due to domestic violence cases.
Young people commonly get into the street being kicked out by parents, having no opportunities to earn their living, lacking healthcare or due to the violence at home, relationship breakdowns, social exclusion, and forced eviction.
Homelessness is illegal. Don’t you want to discuss it in your argumentative essay on homelessness? A quarter of the US towns consider begging in public illegal, about a third prohibits to stand or wander around in the cities, almost 20 percent makes it law-breaking to sleep in the street, more than a half prohibit simply sit or lie in public places. Some cities even criminalize the feeding of the homeless according to their law.
Public libraries play a vital role for the homeless population, not only allowing free access to the computers and the Internet but also provide them assistance in job search and even employ social workers.
How to work on your essays on homelessness
In case you’ve got your assignment and feel a bit unsettled, just follow the simple steps and your assignment guidelines, and you are guaranteed to get perfect paper.
First of all, you should make up your mind as to the topic you’ll work on. No matter if your professor proposes a topic or you chose it yourself, try to select the one which arises your interest. Carefully study the sources available, find some decent essay examples, and approach your work with a critical spirit.
In the course of your work, you should turn to primary sources as well as secondary ones. Primary research is the one you perform in the field or during the work with the original sources, while secondary research stands for the process of working with the findings made by the other people. Secondary research material can be obtained in various ways – libraries’ databases, mass media, websites (it’s important to turn to reputable sources, like .org, .gov, or .edu.)
Put down the important information, facts, and sources, mind map your ideas, or use note cards to keep in mind the essential paraphrases and quotations. In order to avoid problems with citations, write down the title, author, and page number of the source used.
Revise your paper and proofread it carefully for spelling and punctuation, double-check your reference page, and make sure your work meets all the formatting requirements.
Homelessness essay outline
Working on a homelessness essay outline is an important step of your whole writing process. That is why we have decided to describe all the important points of your outline:
Introduction. To raise the interest of the readers, you should make the question challenging and create your homelessness essay introduction in such a way that the audience is eager to study your work up to the end. You should also think about an intriguing hook for essay about homeless as it is the first sentence your reader will see. Finally, make sure that you have developed a strong homelessness thesis statement that summarized the main idea that will be considered in the paper.
Main body. This is the most extended part of your homelessness essay, which usually consists of 3-5 paragraphs. In this section, you need to present all the facts, arguments, and evidence.
Conclusion. The main task in this part is restating homelessness essay thesis. You also need to write an interesting final sentence, which calls for further reflection. By the way, keep in mind that your homeless essay conclusion should not include any new information.
Homelessness essay topics
Finally, you are struggling to find a good topic for your homelessness paper, you are free to choose among these ones:
Homelessness persuasive essay: should homelessness be considered illegal?
What is homelessness essay
Helping homeless people essay
Homelessness in America essay
Poverty and homelessness essay
Causes of homelessness essay
Persuasive essay about providing shelter for homeless
Helping the homeless essay
Solutions to homelessness essay
Homeless problem solution essay
Essay on homeless youth
Essay about homelessness cause and effect
Essay about helping feed the homeless
How to write a research paper on homelessness?
So, here are the best tips for writing a research paper on homelessness:
Choose a topic to research. You need to find a topic, which is both relevant for your target audience and interesting for you. Besides, you need to make sure that there is a lot of information on your topic on the Web.
Organize your research. In this case, making an outline will be of great help. Put all the important points and research directions in your plan, and you will never miss anything in the course of writing.
Think about the references. As it is a research paper, you need to work on a great number of sources. Make sure that they are up-to-date and reputable.
Proofread your paper. This way, you will eliminate all the mistakes that spoil the impression from your research.
Research questions about homelessness
If you have literally no idea in what direction you should move on, get acquainted with the following research questions. Perhaps, some of them will inspire you:
Is homelessness a serious world problem?
What factors lead to homelessness?
Is homelessness a first- or third-world problem?
What are the economic consequences of homelessness?
What steps can be taken to fight homelessness?
Homelessness research paper outline
Outlining is also a very important stage of research paper writing. Therefore, let’s pay attention to it and review the most important parts:
Introduction. This is actually a presentation of your research. A classic intro has to be short and interesting for your audience. Make sure you used some interesting fact of statistics and paid enough attention to thesis and hypothesis.
Homelessness research paper thesis statement and hypothesis. Thesis statement of your paper has to be brief, concise, and strong. Hypothesis is also an important part of any research. We recommend you looking for examples of statement of hypothesis for a homelessness research paper on the Web to write a really good one.
Main part. Here, you need to conduct a literature review, collecting the ideas of the most outstanding professionals. The main thing is to rewrite all the information to avoid any plagiarism issues.
Conclusion. In your final part, you need to restate your thesis statement and repeat some essential points of the paper. Any new information is not acceptable in this case as well.
Finally, a tip for you: if you really have no time for planning on your own, find a good homelessness research paper outline sample and modify it for the purposes of your study.
Research paper ideas about homelessness
Finally, let us present you with some really goodhomelessness research paper topic ideas:
Homelessness ethics research paper
Can homelessness ever be ended?
Research papers on homelessness in America
Can homelessness ever be ended?
What steps can be taken to fight homelessness?
Analytical research paper on causes of homelessness
What laws exist to control homelessness?
Research paper on the effects of homelessness
Economic consequences of homelessness
Essay paper writing
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