Homelessness is far more complicated than asking whether or not someone is forced to live in public. There are four general types of homelessness used to provide clarity as to what exactly the experience may look like: transitional homelessness, episodic homelessness, chronic homelessness, and hidden homelessness.
When we think of homelessness we often picture an individual living on the streets asking for money, food, or some sort of assistance. However, there is a large community of individuals experiencing homelessness that are not as noticeable: those that live in vehicles. Sarah Rankin, director of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project at Seattle University School of Law, says that those living in cars are the fastest-growing segment of the United States’ homeless population. While there is insufficient data to provide an exact number, it is estimated that about 100,000 individuals currently live in a vehicle throughout the nation.