Homelessness can stem from a variety of factors such as job loss, mental and physical illness, abuse, and much more. These situations can leave people vulnerable and sometimes helpless, as they lack the resources to get back on their feet. As a result, homelessness can easily become a cycle that is extremely difficult to break.
Financial challenges commonly force individuals into homelessness. For example, an unexpected illness can render someone unable to work. As a result, that person loses their income and ability to pay for their basic needs, leaving them homeless. Recovering from these types of hardships is difficult, as many financial aid services require a home address when signing up. So, this by default rules out anyone living on the streets.
Additionally, services that provide aid to those experiencing homelessness are only short-term solutions. However, the United States seems to lack long-term solutions to homelessness, making it even more difficult for many to break the cycle.
Another thing that to consider is how homelessness can begin during childhood. Childhood homelessness often prevents young people from getting an education, thus making it difficult to get a job that pays a liveable wage. Also, childhood homelessness can cause mental health issues that can prevent individuals from securing a job.
There are many stories of individuals who became trapped in the cycle of homelessness. One story comes from Simon in the Streets, a UK-based organization that recently helped an unhoused man named Chris open a bank account. Chris told the organization that despite having a job and cash, landlords in the area refused to accept anything other than card payments or checks. Without a bank account, Chris could not move into any of these homes. However, without a home, Chris could not open a bank account, as he needed a home address to do so. Chris’ story is not unique; many individuals experiencing homelessness have many factors stacked against them, preventing them from getting back on their feet.
There are multiple organizations attempting to create long-term solutions for homelessness in order to break the cycle. Solutions for Change is one of these organizations. It offers a variety of ways that you can help, such as fundraising, donating, calling for action, and volunteering at an established nonprofit for homelessness.