Have you ever wondered how people become homeless? Well, it is not always for the reasons you might think it is. We understand that there are many misconceptions and assumptions that are often made regarding those who are suffering from being homeless.
We are here to help those who have experienced homelessness explain what it was like for them and how it has impacted them since. On our Facebook page, we asked our follower’s who have been or are currently homeless to express some of these misconceptions and share their experiences with us. We understand that everyone’s situation is different and want to help in any way that we can starting by sharing your stories.
Becoming Homeless: Getting Laid Off
There are many people who have become homeless for reasons beyond their control, like getting laid off and not being able to find a new job quickly enough to pay rent. Bills begin to pile up and many individuals and families are forced to make difficult decisions, like using up all of their savings and still not being able to get ahead.
Becoming Homeless: Stereotyping Others’ Lifestyles
Many believe that people who become homeless deserve it or that it is a result of their lifestyle choices. People often assume the worst of others because of their living situations and begin labeling them as being lazy, not trying hard enough, a deadbeat, irresponsible, or an active drug and alcohol abuser. This is not the case for every single person in this population, especially considering just how many families are homeless.
Becoming Homeless: The Impact of Living Situations
In reality, it is common for people to become homeless simply due to their living situations. For example, there are many women and children who become homeless after leaving their abusive partners. Sometimes it is as simple as being unfairly evicted by a landlord and not having the resources or help needed to relocate. “I have been homeless because our rental was sold out from under us… We were both working at stable jobs and were trying to get bills paid off and our credit cleaned up when it happened. It took us 5 months to find another place [we] could afford,” Caiya W. explained what it was like to be unexpectedly homeless.
These individuals have learned to carry themselves in ways that no one would ever know that they are homeless for fear of being categorized as someone who has chosen this type of life path. “I’ve met mother’s that left a[n] abusive husband with kids! Met men that lost jobs. Housing makes homeless people wait on a list, in Florida it was a 5 year waiting list,” as described by Cindy G. and her experience with being homeless. It is not always an easy task to immediately find a dependable source of income.
Becoming Homeless: Not Enough Resources or Guidance
As a result of not finding adequate assistance, escalation can begin a downward spiral into drug use, alcoholism, prostitution and other kinds of problems. It is also common for people to be labeled as homeless simply because of their living situations, even if they are staying with a loved one. Korrine P. has personally experienced this misunderstanding, stating that there are many types of homeless people. She said, “That you’re on the street or shelter. Sometimes you’re homeless but living in someone’s home.” This is where the stereotyping starts for most individuals.
Becoming Homeless: Living Day to Day
Other times people find that the most difficult parts of being homeless are simple, day to day things that the average person does easily. One individual named JA B. says that “The hardest part is finding work and a place to live so you can shower and keep what clothes you have clean.” Everyone’s situation is different and it is important that these individual’s receive the resources and aid that they so desperately need.