Different people end up in the streets for various reasons. Most of the reasons are tragic, other than willingness. Let us be realistic, no one would want to sleep in the cold or go hungry. No one would not want to enjoy the warm food, a hot bath and the warm bed that the rest of the housed people do have. It is just that these people lack an alternative that fits best to their situation. Some would be undergoing trauma from being physically, sexually and emotionally abused in their families. It could be parents, spouses, adoptive parents or any other relatives abusing them.
With nowhere else to go, they could end up in the streets. Other people would be undergoing some trauma, like with most army veterans who struggle with post traumatic stress disorder.
They may feel their family does not understand or appreciate them. They run to the streets in search of people who may help them go through their ordeal. There are also others who have grown up being told they are not worth anything. For this reason, they feel they are not worth anything good, including a comfortable home. . The reasons for homelessness are endless. With this in mind, it is clear that no one chooses to be homeless.
They are forced by a certain circumstance. So we ask ourselves, what are these circumstances that can make someone want to be homeless?
Do people choose to be homeless?
Yes, some people do choose to be homeless. In actual sense, no one would want to live in the harsh weather conditions. They are forced by certain circumstances. There is no enough evidence to substantiate these claims. In a bid to answer this question, we are going to look at some of those circumstances.
There are several myths that exist, about the issue of being homeless. Most people believe some folks would choose to be homeless so that they can freely engage in drug and substance abuse. Although there are few of those that abuse drugs or are addicted to alcohol, this assumption is entirely not true. There are a good number that does not engage in any of these addictions. As a matter of fact, some study shows that less than 4 out of 10 homeless people are addicted to alcohol, and less than 3 out of 10 homeless people abuse other drugs. It further indicates that the most common problem among homeless people is trauma, and not drug and substance abuse or mental illness.
People experiencing abuse by their family or relatives live in fear. It is said that those who are sexually abused feel so embarrassed to share their ordeal with anyone else. So if for example a teen is abused by their own father or a step father, they will shy to tell their mothers. With no one to defend them or live with, they run to the streets where they feel safe from this type of abuse. They feel that their pursuer cannot follow them there.
Others have people following them, wanting to hurt them for various reasons. It could be that they owe huge debts to dangerous people and they are not able to pay them, hence threatened with physical injury or even death. Take for example someone who used to work for a criminal and they owe them money that they are not able to pay. It is obvious that such criminals might kill or hurt them physically. These victims may fear going to the authority for protection, in fear that they might end up in jail. So the better option is the street where they are aware of their surroundings and hard for their pursuers to reach them.
To avoid responsibilities:
With the state of economy worsening each and every day, life sometimes life becomes almost unbearable. Food, insurance, mortgage and utility bills are so expensive to pay. Instead of struggling with life and try to land a job, some people feel that by going to the street, life will be easier since they will not have to pay the bills or buy food. It is true; life becomes easier since they do not have to cater for all those expenses. But on the other hand, what they forget is that by evading the responsibilities that is not helping solve the situation. They run to the streets forgetting that life could be even harder than at home; there is hunger, diseases, lack of social amenities, lack of shelter, risks of physical abuse, sexual harassment and being run over by cars. However, a number of individuals choose to live outside because they are poor and cannot the life at home.
Homeless shelters have religious affiliation:
Many churches in the United States have community programs to help the less fortunate in the society. Among the programs is the homeless and rescue shelters. This is a very noble cause since not everyone is concerned with the welfare of these people. What churches may not know is that some people may not love the idea of religion affiliation, especially those that have different religious ideologies like atheism. But all in all, there are those that really benefit from such shelters, in terms of somewhere to escape the harsh weather, food and clothes. While some few of them keep away from the shelter because they feel like they are compromising on their beliefs.
Most homeless shelters are for night time:
Most homeless shelters are run by small organizations like churches and volunteers. They lack enough resources to accommodate the homeless on a full time basis. They get their little resources from the congregants and well wishers, resources that are not enough to cater for a larger group of people. For this reason, they transform the church into a dormitory to house the homeless only at night and perhaps offer them a meal. They thrive on the little they have or can get. At the day break, they have to leave and go be on their own for the day. This is regardless of the weather conditions. The churches have to house other church events during the day so it is impossible to accommodate them. They have to wait until night time for them to come back. In case someone is late, for whatever reason, they miss a spot at the church and they have to sleep outside.
Fear of intrusion on their privacy:
Most government-run and few of non-governmental-run homeless shelters require that those going to seek their services adhere to certain code of conduct, registration being one of them. Reasons for not wanting to register could be sinister or tragic. For example, if someone left their family to live on the streets willingly, they may not want their families to know where they are. Bearing in mind that being homeless is a crime in a number of states, they fear that by sharing their personal information may result to being arrested or taken back to their families. Others may have committed crimes when leaving their home cities and would not want to give out their details because this would automatically have them arrested and charged in a court of law.
Some parents who are going through so many struggles with the economy may sometimes become depressed. As a result, they may become excessively harsh on their kids by scolding them, imposing crazy curfews and way too many strict rules.
Children living under such conditions will feel like they are imprisoned and may end up in the streets in pursuit of their ‘freedom’. They prefer the streets or the woods where no one will order them around, tell them when to get home and there are literally no rules.
Apart from the streets, where else do the homeless live?
In rare cases, homeless people live in tents in the woods. This does not happen often because in the woods they are more insecure and prone to attacks by wild animals. Life in the woods is tougher than in the streets because there are no frequent by passers to offer them food, money and other stuff they need for survival.
Why is being homeless a crime in some cities?
Authorities in these cities assume that the homeless are more likely to engage in crimes such as mugging and assault more than the housed. What should I buy before becoming homeless? Before becoming homeless, you should first ensure you have a warm blanket, some spare clothes, basic items and a good mattress. Although these will wear off after some time, at least they will give you a bit of service.