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What Is Homelessness? Essay

2303 words - 10 pages

Before going into the main subject this essay will be looking at various aspects of homelessness which includes the background history, the major causes of homelessness, sections of our community that are likely to become homeless and social construction of homelessness. Furthermore, I will also be looking at government policies, act of parliament as well as debates from different commentators on homelessness.
From my understanding there are people who make it a point to blame those who are homeless however, not all homeless people choose or wanted to be homeless. Some people become homeless through no fault of their own as society lead us to believe. People could become homeless due to ...view middle of the document...

Nonetheless, indications from my study suggest that majority of homeless people want to work and get back to normality but as in most cases, lack of adequate support meant that homeless people have no accommodation of their own to return to after work and as a result, they end up sleeping on the street. This kind of behaviour is seen as a deviant act in the society because, it does not fit in with society’s norms and values. Society’s perception of the homeless is that they are lazy and generally, view them as irresponsible drug users. Perhaps, on the down side society fell to recognise the fact that many homeless people suffers from illness which prevented them from working. In addition to the above, there may be many other reasons such as family break-up, loss of job, drug misuse sexual abuse, physical or emotional abuse.
To support this argument Walsh, et al (2000) emphasised that the causes of homelessness could be viewed in two ways. This could be due to personal circumstances of the homeless person, such as drug misuse, alcohol problems, institutional background, unemployment, globalisation and mental illness. The second approach is to examine the wider social or structural factors which could be explain like those personal circumstances. For example, rent arrears may be as a result of government economic policy, which outcome might be a decline in employment opportunities. Other common causes of homelessness is said to emanate from dispute within the wider family or friends. About 30 per cent of households marked as homeless were people who had been told by family or friends that they could no longer stay with them. About 8 per cent of those identified as homeless were in arrears with payments of the mortgage or rent (Walsh et al 2000). Furthermore, approximately 26 per cent of this group were identified as homeless as a result of the breakdown of their relationships.
Some of the structural causes of homelessness appear to point at the number of properties available for rent for the low income and jobless groups in society. Local authority social housing has continued to be sold off to tenants as a result of the ‘Right to Buy’ legislation however, on the other hand there has been limited development in the way of properties by local authorities and housing association. Another cause of homelessness is as a result of unemployment, raising property cost and low wages. An ideal situation would have been a reflection of adequate housing resource in areas of high unemployment and low wages. Having said that, in the South of England there are low unemployment when compared to the northern part of the country however, affordable housing are scarce therefore, resulting in both high rents and house prices. In conclusion, the structural explanation was that the wider social and economic context contributes to this situation.
The effects of homelessness could have negative effects socially and economically in different ways. Also,...

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