Homelessness in the USA

Homelessness in the USA

Homelessness in the USA

Currently, the proportion of the USA population languishing in the state of homelessness is close to half a million (Henry, et. al, 2015). Such a number is significant and is not healthy for the country as it influences negatively on the quality of life of many of its citizens. As such, a look at this population is of the essence since it will shed more light about these persons, their health risks, and the environmental hazards that they have to face. Also, central to this analysis are the associated socioeconomic factors, and the inclusion as well as the exclusion criteria for this population. In light of this information, it is beyond doubt that one is in pole position to understand the plight of this section of the USA population.

To begin with, identification of the inclusion and exclusion criteria is of the essence in the analysis of this group of persons. A homeless person is anyone that sleeps outside, in an emergency shelter or benefiting from a transitional housing program (Henry, et. al, 2015). As such, the inclusion criteria of this study population encompass the definition of a homeless individual. On the contrary, the exclusion criterion is that it is not inclusive of persons that experience homelessness because of occupations, like long distance truck driving, that require one to stay away from home. Such is the case given that it fails to match with the definition of homelessness.

Secondly, the demographic characteristics of this group of individuals are also noteworthy. Homelessness affects all ages and genders across all the 50 states, though in different measures. That is the case given that the children and the elderly suffer most as they form the most vulnerable of all age groups to this fate. Additionally, persons of the male gender are more likely to become homeless as compared to their female counterparts. However, in the recent years, the proportion of women is also on the high given increased incidences of domestic violence (Henry, et. al, 2015).

Besides, stating the socioeconomic factors associated with this population is also crucial in understanding their plight. Socially, the homeless are subject of stigmatization and criminalization by other members of the society. Stigma is unavoidable to this section of the USA society due to factors like their mental illness or substance abuse. A case in point of criminalization is the arrest of this part of population whenever there is a crackdown on criminals. On the other hand, the economic status of this people is not any better since most of them have no employment and are poor. Thus, they have to put up in unsheltered locations because they are not able to match the high cost of housing (Fazel, Geddes, &Kushel, 2014). Evidently, with such socioeconomic factors, it is without a doubt that homelessness is inevitable.

That said, these people are thus at risk of contracting some illnesses as opposed to other people living in homes. A case in point is their predisposition to a condition like depression. Depression is common due to the individuals’ discontentment with their state of living. Furthermore, they are risk factors for skin conditions and malnutrition given their lack of water to bathe and food for eating respectively (Fazel, Geddes, &Kushel, 2014). Clearly, homelessness poses a significant health risk challenge to such persons.

Lastly, the homeless are also victims of certain environmental hazards. A typical example is the harsh weather conditions like rain and snows. Exposure to weather conditions of this kind makes one vulnerable to illness such as pneumonia. Additionally, the homeless also have to put up with insects and parasites that in most cases lead to ill health as well (Fazel, Geddes, &Kushel, 2014). Apparently, such instances depict the environmental hazards that this population faces.

In conclusion, indeed the homeless people in the USA are among the most vulnerable populations. Such is the case given the social injustices like stigmatization, health risks such as skin conditions and environmental hazards like bad weather condition that they put up with in their daily lives. With such revelation, it is thus high time that the USA government and its citizens take an active role in mitigating this situation. However, failure to do so will only heighten this challenge.




Fazel, S., Geddes, J. R., &Kushel, M. (2014).The health of homeless people in high-income countries: descriptive epidemiology, health consequences, and clinical and policy recommendations. The Lancet384(9953), 1529-1540.

Henry, M., Shivji, A., de Sousa, T., Cohen, R., Khadduri, J., &Culhane, D. P. (2015). The 2015 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, Part 1: Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness.