use at least 3 of these quotes :
Many people still think of homeless transients as alcoholic and/or mentally disabled loners. The truth is, the current homeless population consists of single adults, families, battered women and runaway adolescents. Their only characteristic in common is the lack of a fixed, adequate and permanent residence. Social and economic factors and other circumstances beyond the individual’s control have led to a gradual increase in family homelessness (Rafferty, 1990).
During a conference, members of the National Association of State Coordinators for the Education of Children and Youth cited eight basic causes of homelessness: 1) lack of affordable housing, 2) unemployment, 3) deinstitutionalization, 4) divorce/abandonment, 5) substance abuse, 6) natural catastrophe, 7) physical abuse and 8) eviction (Johnson & Wand, 1991). Whatever the causes may be, the result is an increasing population of homeless families with children (Stronge & Tenhouse, 1990).
As the homeless problem receives more attention, the profile of a homeless individual or family has changed (D’Andrea, 1992). We have learned that: 1) all types of people can find themselves homeless; 2) families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population; 3) homelessness has both societal and personal causes; 4) shelters are an emergency response to homelessness, not a solution; and 5) homeless people live in a variety of settings (Johnson & Wand, 1991).
Children and adolescents appear to suffer the most detrimental effects of homelessness (Heflin, 1991). The estimated number of homeless youths in the United States may be anywhere from 310,000 to 1.6 million (Heflin & Rudy, 1991). By the time a family becomes homeless, the effects of poverty, removal from a familiar environment, malnourishment and unhealthy living conditions have already begun to take their tell (Gewirtzman & Fodor, 1987).
Homeless families experience the disintegration of physical, spiritual, mental and emotional bonds. Parents must often decide between life on the streets as an intact family unit or separation into various shelters. Shelter personnel assume the responsibility for determining bedtimes, mealtimes, menus and other elements of daily routines, consequently undermining parents’ roles (Heflin & Rudy, 1991).