Homeless people are people who do not have a regular home. They live and sleep in the streets or in improvised shelters, under bridges or under the stars. The phenomenon has known an increase ever since the 1980s and many state officials and social aid organizations and institutions are addressing the issue head on.
But apparently this is quite a difficult problem to solve and apart from the resources it needs the implication of even more concerned citizens. Official data released to the press by the U.S. Government shows that there are more than 500, 000 homeless Americans. In January 2009 there were around 644, 000 homeless Americans all across the country and their numbers are constantly growing.
According to official data, which has been very well documented in the past decade, the main cause of homelessness in the U.S is the lack of affordable housing. Because of the economic crisis many people have lost their jobs and their houses. Also, many people who do have jobs are paid very very little so they cannot really afford to pay rent. Other homeless people have been abandoned by their families on account of diverse types of problems they are experiencing, substance abuse included. These people need special services to help them stay clean and rejoin the society. But in many cases they do not have access to such services and they continue substance abuse until nothing more can be done. Domestic violence, extreme poverty, lack of child support are just a few of the other causes that determine a constant increase in the numbers of homeless people.
You will find that hard working people who have been sacked are among the homeless, also veterans and people released from prison who have paid their debts to society but cannot seem to be able to get a job again, mainly on account of their record. The McKinney-Vento Act is expected to have a good impact on solving the problem. It is also known as the Homeless Assistance Act.