Homeless in the US and Natural Disasters

Homelessness is a situation that affect around 1% of the population in the US, about 3.5 million people. There have been governmental efforts to finish homelessness like the HEARTH Act signed by President Obama on 2009. This destined more money for shelters and helping homeless people to find a home. Still the problem persists. There are also non governmental institutions helping homeless people.

A homeless person is considered to be someone who have no regular home and have to sleep on the streets, shelters or abandoned buildings. The causes of homelessness may be untreated mental illness, substances abuse, low paid jobs, prisoner release, unemployment, domestic violence and poverty.

Homeless people and the ones who became homeless after natural disaster, become homeless for different reason but suffer very similar conditions. Although, natural disasters survivors receive far more help from government and institutions.

Natural disasters can increase significantly the number of homeless people in a matter of hours. After Hurricane Katrina the number of homeless was around , four times the previews amount. Natural disasters temporary spikes homeless population. But in the case of Katrina, homeless population have even increased. Seems like being a victim of a natural disaster is no longer a guarantee of help.

With the destruction left by natural disasters, come social problems like robberies, lack of basic services, insecurity and health problems. Disasters leave the middle class people near poverty, and the poor, homeless. With this drop on the quality of life, its harder to solve the problem, and people end up waiting for a help that may never come. This increase of poor and homeless people, leave this population more vulnerable toward future disasters. It becomes a snow ball.

Homelessness is a problem deeper than just making shelters. Monetary aids help a lot of people but havent decreased the homeless population in some cities of the US. And beside that, natural disasters make a wort scenario. The world climate change due to human activity seems to be having an important impact on natural disasters, and so on homelessness, with untypical climate behavior and stronger natural events each year.

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