The widely accepted definition of homeless is lacking stable, safe, adequate housing. But how people begin experiencing homelessness is much more complex.
It can come from a loss of income, sudden illness or accident, substance use, mental health, eviction, or an issue with a relationship, such as domestic violence. And the people experiencing it are even more varied.
Men, women, children, older adults, and families are among the more than 5,000 households affected and increasingly, it may be people you know.
Unfortunately, homelessness is on the rise. Increases in the data show just how much. We also know the “official” definitions of homelessness understate the full extent of the issue. Not only do you have people who are not counted, like many youths, but thousands of other people are living in sub-standard housing, crowded conditions, couch surfing, or doubled up with family or friends.
The reasons, the wide range of people affected, and the increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness make addressing the issue difficult. But not impossible!
Everyone can play a role in reducing preventing homelessness.