Homelessness in the United States is an important issue that in the past has been under studied. The homeless in the United States face the monumental problem of increased hostility from local governments and business owners who see the homeless as economic burdens. Homeless people also have the problem of not being able to meet basic needs. This paper explores the geography of homelessness and the multifaceted aspects that contribute to homeless.
There is an estimated 2.3-3.5 million people who experience homelessness each year. A person is deemed homeless if they do not have a regular place to sleep at night (“How Many People Experience Homelessness”). The term homelessness itself is misleading. Homeless is not always …show more content…
The Untied State has not always had homelessness to the extent it is now. The battle with homelessness started when mental health hospitals were de-institutionalized and when the Federal Government gave the responsibility of public housing to the states. When this happened, the majority of states did not have a plan on what to do with the people exiting the mental health institutions or those who needed low income housing (Griffin, Anna and Thomas Boyd).
Geography of Homeless Shelter
Homeless shelters are typically divided into two types of shelters. There are street shelters and transitional shelters. The transitional shelters usually serve single men, women, and families with children. In the past, the homeless population consisted of older men. Today, the homeless demographic is changing quickly to now include young men, women and children. Usually, the transitional shelters were much more selective in who they helped (Rollinson, Paul A). A city that experienced colder weather was found to be significantly more likely to invest in emergency shelters …show more content…
After thirty days, people started to feel increasingly more isolated. It was after this period of time that people started to realize that their new position in society was unlikely to change. They notice that the homeless moved around less because of hostility from business owners and their own perceived hostility. Some homeless changed their appearance due to a lack of concern and also due to a lack of access to clean clothes. The feeling of isolation drives some to display peculiar behavior and bad hygiene. By having bad hygiene and acting peculiar it worked to keep people away. The main means of movement for the homeless is by walking. A fourth did say that they used public transportation but for many of them it was a means to pass time. People often described their movement around the city as a way to pass time. The typical spatial movement of people changed depending on if the person was placed in an emergency street shelter or a transitional shelter. Those who mainly used the emergency shelters centered their movement on the “market, bars, parks and their visits to the soup kitchen”. Those who had severe alcohol and drug problems also had a harder time meeting their basic needs. Those with alcohol problems could not enter the mission