There is said to have been many ways to describe and understand what exactly homelessness is. The basic understanding of homelessness is a state of being in which a person lacks the basic right of having housing. With this being said, there are several ways in which this definition can become something to branch off of and be elaborated on . An individual who lacks their own permanent housing but is living within a temporary facility such as a shelter or even group home can be categorized as homelessness. Within the state of New York City, homelessness is seen to be such a growing epidemic and continues to be a prominent social issue. In fact, it is said that homelessness in New York City as reached skyrocketing numbers since the Great Depression which occured in the 1930s.
According to research, In October of 2018, there were 63,559 homeless people, including 15,572 homeless families with 23,136 homeless children, sleeping each night in New York City municipal shelter system. Families make up three-quarters of the homeless shelter population.(Coalition for the homeless). Studies show that homeless is linked to many factors such as mental illness, low-paying jobs, and drug use. Studies show that 30% of all homeless individuals are current victims of at least one mental illness, and while 70% make up the population thats drug users. With all of the current budgets, statistics, and proven facts, it is extremely prevalent and obvious that homelessness is a serious matter and is something that needs to be addressed with extreme urgency.
According to the Bowery Mission, a ministry based organization that focuses on serving the homeless and hungry New Yorker population, states that In a city of 8.5 million people, nearly 1 in every 128 New Yorkers is currently homeless. But only 1 out of every 17 of these individuals is visible to the eye. With this being said, this shows that homelessness has no face, nor do they look a particular way. Homelessness affects individuals of all ages, all ethnicities , an cultures. When we link homelessness to historical events in the past, they link with the deinstitutionalization movement along with the single- resident occupancy housing market(Durham, 2010).
The Deinstitutionalization movement was a government based policy that was said to remove mentally ill patients whom were being treated in insane asylums, out into the general community. In results of this emerg into the general community, not only were individuals going without the proper treatment, but because their mental illness served as a barrier for them to obtain housing, they became apart of the homeless population. About 200,000 of individuals who live in the New York State, whom suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are said to be homeless. The primary purpose of this entire movement of discharging these individuals into the community, was because the government was having extreme budget cuts. With this act, now individuals whom were homeless, now end up in jails and prisons. It is said that 16% of inmates were severely mentally ill.
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