How do people become homeless?
There are many situations that can lead to a person becoming homeless, the most common are:
- the break-up of a marriage or relationship;
- the loss of a job, leading to the repossession of a home or inability to pay rent; or
- an addiction to, or abuse of, prescribed or illegal drugs or alcohol, or even gambling.
It could happen to any of us
Homeless people come from all walks of life and social backgrounds. Not all them sleep rough on the streets; many are insecurely housed, living in bed and breakfasts, short-stay hostels or sleeping on friends’ floors.
People may also become homeless because of mental illness, although, as with drug or alcohol abuse, some become unwell or develop a problem as a result of becoming homeless. People who have served in the armed forces often find it impossible to cope with civilian life. Others may be running away from an abusive relationship.
Helping people who have become homeless is not always easy One thing that surprises many who are new to working with homeless people is that some refuse help. This may be because his or her trust in people has been destroyed, often as a result of systematic emotional or physical abuse, or it may be because they have built up strong relationships with other homeless people. Once such relationships are established it can be hard to break away and seek help with re-housing.
It can be a long and painstaking process to get a homeless person to come into the centre and use the primary services, let alone persuade them to use the specialist services, such as health and housing. Each step, no matter how small, is what The Passage is here for; to help, support and encourage, in the hope of transforming lives.