Though the causes of homelessness vary, on any given night, there are approximately 643,067 people experiencing homelessness in America. Homelessness is a huge issue across our great nation, leading many to live their lives on the street without a job and a home. People get to this point in their lives for many reasons including poverty, unemployment, divorce, alcohol/drug abuse, mental health, etc. Other reasons include gambling, family and relationship breakdown, domestic violence and physical and/or sexual abuse.
The number one cause of homelessness in the United States is lack of affordable housing. Housing may be not be affordable for many reasons such as a lack of employment or a falling out with your significant other. Many homeless people don’t choose to live this lifestyle, but rather are forced into a homeless life. For example, natural disasters often cause homelessness due to costly repairs or lack of funding due to unfortunate timing with the disaster.
Homelessness has affected the lives of many individuals in our community. Whether it’s the actual homeless person living on the street, his or her family members and friends, or simply someone passing him or her on the street, they can all be affected mentally, physically and emotionally. Specifically in Greenville, many were affected by hurricane Matthew leaving them homeless and in very poor conditions. Many houses were destroyed and many properties were ruined. Many think that homelessness can be avoided, but statistics say very few homeless people choose this life. In other words, many are brought to this stage of their life through situations beyond their control.
This is why organizations like Community Crossroads are so important because they are willing to lend a hand to those who need one. We offer meals and shelter to up to 100 homeless people in Greenville every night.