Unit 2

Annotated Bibliography (Final)

What are the contributing factors that generates homelessness in the United States?

In the past few years, I worked in a city shelter that provides services for the homeless population. I have noticed each year; the numbers of homelessness increase around New York City.¬† Homelessness is not just, and New York City issues this misfortune of homelessness affects many States. Most people have the perception homelessness is not a significant issue; however, it is an ongoing problem across America.¬†¬†¬† Thousands of people are without proper shelter, living on the streets, parks, subways, or other public spaces. Each year, thousands of people are forced to go without proper shelter or a place to call home. ¬†For example, New York has close to 80,000 men, women, and children classified as homeless.¬† Also, half of that number is chronic homelessness with becoming an ongoing problem. ¬†¬†¬†How is this possible in today’s society? What are the surrounding factors that each year the homeless issue is not resolved? ¬†¬†Most Sates assist in providing help; for example, emergency shelters, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing are services and benefits offered to help reduce homelessness. ¬†¬†Even though the aided the homeless population is provided, the numbers tend to increase each year.¬† I want to uncover what are some of the significant reason‚Äôs homelessness is a going issue.¬† It is more to the problem that a person is having financial hardship and fails to maintain proper shelter.¬†¬† We must look out for other factors, such as poverty, social exclusion, mental illness, race, lack of funding for affordable housing, and contributing factors to the increase of the homeless population.

Marybeth Shinn : Homelessness Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United States and Europe. Distributed by European Journal of Homelessness Volume 4, December 2010

The Article Homelessness Poverty and Social Exclusion by Marybeth, a professor at Vanderbilt University, she specializes in studies on how to prevent and end homelessness and develop opportunities for social exclusion groups.¬† The article focuses on lifetime homelessness in the U.S. and Europe.¬† The United States is one of the leading countries with chronic homelessness, income inequality, less generous social welfare policies.¬†¬† Shinn states poverty and social exclusion are key causes of homelessness across the nation.¬†¬† She also argues social exclusion is related to homelessness by influence the generosity of social welfare benefits.¬† Income, wealth, mental illness, poverty,¬† Incarceration, and race also play a part in homelessness. ¬†Shinn’s research was developed by conducting a household survey from 1990 to 2006 ¬†to obtain data from different countries regarding the contributing factors.¬† From the data imputed in the chart on page 23, the United States was the leader in lifetime literal Homelessness and Imprisonment.¬† However, rank the lowest in Social benefits.¬†¬† Shinn also points out most English-speaking countries have greater income inequality and less generous social programs than other developed nations.¬† This imbalance promotes Homelessness in the United States. Shinn stated, “Low rates of family benefits in the U.S. are associated with high rates of family homelessness.” Page 26 points out how the¬† United States housing policy promotes inequality. For example, Homeownership is encouraged by tax deductions for mortgage income and property taxes, and these tax breaks are geared towards wealthier individuals. The housing subsidies for poor renters come from a direct budget with no incentives.¬† In addition, page 26 reflected the article points out how the rise in homelessness in the United States corresponded to the rising gap in housing affordability, with the loss of affordable units.¬† This is a common issue in New York City. Across several U.S. data sets, homelessness was higher when rental costs were higher relative to incomes and when vacancy rates for inexpensive housing were lower.¬†¬† This creates a significant imbalance in housing opportunities for low-income Americans.¬†¬† ¬†Other key factors Shinn’s refer to are poverty, social exclusion; race; discrimination, mental illness, and policy.¬† For each item, Shinn proved a data chart and credible reference to support her argument.¬† Her data was not just limited to the United States; it presents a global overview of homelessness.

Shinn’s articles provide insight into the homelessness problem in different countries. Her article was not a matter of opinion but base on research, surveys, and data.¬† What made her a reliable source for information and her dedication to studies on preventing and ending homelessness. In my opinion, the article was very informative and provided charts and statistics to validate Shinn’s argument.


National Alliance to End homelessness a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States.

State of Homelessness

The National Alliance is a United States-based organization addressing the issue of homelessness. They provide data and research to policymakers and elected officials to inform policy debates and educate the public and opinion leaders nationwide.¬† Interestingly, the Author Marybeth Shinn has identified policy as one of the contributing factors in the rise of homelessness in her article from European Journal Volume four.¬† However, National Alliance listed five key points that cause homelessness housing, income, health, domestic violence, and racial inequality. ¬†The organization stated, “the main reason people become homeless is that they cannot find housing, they cannot find housing they can afford.‚ÄĚ Based on the data obtained in 2019, a count was conducted by gender, and it reveals the following information 343,197 males, 219,911 females, 3,255 transgender, and 1,362 gender non-conforming were classified as homeless. The numbers total¬† 567,725 people experience some form of Homelessness in the United States.

From the five points that were listed, heath was a severe factor.¬† ¬†The article stated, “health and homelessness are inextricably linked.¬† Health problems can cause a person’s homelessness as well as be exacerbated by the experience.” ¬†The article also points out that the underlining such as diabetes, heart disease, and HIV/Aids are the highest among the homeless population.¬† At times it is six times higher than that of the general population.¬†¬† Another health concern is mental illness and substance abuse, and the data obtained by this organization show more than ten percent of the people who require substance abuse or mental health treatment from our public health system are homeless. ¬†¬†Another issue the numbers of the homeless population abusing prescription drugs and heroin are incredibly high.¬† The rate of overdose deaths has tripled since 2000.

Regarding this data, the shelter I work at the experience this last week.  We had a resident allegedly overdose on heroin; after staff administered Narcan nasal spay and performed CPR, the staff could revive the resident.  Overall, substance abuse is an ongoing problem with the homeless population.

The website Nation Alliance to End Homelessness is very informative.  It provided insight into some of the causes of homelessness.  The site provided statistics, policy, data, and graphics to overview the cause and solution for homelessness.  The organization has over thirty years of working and providing research regarding homelessness.  The website provides excellent insight and guidance about homelessness.

Why 2 Million People in the U.S. are Homeless in 377 Seconds (YouTube Video)

The last source in research on the cause of homelessness is from You Tube channel title Thought of Money.¬† This You Tube advertises to get to the bottom of issues from politics, technology, science, philosophy, and many other issues.¬† The episode “Why 2 Million People in the U.S. are Homeless in 377 Seconds” focuses on mental illness as contributing factor to the rise in homelessness.¬† In the percentage of homeless people, 25% has mental illness, 38% alcohol abuse, 26% has substance abuse, some experience all three, and the rest with is 11% lost their job or was pushed out of their home.¬†¬† The National Coalition provided this data for The Homeless. ¬†Besides New York City with the largest population of homelessness, the episode points out that the Los Angeles homelessness population has superseded the New City population of homelessness in recent years.¬† One reason for this is Los Angeles has a warmer climate, and this generated more people sleeping on the streets. ¬†¬†The highlight point in this episode is the lack of treatment for mental illness, and the cut of funding for treatment has pushed many mentally ill people to the street for refuge.¬† For example, many families struggle with dealing with a mentally ill love one.¬† They lack the knowledge, resources to provide adequate care or funding.¬† This force most family to push a mentally ill family member to the streets.¬† The reason for this is sometimes done out of fear or concern for family safety.¬†¬† Another contributing factor since 1970 federal support for housing and metal service has been cut.¬†¬† In recent months, it has been a rise in assaults committed by the homeless population diagnosed with a mental illness.

Overall, Thought Monkey did not provide detail on how it obtains it data.¬†¬† The information provided is helpful despite the lack of creditable references.¬† The article was geared to target the general public to give some insight into mental illness and its impact on homelessness. Despite the title of this article, “Why 2 Million People in the U.S. are Homeless,” the narrate focus only on the 25% (mental illness).

In conclusion, from my research from the three-reference mental illness has been identified as a crucial factor with homelessness.   This article did shed light on how most American families deal with mental illness when it comes to a family member.   Most family tends to turn their back;  on the family member struggling with mental illness, this is not done intentionally but more of an act of desperation.   The lack of knowledge and minimum funding leaves most families with tough decisions to push the mentally ill person out of the house, adding to the homeless population.

The conclusion in my research of what is the contributing factor that generates homelessness in the United States?  It was shocking that many different elements surround homelessness.  To start with, income, race, inequality, social welfare policies, health, substance abuse, and affordable housing are just a few surrounding factors contributing to homelessness.  When I think about homelessness, I view it as an isolated problem that did not affect many people.  On the contrary, this is a global problem with tends to grow each year. What was also astonishing   Government funding plays a huge part in the rise of homelessness and the solution to resolving homelessness. When the government implements policy and funding for affordable and supportive housing, it reduces the homeless population.  However, if funding is cut or reduce, a spike in homelessness begins to develop.   As we enter our second year of COVID-19 the current pandemic has because people have lost their jobs many companies went out of business this has impacted most Americans and infuse homelessness.   On top of all the other factors that cause homelessness, the homelessness numbers can double or triple within the next two years when this is added into the equation.      I think the homelessness problem is essential because if we do not address the current issues that cause homelessness, the new issue can create a much bigger problem for our country.

For my target audience, I will narrow it down to two groups.  The group will be our politicians and lawmakers. Considering the growing issue with homelessness, how can we generate more funded and assistance to resolve this problem?  The lack of affordable housing and supportive living can reduce homelessness in great numbers.  The next group will be a Social Service worker that deals with the homeless firsthand.  Social Service direct connection and clinical skills will be crucial in engaging and providing the service needed for the homeless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *