Homelessness in United States Essay Outline

Homelessness in America – Essay Outline

Homelesssness in America

I. Introduction

a. Definition of Homelessness

i. Homelessness is the lack of a stable, safe and permanent housing due to lack of income, poor housing policies, and neighborhood gentrification (Dreyer, 2018).

ii. A comprehensive, broad-based definition that can be used consistently for homelessness initiatives does not exist (Yousey & Samudra, 2018).

b. Overview of Homelessness

i. Homelessness is an egregious problem that has existed in the United States since 1980s and attributable to various factors and causes (Dreyer, 2018).

ii. Multifaceted and multisectoral approaches are the most suitable interventions to address the growing problem of homelessness.

II. Statistics on Homelessness

a. Lifetime and 1-year Prevalence of Homelessness

i. Lifetime prevalence of homelessness in the United States population is approximately 4.2% (Tsai, 2018).

ii. 1-year prevalence of homelessness in the U.S. population is estimated at 1.5% (Tsai, 2018).

b. Youth Homelessness

i. Explicit youth homelessness is likely to occur in 3% of households with 13- to-17 year olds (Morton et al., 2017).

ii. Incidence rates of youth homelessness are approximately 50% as high as prevalence rates (Morton et al., 2017).

III. Causes/Contributing Factors to Homelessness

Social conditions and maladaptive behaviors contribute to the problem of homelessness (Mabhala, Yohannes & Griffith, 2017).

Income inequality, poor housing policies, and neighborhood gentrification exacerbate the problem of homelessness (Dreyer, 2018).

Racial stereotyping creates significant psychological distress that in turn contribute to homelessness (Weisz & Quinn, 2017; Morton et al., 2017).

IV. Effects/Outcomes of Homelessness

Homelessness significantly interrupt critical areas of life like education, psychosocial functioning, and health (Oppenheimer, Nurius & Green, 2018).

Homelessness causes major social and public health issues/problems (Tsai, OToole & Kearney, 2017).

V. Interventions for Homelessness

As human service programs, Housing First programs is an effective intervention that lessens the costs of shelter and emergency department through effective resource allocation (Ly & Latimer, 2015).

Housing policies seem ineffective in addressing homelessness because of the growing increase in the number of Americans experiencing unstable housing i.e. couch surfing, doubling-up and intermittent homelessness (Willison, 2017; Dreyer, 2018).

Due to special and complex issues surrounding homelessness, a multifaceted approach is required to address this problem (Tsai, OToole & Kearney, 2017).

V. Conclusion

Annotated Bibliography

Dreyer, B.P. (2018), A Shelter is not a Home: The Crisis of Family Homelessness in the United States, Pediatrics, 142(5) 1-3, httpps://doi.org10.1542/peds.2018-2695

This research takes a look at devastation of homelessness in the United States. This has been a big problem since the 80s. The article talked about various factors that lead to homelessness such as income inequality, poor housing policies across the country and neighborhood gentrification. These factors combine to decrease the affordable housing for vulnerable population and low income families. Alternative housing does not solve this problem; the living condition along with the healthcare needs makes the problem worse.

Ly, A. & Latimer, E., (2015), Housing First Impact on Cost and Associated Cost Offsets A review of literature, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 60(11) 475-487,

doi: 10.1177/070674371506001103

This literature examines the effectiveness of Housing First programs, which are human service programs established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help address homelessness and housing issues. The study found that these programs are rapidly expanding in the U.S. as they combine access to permanent housing with community base and support services. The program has been found effective in addressing the issue of homelessness and housing issues. The study found that these programs are rapidly expanding in the U.S. as they combine access to permanent housing with community based and support services. The program has found effectiveness in addressing the issue of homelessness as it represents an efficient way for resource allocation than conventional services. Housing First have found ways to lessen the cost of shelter and the emergency department.

Mabhala, M.A., Yohannes, A. & , Griffith, M. (2017), Social Conditions of Becoming Homelessness, Qualitative Analysis of Life Stories of Homelessness People, International Journal for Equity in Health, 16(150), Doi:10.1186/s12939-017-0646-3

The author stated that homelessness is more of a public health and social phenomenon than lack of a place to live. Through conducting interviews of homeless people and examining the wider social context the study outcome leads to homelessness. The social conditions and adapting to the homeless behaviors lead to homelessness. Poor education, low educating social connections, unemployment, less life opportunity is what the social condition leads to.

Morton et al, (2017), Prevalence and Correlates of Youth Homelessness in the United States, Journal of Adolescent Health, 62, 14-21 Doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.10.006

The Research talks about the prevalence of youth homelessness in the U.S., Which is a serious problem that is characterized by lack of credible data on the size and attributes of the population. The researchers used a national phone survey and followed up with an interview. They found an overall 4.3% household prevalence of any homelessness in the U.S. While incidence rates for youth homelessness are as high as prevalence rates, prevalence rates are the same in rural and non-rural counties. Hispanics, blacks and LGBT youth and those without college education are increasingly susceptible to homelessness.

Oppenheimer, S.C., Nurius, P.S. & Green, S. (2018) Homeless History Impact on Health Outcome and Economics and Risk Behaviors Intermediaries: New Insight from Population Data, Families in Society, 97(3), 230-242, Doi:10.1606/1044-3894.2016.97.21

The researcher used data from the Washington Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance system to assess the historical impact of homelessness on physical and mental health outcomes The new insight from the data shows that homelessness has significant impact on physical and mental health since it poses risk factors to their health. Homelessness disrupts education, obtaining employment. Homelessness disrupts critical areas of a person’s life such as education, social functioning, and health.

Tsai, J., OToole, T. & Kearney, L. K. (2017), Homelessness as a Public Mental Health and Social Problem, New Knowledge and Solution, Psychological Services, 14(2), 113-117, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ser0000164

This article will discuss how homelessness has become a social and public health concern. The authors stated that recent statistics show that approximately 4.2% of the U.S. population is experiencing homelessness for more than a month throughout their lives. In 2017 about 1.5% of the American population experienced homelessness. Homelessness puts a strain on public health as it increases the demand and need for primary healthcare services. The authors concluded that a multifaceted approach is needed to deal with homelessness because of the special and complex issues surrounding it.

Tsai, J. (2018), Lifetime and 1-year Prevalence of Homelessness in the U.S. Population: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-111, Journal of Public Health 40(1), 65-78, https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdx034

The research indicate that homelessness have become a public health problem Though there a few recent epidemiological studies. The researchers utilize data from structured interviews with national representative samples to examine lifetime and 1 year prevalence of the issue. The study found that the lifetime prevalence of homelessness is 4.2% while the 1 year rate is 1.5%. The prevalence of this problem is linked to various behavioral health and economic factors.

Yousey, A. & Samundra, R. (2018) Defining Homelessness in the Rural United States,

Online Journal of Rural Research & Policy, 13(4),


The research study explores the homelessness in the United States, especially rural homelessness, which is understudied. The review of literature found that no consistent or uniform definition of rural homelessness exists. As a result of the researchers argue that definition and overview of homelessness should incorporate the wide range of needs periodically and population. However the authors contend that homelessness is classified into different levels depending on the spectrum of needs periodically and population it affects.

Weisz, C. & Quinn, D.M. (2017), Stigmatized and identities Psychological Distress and Physical Health, Intersection of homelessness and Race, Stigma and Health 1-6,


This research was conducted on the premises that homelessness is an extremely stigmatized identity. The stigma that is associated with homelessness impairs the health and well-being of homeless people. Some of the effects of the problem of homelessness include: isolation, stress and mental health disorders unhealthy coping behaviors. Stigma associated with homelessness is linked to racial stereotyping. which in turn is linked to substantial psychological distress.

Willison, C. (2017), Shelter from the Storm: Roles, Responsibilities, and Challenges in the United States Housing Policy Governance, Healthy policy 121(111) 113-1123, https//doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2017.08.002

This study housing policy in the U.S., which is utilized as one of the interventions to address the problem of homelessness. Housing policy is viewed as one of the critical social services toward addressing the issue of homelessness and enhancing public health. The authors say even though housing policies have been enacted, they are largely ineffective in addressing the problem of homelessness because of the widespread housing problem around the country. Despite the decrease in homelessness housing problems are seemingly ineffective because the number of Americans experiencing unstable housing has increased.




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