Many of us know people who are homeless or in poverty. It's a major global crisis. It has been around for as long as there have been civilized colonies, even before Jesus. The bible mentions many homeless people from the Parable of the Good Samaritan to the Blind Man. In both these cases, there are three points of views: that of the diseased/homeless, the passersby and the people who help the diseased or homeless.
Poverty has not changed to this day. There are still homelessness and poverty. We have all at one time or another encountered this subject. It may have been disease and "uncleanliness" in Jesus' time, but wealth seems to be the major factor in poverty today. Lots of things can lead to homelessness and poverty. Things like substance abuse and alcohol are the most common. Pretty much anything that's addictive and that will cost you lots of money will get you in trouble.
Teens are the most susceptible to being on the street; they have either been kicked out of the house or left because of abuse.
As I was saying, the points of view are very important if you want to understand how to solve the crisis. Many people are guilty of just passing by a person in need. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, a priest didn't even want to have anything to do with the homeless man. This is a great example of what happens today. Sure, a priest today would probably help him by giving him a dollar or two, but that's still not enough. The Good Samaritan that helped was just an average person, whose culture was hated by the homeless man, but the Good Samaritan just wanted to help out.
People these days don't even want to give the homeless...