An analysis of the economical, political and psychological causes of homelessness

Essay by antz38University, Bachelor'sA, November 2004

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Homelessness has become a very important issue that affects a lot of people in our society today. Homelessness refers to people who live on the streets with no physical shelters, to people who live in sub-standard housing, or in overcrowded or undesirable conditions (Hargrave, 1999, p.1). In the 1980s, the number of homeless Canadians was between 100,000 and 250,000 out of a total population of 28 million (p.1). Moreover, surveys show that the number of homeless people in Canada and United States has been progressively increasing to a level beyond comparable to two generations ago (Pohl, 2001, p.1). In1997, only in Toronto, one estimated that there were more than 168,000 people as either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless (Wasylenki, p.1). This clearly states that, with time, homelessness affects a greater proportion of the population. Also, in 1998, the mayors and councils of the ten largest cities in Canada affirmed that, "homelessness is a national disaster" (Pohl, 2001, p.4).

Not only does homelessness affect more people with time, but it has been recognized as a very serious problem that should be taken care of immediately.

However, because these past few years homelessness hasn't been a main priority in the eyes of our society, it is still visible on our streets across the nation. The causes of homelessness originate in structural and individual factors such as economic instability, political barriers and psychological disorders.

This issue will be studied through a disciplinary analysis. It will focus on the economical, political and psychological causes of homelessness. In addition, certain theories and concepts will be analyzed to increase the understanding of this social issue.

The first discipline that will be integrated is economics. The related theory involving economics and homelessness is the Fitzpatrick, Kemp and Klinker's structural theory explaining the four main structural...