How is homelessness defined?
- The federal government has several variations to define homelessness. According to the Department of Education homelessness is defined as “individuals (children & youth) who lack regular, fixed, and adequate nighttime residence, including, children sharing housing of other people due to loss of housing; living in motels/hotels, etc., or living in emergency or transitional housing or abandoned hospitals.”
(section 725 of the Mckinney-Vento Act)
- According to Housing and Urban Development, homelessness is: “a) individuals/families who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; b) individuals/families who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence; c) unaccompanied youth/families w/children and youth who are defined as homeless under other federal statutes; d) individuals/families who are fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other life-threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individual or family member.”
What is chronic homelessness? - An unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. (Health and Human Services)
What are the root causes of homelessness? - There are several factors that contribute to the global epidemic of homelessness, however the de-funding of affordable housing programs and the loss of public housing units & private sector are central factors that are causing homelessness.
Who is affected by homelessness? - Experiencing homelessness is circumstantial and can be caused by life events which can affect any person, no matter their race, gender, community, level of education or socio-economic background.