Every individual or family can become homeless at some point in their life. While the government estimates 552,830 people (0.2% of the population) currently live on the streets, the figure might be much higher.
The hardest-working professional can lose everything, including shelter, warmth, and support. Yet, some factors can increase a person’s likelihood, but there are solutions available. Learn about the four major causes of homelessness in the United States.
- Personal Hardship
Many people can lose their homes due to circumstances out of their control. A person might become homeless when leaving a toxic relationship or a negative family environment. However, there are hotlines and organizations available to help people escape unpleasant homes and start afresh.
Also, many people can lose their homes following the destruction caused by a natural disaster. For example, many people in Louisiana have lost their homes due to Hurricane Ida, the seventh costliest hurricane in the United States since 2000. Yet, charitable donations to the American Red Cross are helping those affected to recover from the tropical cyclone.
- A Lack of Affordable Housing
You only need to review the level of affordable housing in the United States to understand why many people live on the streets. It’s for this reason why many people in cities and metropolitan areas experience homelessness.
Atlanta is a prime example. As the city has grown in popularity, property prices have increased, as an average one-bedroom now costs approximately $1,000 per month. As people on minimum wage will struggle to find low-cost accommodation, many have been left without a home to return to each day.
Low employment rates and layoffs can affect people’s ability to earn an income each month. If a person can’t place a foot on the career ladder, they will be unable to pay their rent or mortgage. Also, a layoff can result in people losing a steady income, and a lack of savings in the bank can lead to eviction and then homelessness.
People can avoid financial loss by investing in unemployment insurance. It will provide financial coverage should they lose a job through no fault of their own. Also, people can get back on their feet with a self-employment assistance program or educational and training programs.
- Illness or Disability
No one chooses to develop an illness or disability. Yet, a medical condition can lead to various personal and professional consequences. If a person living with a life-altering disability or illness cannot hold a job, they will lose a steady income and may build various expensive medical bills. As a result, they might not have the money to spare to pay their rent or mortgage. The issue is a major problem, as a reported 30-40% of homeless people in the US have a disability.
To ensure you never need to abandon your home, you can invest in disability and critical illness insurance. It will cover the cost of your expenses if you are diagnosed with a life-changing condition.
As mentioned, anyone can become homeless at some point in their life due to a loss of income, personal hardship, or a natural disaster. Insurance plans can provide financial protection should the worst happen, and different forms of assistance are available to help you get back on your feet.