Homeless is a term used to describe people who do not have a place to live. This usually refers to people who sleep on the street or in shelters, but can also include those living in overcrowded accommodation such as hostels and B&Bs, overcrowded apartments, and “couch surfers” (people staying temporarily with friends or relatives). People whose housing situation is uncertain may be referred to as being ‘at risk of homelessness’.

There is a wide range of estimates of the number of homeless in the United States, ranging from a government estimate of 1.4 million to advocates’ estimates of over 2 million. The causes of homelessness are complex and vary between individuals. People who are evicted from their homes or are unable to afford the rent for their existing home may be at serious risk of becoming homeless. Other risk factors include lack of income, low educational attainment, and substance misuse. People from certain racial or ethnic groups are more likely to be homeless than others. These include black and Native Americans. In addition, men are more likely to become homeless than women.

Research on the topic of homelessness is relatively extensive and has produced a large body of literature on various aspects of the problem. Much of this work has focused on specific subpopulations, such as homeless families and the mentally ill. There is a growing concern that the problems of homelessness are not being sufficiently addressed. There are a number of different approaches to the problem, but many local governments do not have enough funding to address all of the needs of their homeless populations.

Community attitudes towards homeless shelters and the location of such facilities varies. Some communities are averse to shelters in their neighborhoods, while others welcome them as a way of helping the homeless in their area. There is a need for greater awareness of the problems facing the homeless and efforts to educate people on how to help them.

Several types of homeless assistance programs exist in the United States, including emergency shelters, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing. There are also several forms of social services that can be provided to the homeless, including food assistance, cash benefits, job training and placement, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and legal advocacy.

The underlying cause of most cases of homelessness is the inability to obtain affordable housing or to retain a current residence. There are a variety of reasons for this, including lack of income and the high cost of rental housing, insufficient assistance to meet rent increases, and discrimination on the basis of race or sexual orientation. There is a need to improve the quality of housing available for those who are unable to afford it, as well as the availability of rental assistance.

There is a need for more research on the problems of homelessness and the impact that it has on society. It is also important to recognize that a variety of strategies are needed, since homelessness affects every aspect of daily life.