Living on the street, people are exposed to more crime, violence and bad weather, including extreme heat. They may lose their job in the chaos of homelessness and often have difficulty finding another one without Internet access or a mailing address. While another survey reports that 80% of homeless mothers with children were victims of domestic violence. While shelter development has stalled, many advocates and legislators believe that permanent housing plus support services is the most important step in resolving chronic homelessness.
Homelessness in California is complex, and the diverse causes and trajectories of homelessness suggest that the solutions are also diverse. However, the vast majority of New Yorkers who find themselves homeless spend the night inside the city's shelter system, where they remain invisible. In a city of more than 8.3 million people, nearly one in 106 New Yorkers is homeless, that is, nearly 70,000 men, women and children. To reduce the homeless population without shelter, more shelter capacity and greater investment in cost-effective housing are needed.
About 70 percent of California's homeless people live outside a shelter system and sleep in tents, open public spaces, or vehicles. That's a stark contrast to New York, where only 5 percent of the homeless population has no shelter. The prevalence is particularly high among chronically homeless people, more than 75 percent of whom have substance abuse or a serious mental illness (Kuhn and Culhane 1998; Poulin et al. The deep-seated stigma and biases surrounding homelessness create an “us versus “them” mentality.
Government reports show that nearly a quarter of homeless people have disabilities. Because they are often unable to work, people with disabilities and those suffering from serious illnesses are more likely to be left homeless. Although not everyone drinks or uses drugs, it is undeniable that alcohol and substance abuse is common among the homeless population. Studies have even shown that between 22 and 57% of homeless women cite domestic abuse as the immediate cause of their homelessness.