I recently found myself in an argument over the above question. I had joined said argument midway. There were two sides.

Side One- Homelessness is a disease.

Side Two- Homelessness is not a disease.

Sufficed to say, I chose the latter. 

My argument at it's basics is this.
  Homelessness is not a disease, it is an effect. An effect caused by the choices a person makes in ones life.

The reasons to which a person is homeless are many, such as..
 Poverty, Lack of work opportunities, Housing, Addiction, and mental illness.

  After throughly yelling.. I mean explaining.. this to Side One He then a little later changed the way he worded his argument, to say that the majority, at least 70-80%, of homeless people are mentally ill or have some form of mental handicap.

  Once again I disagree quite fully.
As you can read here, (yes I know the statistics are a little old) Mental illness does not even account for 30% of homeless people.

This has been stirring around my head for several days and I would like to know more people's views on this subject. Such as..

What have been your experiences with those who are homeless?

Have you ever been homeless?

Anything and everything y'all have to say on this subject I would greatly like to read about.


Tags: debate, disease, homelessness, illness, mental

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Plain and simple.
It's an effect that affects those that have mental disabilities, physical disabilities, 'normal' people and almost every other category. Whoever said this, must be ruddy stupid.

But dose normal really exist?

Only in statistics.

What is the definition of homeless? Some are obvious. Someone living in a tent under a bridge. What about the people forced to live with friends or family? They have no place of their own and are living off the generosity of others.There is a lot of this type of homelessness. There is also people who live a nomadic lifestyle. I used to live on a sailboat. We kept a permanent dock but I met a few people who just sailed around place to place. Are they homeless? They don't have a permanent address. I think that most people that are in bad situations are there because of lack of planning in their life. They just plod through life and don't plan for things to go wrong so when things go wrong they are screwed.

you make a good point, couch surfing sometimes precedes box surfing.

My argument at it's basics is this.
  Homelessness is not a disease, it is an effect. An effect caused by the choices a person makes in ones life.

The reasons to which a person is homeless are many, such as..
 Poverty, Lack of work opportunities, Housing, Addiction, and mental illness.

So according to you its an effect of the choices a person makes in ones life but none of the specific causes you listed are necessarily choices one makes.

Most of the time it is because of the choices you make.things like poverty and lack of work opportunities  and addiction. If you chose to not take advantage of educational opportunities it limits your income potential and work opportunity.  So does bad work habits. Also some jobs some people just won't do such as flipping burgers, janitorial work, and going into the military. Those are choices that affect them.  Same with addiction, and having children b4 one can support them.

I've met a few homeless people who happened to also be drug addicts, and some who were just homeless.  Even if the drugs get them on the street,  something potentially rougher got them on the drugs in the first place.  Sometimes they get onto drugs AFTER they're on the street too, so suckiness leads to homelessness leads to drugs as well.  And there's always something creative they're doing to feel like they're contributing,  drawing pictures, writing poems, singing....even if it's just to get high....and even though some people are asses about asking money, there's always a creative response, and there's always an attempt at dignity.

And it shits me just how much these people get beaten up, by joe public, and the cops too. Just give the guy, a bed, a shower and a sandwich ffs

Abreo, those are two separate statements, thus the blank area between them.

 I wanted to give the basics of what I think on this subject. 1- What homelessness is, by a form of definition. 2- Reasons for homelessness.

  Reading through that again I realize that my wording in the 1st is a little off. Allow me to clarify.
The things in the 2nd were not meant as the 'choices', because they are clearly not choices in the bulk of situations, but are a few things caused by the choices one makes in life.

Well. You obviously know my opinion on this. Seeing as we had this debate together. (; My problem with this debate was the absolute ignorance of other people. People can't make these kind of assumptions about others, just by their living conditions. There are unfortunate people in the world. Some people are the victims of circumstance. One can not say that a person has a mental disorder, just because they aren't as fortunate. The idea of "homeless people have mental disorders" just flat out screams ignorance. 

Asta I wasn't saying thatMOST (of course not all) chose poverty. What they did choose is to not plan or take advantage of educational opportunities or had children out of wedlock or when they had no marketable skill. As for drug addicts they didn't choose that. They DID choose to take the risk and try the drugs in the first place.

racism, homophobia and family violence all contribute to homelessness. in more than one way. and the homeless person may not be mentally ill, either.


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