Why Don't Homeless People Just Get Jobs?
It seems like any homeless person could easily get a job and get a home, right? So why don't they just get jobs and get apartments?
There are many assumptions about homeless people. Perhaps the most common is that all of them are too lazy to work. Having been there myself and having worked with many others in the same situation, I have to say that for the vast majority of homeless people, the assumption that they are lazy is dead wrong.
Many homed people look at the horrible lives of people living on the streets and ask why on earth a person wouldn't do something to help themselves in that situation. They ask the question, "Why don't homeless people just get jobs?" Oddly enough, they don't usually seem to also wonder if jobs are available and if there are any barriers to getting a job without having a home or an address.
I built this page to answer that question, to dispel a few more myths, and to drive home the reality that it is something that happens which no one deserves or asks for.
Many Homeless People Have Jobs Already
Despite having a job, people still can still lose their homes or be unable to afford housing.
One reason someone without housing may not be looking for a job is that he or she may already have one or more already. Normally, from one third to one half of the homeless population is employed. During the current economic situation (and due most likely to many recently un-housed due to mortgage foreclosures), in some cities well over half of their homeless population has jobs. Nationwide, employment rate is about 44% for people without homes. Keeping in mind how many are elderly, children, disabled, or mentally ill that's a pretty high percentage.
This might lead you to ask why these people are without housing if they have jobs. Many are working at minimum wage jobs, jobs which don't provide enough to pay for basic living expenses in many parts of the country. Also, many of them are underemployed; they don't get enough hours of work to pay the bills. In fact, some people who work for low wages lose their homes when company cutbacks cut their hours. There are working people all around you who are living in cars, in shelters, or in no housing at all. In some cities, like New York City, even having full time work is not a guarantee that one can afford housing.
So why don't they just get more work, work two or three jobs at a time? Many of them do. But a cluster of minimum wage jobs at a few hours a week doesn't generally get them very far. Getting enough hours with multiple jobs can be very difficult as well. To make multiple jobs work, employers have to be willing to work with a schedule which accommodates their employee's other jobs. Finding two (much less more) employers willing to work around other work schedules is difficult enough, but each added job makes finding and keeping a balance even more difficult. It is an extremely rare employer who is willing to schedule an employee around that employee's schedule at another job.
I've worked as many as five part time jobs at a time, which averaged me around a 65-70 hour work week. I had a home and a phone and it was still difficult to keep up the schedule juggling. Eventually, I was forced to cut back to three jobs because of employers unwilling to work around other work schedules. I only worked one full time position plus odd jobs when I was without housing, though not from lack of looking for additional work, which brings me to my next point. It's hard for homeless people to get hired, for multiple reasons.
Homeless People Don't Have Regular Addresses
This is pretty much the definition of being homeless.
A large number of things make homeless people less likely to get hired. Lack of an address can be a huge factor. Many do not have a mailing address they can use on job applications or have the address to a PO Box, Church, or mission to use. Employers are put off by irregular addresses on job applications. Don't kid yourself; many employers would never consider a homeless person for a job opening. They have the same misconceptions about them that everyone else does.
To get past this problem, some people lie on applications or find a homed friend to provide an address for them. But this presents its own problems. Once caught in this lie, some employers are less than understanding.
Some Employers Will Not Consider Unemployed Job Applicants - ...not even those with homes
If your company downsizes and you become unemployed, you may be unable to find a job that accepts applications from people not currently working. Obviously, don't assume this is the case.
- Out-of-work job applicants told unemployed need not apply
Businesses are screening out unemployed applicants under the perception that anyone who has been laid off must have been let go for performance issues.
- Unemployed Need Not Apply
More and more businesses require job applicants to already be employed to be considered for employment.
Many Don't Have Reliable Phones
It's hard to even have a charged mobile phone without somewhere to plug it in
When choosing between applicants that can be contacted by phone and those who can't, most employers won't even bother to contact those who can't for an interview. This makes having a $25 pay-as-you-go phone a life saver for many.
I've seen a number of people on the Internet "loudly" complaining about homeless people with cell phones. Perhaps if they knew that a cell phone is often a their only way to get a job, they might stop the complaining. Then again, maybe not.
The Poor Economy Affects Everyone
And creates tougher competition for jobs
With America's unemployment rate still pretty high while coming out of a recession, this should come as no surprise.
With job openings being rare (and often requiring advanced degrees for even general labor jobs) and many people being available to fill them, employers will understandably be choosier than during better times. Applications from homeless people will go to the bottom of the application pile for numerous reasons.
Not only that, but many businesses have become less flexible in scheduling because they know they can get away with it when people are desperate for employment. A business can require employees to have unlimited availability even if those employees are not full time when jobs are scarce. That means employees of such businesses cannot get another job to work in addition to the one they already have.
No One Can Get What Doesn't Exist
There are more people than jobs. Where are all these jobs for homeless people supposed to come from?
It's Hard to Stay Clean and Neat
The standard of cleanliness required of job applicants can be unattainable for some
I can almost hear the objections now. I've seen the suggestion that people just don't try hard enough to stay clean and well groomed. But ponder this - do you honestly think that you could show up to a job interview with a tidy haircut, a pressed suit and tie, shined shoes, a shower fresh smell and a clean shave without a barber, a bathroom, an iron and a closet? For women it's also complicated by social requirements to wear make-up to an interview.
Many Homeless People Have Gaps in Their Employment History
This is pretty unsurprising considering that such gaps in employment are often the cause of their situation.
Many applications require an explanation for all gaps in employment. So the homeless person can either lie or tell the truth. If he or she tells the truth, the cat is out of the bag and the prospective employer will know the applicant is homeless with all of the baggage and potential for discrimination that entails. If the job applicant lies, he will eventually get caught in the lie and have to face the consequences.
Even if the period of unemployment was caused by corporate downsizing, very few employers care to hear explanations.
Jobs Provide Money but Money Alone Isn't Enough to Rent an Apartment
What?!? That's right, money alone is not enough to rent most apartments. To get into most apartment complexes in the United States, applicants must have a good credit history and have a job at which they earn at least three times as much as the monthly rent.
So while a person might be able to afford to rent an apartment working a minimum wage job by sticking to a very strict budget, most apartment complexes will not rent to him. A very modest one bedroom apartment might only cost $650 a month in budget housing but those who rent it must earn at least $1950 a month in most cases. Here in Michigan, a person earning the new, higher minimum wage of $8.50 an hour would fall short of earning enough per month by $590.
I recently helped friends fill out paperwork to move into a budget apartment complex and the requirement on their paperwork read that the rent must not exceed 30% of the applicants' combined income. So their $700 a month apartment requires them to earn at least $2,333 per month to be allowed to rent it.
Co-signers could be of help, unfortunately, the combined income of the renter and the cosigner usually have to equal at least five times the monthly rent and the co-signer must not have a high debt-to-income ratio.
Yep, You Read That Last Bit Correctly.
That's right, money alone is not enough to rent most apartments.
Homeless People Have Lousy Credit Ratings
Maintaining a great debt to income ratio is not easy when you live in a tent or other unconventional places.
In many states, it's perfectly legal for employers to run a credit check on job applicants and disqualify those with poor credit ratings. As you can imagine, not having an address nor recent income, and probably past evictions and medical bankruptcies or past due bills on your record destroys your credit rating.
I doubt there are many, if any, homeless people with sterling credit ratings.
Many Homeless People Don't Have Cars
For some, it's a home on wheels but many don't have even that
Many job applications state up front that applicants must have their own, dependable transportation. Sometimes this can be the bus but if work hours are irregular and begin before buses start running or after they have stopped, it means owning your own vehicle.
And even for those public transportation such as the bus would work for, they may not have the money to pay for the fare.
Are All Homeless People Just Lazy?
Do you believe that homeless people choose to be without housing by not being employed and that they could all have homes if they just got jobs?
Please remain civil and avoid swearing in your comments.
- No, I do not think all homeless people are lazy. But there are people who claim to be homeless and exploit others. I truly believe many people are homeless through no fault of their own but, although it's not right, I tend to remember the bad ones. - strayspay
- I think that various circumstances lead to homelessness. I couldn't imagine any individual saying to themselves, "I think I'd rather live on the street, with no permanent place to lay my head at night, as opposed to working like the rest of society." At the same time, I feel that addictions play a large part in homelessness. Many working and contributing citizens to society find themselves rapped up in an addiction that over-takes them, that consumes the very essence of who they are. All in all, I would have to answer the specific question as "no", I do not think that people choose to be homeless just for the sake of not getting a job. And that's my four cents. ;) - writernewbie
- I think it can be a spiral; people lose their jobs and then their homes, and then it becomes that much harder to get a job. Are there lazy homeless people? You betcha; there are always going to be people who exploit the system or just plain don't have the gumption needed to get or keep a job. But I bet the majority of homeless people wish they could improve their status. - Commandrix
- No, I think that not all people who are homeless are lazy.Some homeless are forced by circumstances, I do not think anybody in their right mind wants to be homeless. This is not only shameful for a person but also painful. I think every human being deserves a second chance to regain his dignindad - NaturalCureFan
- no, I agree with the above. I was temporarily displaced (not homeless, because it was only for one week, while we got an apartment), and had a strange infection on my skin. I couldn't sleep, we stayed in campsites and one night we slept in our car. But, I had a job interview that week, and I couldn't even think; I also couldn't do research, which I usually do before a job interview. Needless to say, I did really bad on the interview, and didn't get the job. So, even though I was clean and tidy, and well dressed, the fact that I wasn't able to sleep well and in a usual bed, made me unfocused. - vabulus
- I had a job I just bought my home being a single mom of 4 I thought that things were starting to look up untill I lost my job my home and my kids i sent to live with there dad I was homeless jobless and serching I spent everyday every possible hr looking applyed everywere. I didnt care what job i got as long as it was a job (and respectable) Iapplyed to every temp agency we have. Yes i was placed at jobs and most were temporary the last one I had I got layed off from because of the economy. Everyday I called the temp agencys hopeing theyed have something and also put in my application litteraly ever ware I was able to fesabley get to. I was able to keep up with some of my basic needs and had help of friends. I also applyed to social services I was able to get some help with food and medical but not cash assistence I got 137.00 from back child support a month and with my living situation and being just me I wasnt getting any further help so trying to get my own appartment so I could have my kids at home became still impossible. I hadnt had medical in a long time as i did work and hated to ask for help, I needed my eyes checked as I couldnt see well and new I needed a higher perscription. I was able to get them done as a friend helped pay for it and medicade wasnt active yet, and was so excited as I new this would improve my chances of what jobs I could take I was so excited. I got my eyes done and found that I had cateracts. I was devistated but found they could be fixed:) 1 month after i found that out i was able to get medicade and this march saw the dr he diagnosed me as legaly blind. because his office that he operates in is not in nys but in pa my nys medicade wouldnt pay for it so I have been waiting for fedelice to kick in menwhile finding out thet the dr operates in march and not again till June :( I contacted agencys to try and get some help but because my eyes can get fixed no one could helpme. My dr said I couldnt work I couldnt apply for ssi social services would still only help so much and I still tryed to find work.Mabey there are some people that dont wont to help themselfs, but for the most part there are alot of people that just fall in the cracks and some times I think they might be the ones that work the hardest, fight the hardest and some time soon all that hard work will pay off, till them some of us are still poor, homeless,and stragaling to survive.So to answer the question no I dont beleve its true in all cases some people have jobs and not homes and some people dont have eather one but I do beleve that most try very hard.because sometimes you can have a job a minumum wage job and cant affored an efficancy appartment much less what you need for a familey . - foatamorgona
- I have a family member that has worked all of his life (since 16). He lost his job 2 years. He is well skilled in the computer field. He had a nice "white collar" job and lives in a well to do part of town. He has sent out over 500 resumes and has had several job interviews. But jobs are hard to come by around here and so 2 years later, he still is unemployed. He has done a few free lance things, and has done some game development, but it just brings in a little, nowhere what he needs to help his family pull out of this pit. His wife is going back to school to get her masters degree and hopefully she will get a job as a special needs teacher. They are on the edge of loosing their home. They are fortunate in the fact they will not be on the streets, they have too many family members that would take them in before that would happen, but they still don't want to loose everything they have worked so hard for. Anyone who thinks that homeless people are just lazy need a dose of compassion. It truly could happen to anyone. - eclecticeducati1
- I currently work for the state I live in, full time,and am currently homeless. It is hard to get assistance to get into a home. Everyone wants u to have great credit these days and when you dont make enough money its hard to maintain good credit. Everyone seems to think that being homeless means your lazy and on drugs or drink. I dont even smoke! Alot of people are just a paycheck away from being homeless. Worst part is keeping your children positive. - jlc272010
- I know people with jobs that are struggling. I was homeless for the first half of 2010 and desperately wanted to work. Finding a job was difficult. - manndtp
- not having a home and a permanent address may prove to be a hindrance in getting a job. - zastar
- my personal experience with a homeless friend emphatically shouts no. A homeless man or woman, homeless child wants what we all want, a full nights rest in the same bed, day after day, where their shower is not 20 mlles away from 9-6PM daily. The will work every hustle in the book to survive and eat daily. - Countryluthier
- No, I don't think most homeless people choose to be homeless- the reasons people are homeless are much more complicated. - PNWtravels
- No, that's the right wing tabloid newspaper view and it angers me to hear it - Paul Ward
- I lean toward no...but there was a time when I wondered why any homeless person I saw couldn't just go out and get a job. Not in a nasty way, my heart always aches seeing people that don't have a place to call home, who have given in to their plight and are not trying anymore...all of us are capable of "giving up" on some level. I admit to being guilty of thinking that many homeless people are just lazy in the past, but our current economy is teaching me that so many of us who have worked hard and thought our future was secure...well that may not necessarily be so. Thank you for this insightful page. I have been reading others by you, and they are all so helpful in understanding. - happynutritionist
- People who say this haven't been paying attention to minimum wage vs rent prices these days. Even if you can find a job, which is bloody impossible these days, you may not make enough to keep a roof over your head.That doesn't even cover the people who can't hold a job due to mental or physical handicaps. DISABILITY PAYMENTS ARE NOT ENOUGH TO COVER RENT IN SOME PLACES. Especially if people are only on SSI. - Jessica-Burde
- I don't believe anyone would choose to be homeless, and there are middle-class people, families, who end up living in a car due to job loss and not being able to find another job before they lose their house or apartment, or perhaps they do find a minimum wage job, but as you say, it's not enough. - BlueStarling
- With the economy as it currently is, the price of everything is going up while wages aren't moving at all. I will have 6 months of unemployment, and I hope that will be enough to pay the bills. I've been looking for a job since April 2011. - Desty
- The trigger event that pushes most people isn't always under our control. I used to work at shelter and women that are victims of domestic violence ... getting away might mean dealing with homelessness and all the stupidity that people throw their way. Just makes it harder for people to get to a healthy place for themselves and their kids when people have preconceived notions and threat them poorly. - AnnaleeBlysse
- NO! I have to laugh at people who believe this. Their beliefs include that you can "get rich" pan-handling, all homeless are one certain type of person, that everyone can do what they have done in the past in and other circumstances, and that answers in life a simple and one dimensional.I guess I can understand easier because I could have become homeless at 58 when my health crashed and my daughter's (with3 kids) life crashed at the same time. I lost my home trying to help them, my mother died and our duplex was too much for me to handle alone. The housing bubble was in full swing and the bank took my home without any attempt to work with me because they'd made $50,000 off of me and could resell it for twice what they had loaned me. Then my health, never good, crashed under the stress. My doctor began insisting that I apply for SS Disability. After attempting a temp job and having an emotional collapse trying to do a young person's multi-tasking job I was fired. So there I was: having been a $35,000 a year bookkeeper for 41 years and totally unemployable, plus sick and needing health care and ... homeless. Thankfully, my oldest son was in a position to help. He came and got me and I lived with them for the 14 months it took to get the disability determination. I got one of the few first application determinations ever given in Nebraska. Yet it took another 4 months before I got any checks because of the 5 tests SS runs on random applications, they ran 4 on mine and I had to have transportation to various doctors in 100 mile radius. My son furnished that, too. Then he paid rent and deposit on a trailer, and utility deposits, and bought me groceries to begin. Now, subtract my son from that story and you have a typical homeless person, unable to get disability, unable to get into a modest home, unable to restock all she had lost during her health/job/home loss.And disability doesn't give you Medicare for two years either. Those who can't have empathy for another's woes without the experience themselves had better watch out, don't tempt fate or you might have first hand understanding of the situation of the homeless. - 2TellTheTruth
- I know about professor that has lost his home following his divorce; he has become homeless and lived in a park, until he has been killed by vandals.I have no idea if he could keep his job after he became homeless, but how can you maintain the appearance a professor should when you can't sleep well, can't bathe, wash your clothes, stay away from rain?Ironing your shirts? Sounds almost ironic for a starving person. - verkeerd
- No, because I'm a rational being rather than a lying politician pandering to the right and the likes of Murdoch. - Paul Ward
- Many people have so much happening in their world. Many become homeless because of unforeseen circumstances. The world is changing and it is getting difficult to keep your head above water. There are so many reasons why people become homeless and not because they don't want to work. Teens who can't live at home, domestic violence and addictions that have consumed people. - JillY88
- No. Some of them are lazy, but some just can't make ends meet with the jobs they do have. - sharioleary
- Homelessness and joblessness are complex issues. - anonymous
- It is such a complex issue - maybe some could afford a home somewhere else in the country, but there may not be jobs there. In this country, our middle class is slowly becoming the working poor. They work - both spouses work, and still may not be able to make all payments. - sherioz
- Thought-provoking lens. Many people are quick to judge without knowing all the facts. - victoriahaneveer
- Not a chance. I could not presume to know why people are homeless, and how troublesome it would be to live one day or more without my bed to sleep in. It is our job to extend courtesy to everyone, those with jobs, and those without. - lesliesinclair
- Not long ago I lived in an area that was booming economically. There were many working homeless living in cars, tents, or in shelters because there weren't enough homes for rent. Also, many of the available homes were high-rent and therefore unaffordable to many blue-collar workers. - Kathryn Beach
- I was homeless as a child of 13 I went to Social Security for assistance. They would not offer assistance as I had no fixed address. I could not get a fixed address without assistance. http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-write-your-futures-past - streets2success
- I think 'lazy' is not the appropriate world... better 'tired'!Most of them 'get enough' from society... then they chose for alternative living...I don't know in US. I am Italian and I know about the Italian homeless.I have was one of them in the past and I meet many of them... - giosuele
- I mean " I have been one of them..." - giosuele
- I myself went through 10 years of homelessness.....Everything that was posted above is true.I didnt have work "all the time" because i didnt have the ability to keep standerds up and to have a contact.."not to mention having and illness ontop of it all". Nad I didnt choose to be homeless and not try to have a job.. - benjamin-l-carter
- Of course not ALL homeless people are lazy. Many have mental or drug issues though that make it hard for them to make proper decisions. - EdnaTDodson
- there are homeless people with jobs because when you get hired the company dont usually give you the keys to a new house. - Canoro
- there are currently over 18,000 homeless people in america who work full time and do not make enough money to afford a 1 bedroom apartment because of lown wages.and over 20,000 empty homes in america that no one can afford to buy or rent. - suzanna-lytle
- I am 23 i had a good job and a wife and two kids and i lost it all. i have been looking for jobs and i am not lazy but its true applications ask for past history and if you are not employed then your not worth thier time, i know many homeless families and single people that if given a chance to change the fact they are homeless they would so if you never been homeless then dont judge when people are on the side of the road asking for money yes some dont use it for what they should but we are not all like that. - coryjegelhoff
- "Homelessness has pretty much replaced debtors' prison in America." - that is the most profound statement i've ever read about homelessness. excellent lens. - SgtCecil
- No, because even non-homeless people have a hard time getting a job these days. They have to compete with people who just got laid off a day ago, who have resumes with no gaps, a work-appropriate wardrobe, transportation, an address, a phone...And unfortunately just like "welfare queens" there are urban myths about homeless people who choose to be homeless and make $100s per day panhandling. Don't forget: there but for the grace of god go I. - CuppaJo
- Making plans and carrying them to completion are two distinctly different skills. Being able to work and finding someone who will employ you are two distinctly separate situations. Maintaining appearances is another issue. And another is physical upkeep of the body itself. And both are part of entire hierarchies-of-behavior that must be orchestrated and played through in regular cycles that are un-related (except at a most superficial level) to economic concerns. Who among us conducts these road-show events like a maestro? Are there no rainy days, perfect storms, or holiday's to consider? How's your health been lately? Walk away from all you have and enter a world-full-of-strangers. Where do you fit in? Why would any successful community accept an unknown like you? Things are going good for them, what have you got besides your troubles? What do you have to offer now that you have no job, no money, and may I ask, how much hope and happiness is in your emotional bank-account? The road from being able to being done is a long one and very few people catch the express. Most don't make it on the first try and try again. Not everybody gets a second chance. But how that applies to you remains unknown until your dead, and you will never know. If I ask, "How ya doin'?" and "Why are you doing it?", and you're answer is "O.K." to the first, and "What do you mean?" to the second what can you say about a nameless-stranger you've never met? - homelessink
- That would be strange to think. That is like saying that all people who are not rich are so by their choosing. Which no person with a well paying job would agree to. So no most homeles people are not lazy. - Normyo Yonormyo
- not all of them are lazy..I wasn't I am on disability but I always had jobs it's just the economy and the high cost of even renting a studio let alone 2 bedroom apartment is ridiculous.. some might have jobs but might not be able to afford a house..some are lazy.. we can't really say.. I met some people they were on dope and alcoholics.. weren't actually wanting to work..the ones that look like kids are because their parents kicked them out with no place to go at 18..some can get out of their situations and some can't no one really knows.. in missouri I met this one homeless woman that was rich and yet she chose not to own anything..yes she's dead now..but with all your opionons someone should do something to end the problem.. but srs will take your kids if you can't afford food so it's hard.. - romy67203
- Some homeless people can not get jobs because they have been out of work for a long time and that's why employers wont give them a job. - julienc
- No Body Wants to be homeless a lot of people take for granted the little things they have that make them hover just neck deep over the poverty line.... If anyone here lost there job for a year with no income and no family and friends to help where would they be homeless so people need to to realize it could happen to anyone..... - nationalbusines
- It is just not that easy.......I know I have been there. - rozzie-jay
- Homelessness is a social issue that is impacted by many factors including the economic conditions surrounding employment. Some people choose not to work but some people find it difficult to secure opportunities in the market and some people need assistance that may not be readily available to help them. As some mentioned the longer the duration of unemployment the harder it is to re-enter the workforce, especially at a sustainable wage. Homelessness can happen to anyone and once there, it's a tough climb back into the workforce. We all have a profound ability to impact the lives of others and help homeless people that want re-enter the workforce. There are organizations that even accept second hand clothing so that people can have good clean attire to go for interviews. - fivestead
- I f I was homeless, it woud be difficult to obtain a job due to no home address, no phone, and no way to be contcted for references. this could be difficult, but weird...and both truat the same time. - makingmoneythisway
- No, no way. With the economy the way it is it's hard enough for anyone to find a job, let alone someone with the challenges you describe here. And what if they have a criminal record or a history of drug abuse (even if they're clean now)? Plus, there are people who can't work because of a physical or mental issue.And for those who are working it's getting easier and easier to be employed and homeless, I think. There was a statistic going around a few weeks ago about how many hours a person would need to work at a minimum wage job just to afford an apartment; I think it was something like 80 hours a week (depending on the location). That's just unreasonable for a lot of people, even if they *could* find the work. And even qualifying could be hard. Case in point: a couple of months ago my brother decided to move out of the family house, which was getting too hard to take care of, and get an apartment. He's been with the same company for 35 years and has great credit but that didn't matter because he didn't make enough to qualify. They wanted his salary to be *three and a half times the monthly rent*. I've rented for most of my adult life and I've never come across a requirement like that before - it's just ridiculous. And if someone like him couldn't get approved I can't imagine how someone making minimum wage would. If that's what the housing industry is doing these days I think we will be seeing more and more employed homeless in the future. - kimadagem
- Brian211978, I think you're a bit out of touch with apartment rentals these days. The ones my brother was looking at were almost all more than $900 a month, and I wouldn't call any of them "luxury." My apartment in Denver, which definitely wasn't high-end, was $575 when I moved out a year ago; it is now $1000. Yes, it varies a bit depending on the location, but I think finding *any* decent (ie safe and clean) apartment for $700/month is a lot harder than it used to be - and in some areas probably impossible. - kimadagem
- I believe we all need to help the homeless, some of these homeless people are veterans. I don't believe a good percentage of them are lazy, I believe it has to do with high cost of living. Some chose that life to want to live homeless because they don't have any responsibility. For any reason it may be: I really don't believe a good percentage had much of a choice to be homeless. A lot has to do how our country is being run and the government and all Americans. I am not going to take sides that is not my job to judge, Only God knows and Only God has the power to judge. I don't believe that this is the case that homeless people are lazy in some cases. I am not going to take sides. - ladybug1957
- I've always wondered when I see homeless people in the streets what brought them to that place. And, what was it that made me so lucky not to end up there. But for the grace of god . . . . - MusicMadness LM
- I am a student at Everest University and I am just about ready to graduate with my BA in Criminal justice the focus of Business. I don't agree based on my education that people become homeless on the premises that there lazy. Most people did not grow up with rich parents and are not smart enough to work on multiple project generating multiple streams of income. Most of America based on statistics have less than a 6-grade education, and most individuals can not keep up with the political changes with today's society. If want a job I just by a position from a employment agency, just about anything can be bought and sold in this country including money and status itself. But most people are not that knowledgeable of the world and watch allot of tv thinking that our government is not responsible for the homeless according to the law they are " which states that it is against the law to do harm to yourself and others" As such the american government must take care of you if you are not able to take care of yourself, which means if your picked up because your homeless and no one will hire you because of the companies sociopathic, sadist political views. Guess what? The American people including those very companies that had something against the poorer class now helps support that one individuals SSI and Disability Check. So such companies should think real hard before screening applicants that way. - jeanguy-barbeau
- Not at all...I have been there...and I am the furthest from 'lazy' as one could get. - anonymous
- Nope. Not lazy. Sometimes it's a matter of not having a choice. - CanInsure
- I think we need to take into consideration that a lot of homeless people also have mental health problems that are in no way their fault. The way we treat and "take care" of the mentally ill (at least in the US) is pretty abysmal. Which is (I think) where the 'crazy homeless guy' trope comes from. - fourwindsbar
- Also, I see a lot of arguments along the lines of "Well, I got back on my feet, so why can't they?!" Is it so impossible to understand that they're in a different situation from you...? Maybe they don't have the same resources you do, or the same personality as you. That doesn't mean it's inherently their fault that they're homeless. - fourwindsbar
- No. Homeless people have to work far harder than sheltered people just to survive. - EpicEra
- It is also a myth to many homeless have mental health issues. It is also a myth that most of the homeless are addicts of some kind. - Lady Guinevere
- Homeless people don't get jobs because that is the way the system works. No word of a lie. When you end up in a homeless shelter, the mentors treat you as if you are insane and physically incapable of finding work. From my own experience, when i was homeless, I had to keep a positive attitude as the mentors in the homeless shelter didn't want to believe that I was going to get a job. They even said to me.. 'Okay if you get a job, where are you going to live' which is a fair point, but ive always believed that where there is a will there is always a way. To this day, I am truly disgusted by the way homeless people are treated. There is a long standing stigma that you are a bad person, using drugs or a criminal, when in reality sometimes you can't control the circumstances. I even remember the mentor saying to me 'if you want somewhere to live, go to xfc' so I did and it was a chicken shop. - D
- I'm sorry you are right. Human attitudes are the single biggest barrier to homeless people getting homes. The sickening thing is that, in many areas, it costs MORE to keep a single cot in a homeless shelter going than it does to house two people in an actual apartment. The only reason the money isn't put into helping people get into housing is that the general public doesn't want people to get something they don't feel "those people" deserve. They are housing homeless people in rental housing in Utah, it's cheaper, and it's working. The people also stop needing support and help faster. Thank you for sharing your insight. It is my hope that the more voices people hear in support of treating homeless people like people the more likely it is that more people will start to see them that way and start acting accordingly. - Kylyssa
- Okay, no. I'm in a shelter right now and I know that it's just as easy to clean and groom yourself as it is in your own house. Even when I was street homeless, there are plenty of places for homeless people to shower, get haircuts, get clothing donations, etc. There's never any excuse to be filthy. We live in a world that simply won't tolerate letting you stay dirty and unkempt. Our society is extremely anal about hygiene, so if you're not taking advantage of that, then you're just...not taking advantage of it. - Crystal
- Not who are homeless are weak, or even want to be homeless. Some do choose that lifestyle though. Some veterans from my era Viet Nam and forward, suffer from PTSD or some other mental disorder. Not all vets though, some just can't or don't want to deal with all the bullshit that goes on in every day life. God knows there have been times when I have wanted to say screw it, just let me be alone. But as I am so physically messed up I can't. I have a wonderful wife and two great kids, my wife and I will celebrate 35 yrs of marriage in Oct. After a life time in public service, military, police office, asst. chief, corrections officer, which during a riot some 25+ years ago finished off what the military began. I am now 100% permanently and totally messed..er...disabled. Think at times I don't wish I could say so long to everything I have and live in the woods some place. I need my meds that's why. Some homeless make more by pan handling than if they had a regular 9-5 job. Some are man and wife teams, others its entire families. I have seen them here in my little town on the south east coast of Florida. It is what it is, some are in fact lazy, figure the system owes them for some stupid reason. Others, a lot of others may not want to be homeless, however due to circumstances beyond their control....hey....stuff happens beyond our control all the time. Usually we can recover, other times not so much, then it becomes a situation where you may spend the rest of your life trying to get back what you lost. - Mark
- There are many reasons but ignorance is also another factor I've worked all my life I have four children 3 are adults now and have there own lives and children to support I'm fifty years of age and still have a child 10 years of age he has a disibility which has stopped me from working full time and I also have a disibility and I still face the fact of being homeless.its not easy being a single mother having a mental illness with a child also having a disability there are many reason why people end up homeless and believe me it's not cause I'm lazy or want to be on the streets . - Hub page net work account
- There are as many reasons for being homeless are there are people. Some try, some don't...people are complicated and so its the issue. - Shelley
- Extremely Bad Bad government and very evil greedy rich people keep things this way. - Jp
- Lets look at this as a possible solution, I would like to know what you think.. I live in a city with abundant homelessness..i get asked for money repeatedly. I notice the disgusting smell that many of them have. I see them defecate and urinate on the sidewalk. Now, they are pitching tents and just staying on sidewalks and leaving toxic junk good for vermin, and spreading disease. This is not appropriate or fair for them, or me. Lets be real, i work hard and pay taxes..i deserve better. I would like to see homeless people removed from our streets. I propose that if someone is seen being homeless for 10 nights in a row, they should be forcibly removed from society and places in a work- camp, lime a farm, like a kibbutz system in Israel. Benefits of a Farm-camp for homeless: They will find a way to contribute, even if they just keep the chickens company. The profits, will go back to maintaining the community, with mental health doctors on payroll. They will be able to leave after completing a month on the farm, and being evaluated. When they leave, they will be set up to succeed with temporary housing and a job.. But we need a buffer between them and society and when they can join society, we are here waiting for them..but no more disgusting behavior on the sidewalks..no more starbucks bathrooms that need a hazmat crew..no more begging.. Just balance, a farm-camp, that helps those who didn't help themselves. - Jacob Goldstein
- @Jacob Goldstein I never thought I'd see a Jew arguing for American concentration camps! You practically paraphrased Hitler in what he said about Gypsies. So, did you use profanity in your subsequent comments knowing I don't allow it on this page just so you could complain that your comments weren't posted or because you knew you could privately abuse the author that way? It doesn't matter that you logged out to post them anonymously, your IP address still shows on the comments. Anyway, if you'd read the page, your comment might be worth giving a serious response, but you clearly haven't. I'm really only posting your comment so regular people can see what extremists there are out there willing to kidnap and imprison people for having the problems mentioned on this page. Seriously, imprisoning and enslaving people after ten days of extreme financial difficulty is insane and regular people need to know that people like you exist. - Kylyssa
- No, they are not just lazy. Thank you for shedding light on some serious issues that impede many homeless people from getting jobs and adequate, permanent housing. Some of these things, I knew, but some of them I had not considered. It's great that you're taking your experiences and making a difference. - kiddiecreations
- Yet you fail to post my comment calling him out as an entitled coward? - Rick
- Scroll down the page to where the box was where you left the other comment and you'll see that I approved both of your comments. I have no control over which box you left a comment in so you have to look where you left the comment to see it. - Kylyssa
- No homeless people arent lazy. Few maybe are lazy or Arnt trying hard enough but most are really trying but they're unable to fix their situation - The Nut Buster
- What about the fake homeless that get shuttled around by homeless pimps for drug money seems like a problem in Louisiana? I just wish everyone had a job and at least a roof over their heads thanks for your article - Aj
- If you come back, please explain what you are talking about regarding homeless pimps and fake homeless. It's interesting because it's usually the other way around; homed pimps usually victimize homeless women, girls, and boys. Pimping requires the pimp to have power (usually the power of life and death, assorted threats of violence, and/or drug addictions) over his victims; what power does a homeless pimp have over the fake homeless people? If you live in Louisiana and witness anyone pimping anyone else out report it to the police. The word of a single homed person would put them in jail fast. Keep in mind that if you are mistaken, you could get someone killed. - Kylyssa
- its like this its hard for some people to get a job .. i was homeless an still cant get a job .. people jus dont care an dont wont any body to have a life .. .. have a heart help when u can belive in god . he will lead u .. help out the homeless .. u may not have a chance to do a good dead in gods favor in da futer .. stop putting the homeless down like they dont try bc alote of them do .. SO STOP JUDGING AN START HELPING - noda
- It is very simple. I am a graduate from Social Sciences and Urban Planning, with experience on administrative work, defense and tourism. However i am portuguese young adult. In my country i dont have a job, almost never. I am working abroad now. If it wasn´t my family and friendshelping me i would be homeless. It is very easy to become homeless. - Ana
- I allowed the post for several reasons. One reason is that many average people don't even believe in the existence of people like the commenter identifying themselves as Jacob Goldstein unless they get to see things like that comment that prove their existence. Who can blame them, though? Who thinks like that and has detailed plans for how they'd run their Holocaust against the poor if only they could? The comment (it was actually a series of comments, each nastier and more vulgar than the last) illustrates a certain type of person rabidly opposed to recognizing the humanity of poor people perfectly. Another reason is that I tend to pick up irritating cyberstalkers at the drop of a hat and failing to publish a comment like that one is one seed from whence they seem to sprout. I'm suffering a number of health problems while caring for a dying loved one right now and I just don't have the energy for a cyberstalker. The words of and the existence of his subsequent comments radiated (at the very least) a stalker vibe for the few people who read them. Which brings me to another reason. Last, but not least, some person identifying himself as Jacob Goldstein said some things that any reasonable person would find creepy as heck, including casually talking about kidnapping and enslaving people if they have financial difficulties. If he ever harms a homeless person, it's all there for law enforcement along with his IP address. - Kylyssa
- @Jacob Goldstein @Author why did u allow this post. Why did you give him the satisfaction? It sounds like some sort of hate speech to me. .....I'm not homeless....yet hahaha btw - Rick Humphrey
- I'm so sorry you went through all of that horrible crap. I built this page because I was homeless and still bear the scars. It's my way to explain to the ignorant and to yell back at the people in the world that think people like us are lazy or less than human. Heck, when taking group therapy counseling for being a workaholic I discovered two of the other six people in my group had been homeless before! - Kylyssa
- After finding out I was pregnant I ran away from an abusive relationship with a man who threatened to cause me to have a miscarriage. I ended up in a homeless shelter. In the past, I never had a problem getting a job. But as soon as I was in that shelter with a gap in my employment history, no one would hire me. It was a small town with not a lot of jobs, so i was applying to the same places repeatedly. Eventually my pregnancy started showing and I could no longer hide it from employers. The stress of being on the verge of having a baby I couldn't support caused a mental breakdown and I ended up in a crisis unit in a different town which helped me get housing long enough to have the baby, find work, and finally have a chance. I'm not lazy. I met the wrong man and ended up in bad situations. I will never be the same again after the discrimination and mistreatment I suffered after choosing to leave a different kind of abusive situation. Judge me all you want without knowing any details. - Beth
- I have a close relative that is a bum. He doesn't work because he doesn't like to do ANY kind of work. He has had people bend over backwards trying to help him and all he does is take advantage and use people. I have dealt with this firsthand for YEARS. It is laziness on his part pure and simply. I would like to hear from others with first hand and real life experience dealing with this issue. - Mogie
- A note to readers: I usually do not allow comments with swearing in them but I wanted to respond to the commenter baiting me in the previous question and it makes no sense without the abusive comment that proves he only read the title. I also assume there's a chance he'd start sending me abusive emails if his comment didn't show up as others have sometimes done in the past and I just can't deal with that right now. @Obama Bush Sharlatans - I am the writer, a woman who was herself homeless and brutalized by individuals and by the system you also despise. I'm a middle-aged person with autism who barely survived homelessness and continues to struggle with the physical damage people caused me during that time over two decades later. Yet somehow you think a developmentally disabled person with lupus, PTSD, and assorted neurological damage following head injuries gained while getting ground up by the system you despise should have to fix the system that broke her. I'm too physically ill and damaged and time has made it all too severe to do anything more than to try to educate people with writing, to donate my writing skills to charities, to help people navigate job and apartment applications, and to try to avoid becoming homeless again myself. What are you doing to solve homelessness? Posting nasty comments on articles you didn't actually read doesn't count. If you'd actually read the page you commented on rather than just responding to the question that I used for the title, you'd see I'm pointing out how everything is set up against escaping homelessness, and how even having a job isn't enough to get out a significant percentage of the time. I've helped out homeless people who were working fifty or more hours per week. I've been a homeless person working fifty or more hours a week. My research included multiple rapes, getting stabbed, and getting beat into the hospital. It includes still living with the results decades later and remembering every time I see the scars on the outside of my body or I see a new gynecologist who asks about the scars she sees inside me. My research continues to include seeing the scars on my face and covering them with makeup while being thankful I survived the head injuries, knife wounds, and broken bones I got with them. My research continues to include having great difficulty feeling like I'm a real human being with a right to not be beaten, raped, killed, or even abused verbally, financially, or through discrimination even decades later. My research included taking over two dozen homeless people into my home over the years after I managed to find a home myself. My research included people yelling countless variations of "get a job" at me while I was homeless, including one horrible woman behind the counter of a 7-Eleven I asked for a job application. My research included working with homeless people to find them housing and better jobs, mostly independently because it's difficult to work for charities when one has autism and the charities are so often run on illogical bureaucracies and bored rich women's egos. My research taught me that everything I said on this page is a true reason why homelessness is not as simple to escape as just getting a job. - Kylyssa
- It appears that this idiot writer has done a thorough research and has figured out the cause and reason why homelessness in America the richest country on the planet is growing exponentially! He is treating this deadly issue as our criminal politicians and government is trying to portrait. Ask yourself if you would rather be on the street or work, if you rather be on the street is because you have a mental issue not because you are turning down a starvation pay slavery. If you really are trying to solve the problem? Then you should research our criminal system that is behind it. Do t research homeless people, research our criminal system that has turned Detroit into a third world society, We savagely and viciously dropped A Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and massacred hundreds of thousands of defenseless women and children and now compare those two cities with Detroit and other miserable cities around America and ask yourself who won the war. When parents of a family rape and rob their own children, expect those children to be on the street. Figure it out genius America, All me are created equal. Liberty and justice for all. These bull crap are written by a group of slave owners, land owners, and the only class that could vote. Get to the root of the problem asshole writer. - Obama Bush Sharlatans
- Either you're really old to have worked way back when businesses didn't require employees to have IDs, phones, and home addresses or you're just really out of touch with how the world works now. Maybe you don't recall having to provide an address, phone number, social security number, and photo ID, but if you worked at a national fast food chain in the last twenty years you did. You have to make at least three times your monthly rent each month to be accepted into most apartment complexes in the twenty-first century. While doing volunteer work, I've helped people fill out the forms umpteen times. Every apartment application I've ever filled out or helped fill out in the last twenty years, my own or someone else's, has included a credit check. Even individuals renting out rooms in their primary residences run credit checks these days because it's so easy to do. About half of the job applications I've helped people fill out in the last ten years have included submitting to a credit check. All of them have required the applicant to have a phone number, an address, a state issued photo ID or driver's license, and a Social Security card. If you just start showing up at a place of business and start working, they don't hire you; they call the police. Minimum wage workers don't get a pass on filling out the paperwork; they have to fill everything out and get their application chosen just like any other worker does. And so what if children, disabled people, and elderly people are weak? So what if human beings aren't all strong enough to pull themselves up by the bootstraps on the boots they don't have when they crash into lousy circumstances? We're all human beings even if you think you are above having emotions like empathy. You aren't able to see the value of people weaker than yourself, but fortunately, most people aren't like you. We'll be here to help you out when you fall down even if you get all nasty proclaiming your superiority like a broken record as some conservatives do when they lose their homes due to human weaknesses like sickness, age, injury, and corporate downsizing. - Kylyssa
- Yes, they are lazy. That's why I will never give them money. Try and attack what I'm about to say because I know I am right. You really think McDonald's cares about your address? They don't. I've worked at several fast food restaurants and I have never had to give them an address. You don't need good credit. You just need to show up. I made $400 a week at a fast food restaurant; MORE THAN ENOUGH TO RENT AN APARTMENT. No credit rating, no work experience, nothing. That comes out to $19,200 a year. Work harder than everyone else and improve your life. No excuses, if you are on the street, you are weak. Flame on. - Collin
- Thank you for your insightful comment. I must have blocked out all the come-ons on some level because I've never written or talked about them but, jeez, they never freaking stopped. I have Aspergers so I took everything at face value and can almost never tell when someone is trying to play a scam on me or deceive me so you can imagine how that went with those guys. I write about homelessness to try to spread empathy and dispel those destructive myths and attitudes so mant people seem to have. This article was inspired by my very unpleasant and ironic memory of a young woman behind the counter who yelled, "Why don't you get a f-ing job?" at me when I asked her for a job application. I hope your situation turns around soon. Take it easy on yourself don't let the jerks get you down. Who cares what jerks think, anyway? - Kylyssa
- I'm homeless and let me tell you, I'm not at all lazy. I moved 1600 miles across the US to be with my significant other. His mom was out of state with his dying father, and he told me that she agreed i could live at the house (he was watching it for them) and was supposed to be living out of state even after the father passed away. It was a huge concern of mine that she like me, in case things didn't go as planned. He assured me she would. A month of planning later, i say my farewells and I'm off. When i arrive, I'm told she returned. No big deal, right? I walk into the house and she doesn't say two words to me, then proceeds to hide upstairs. I thought it was strange. He decides to show me around town and goes upstairs to tell his mom we'll be back shortly. This lasts a good hour. After he comes down, I'm informed i can't stay there. A few days of sleeping in my car in a walmart parking lot later, he tells me his brother offered to house me. Turns out his girlfriend is a "witch" (if you know what i mean...), like their mom, and i get thrown out again. From the day i got there up until this point, I've filled out over 100 job applications... I've had interviews... I've gone to job fairs... I kept my phone in and listed his brother's address as my own (despite his girlfriend throwing away or sending back any mail that is sent there...). I am NOT lazy. I call and call and call these places, pleasing for an interview, only to get turned down.... I've been homeless for 5 months now. I've maintained enough income thru donating plasma and begging to keep gas in my car, pay my phone bill and feed myself. I've had a select few very generous people give me $20 and $40 at a time and one couple let me shower at their place (but they live too far out to go there often). The owners of walmart have been generous enough to not ask me to leave, and because of that i can stay here legally. I don't cause any trouble, though. A few people have asked for the story behind me being homeless. I don't lie. They ask why i don't look for work and i explain how virtually impossible it is. A few suggested Craigslist, but i tried that and only got offers for scam "jobs" (they claim they want you to do this long process of "advertising" and it leads to your ads getting blocked and removed, thus you never get paid because you didn't "complete the job"; others offer to put a decal on your car, but ask you to deposit a check - usually from a stolen or suspended account - they say to take out x amount off the top and send the rest back. They actually use this fraud check to get access to your bank account and steal your money or overdraw so far that you'll never get out of debt). I've had offers to take pornografic pictures for "art books" and I've had specifically sexual offers (always very explicit). The few that actually offer to "help" actually tried getting me to have sex with them, once we were alone. One guy said he'd let me shower every so often, then decided i could only do this if i walked into his house naked and let him do as he pleased with me... I declined. I've had people offer me money, "only if it won't go to drugs and alcohol". This kind of argivates me, but i know most people view the homeless this way- most here reek of alcohol and will openly admit to doing drugs... I also get hit on by the homeless men very often. They offer to help me, but immediately bring up sex and how they won't force anything on me, how I'm a "very beautiful young woman" and how they would love to be with me... So i decline... Being homeless isn't as easy to turn around as most people seem to assume. I'm not lazy, and actually found this website while looking for a low-income housing and job... It's a vicious cycle for the homeless that truly try bettering their situation- you need a job for income, to get an apartment; you need an apartment to stay clean, to get and keep a job... I've contacted many churches/the Salvation Army/shelters/temporary job agencies. I always get the "sorry you're homeless, wish i could help" line. Temp agencies won't even hire homeless people. The one shelter up here will only let people stay if they get a note from a person they know stating that they are, in fact, homeless. I do t have the gas to drive there everyday, anyway. I hope i find something soon, because it really is depressing and my SO doesn't understand what it's like, despite me trying to explain it... - M
- This is a self-publishing platform and it's an editorial, not an article. It's a little like blogging with a new webpage per post. - Kylyssa
- How did you manage to get a job to write this article? - Billy Bob
- NO, I don't believe people are lazy just because they either don't have jobs, or work several P/T ones. Public transportation in the US is awful, and P/T jobs pay so little, some don't even cover rent. You need food, electric, a phone, and clothes suitable for whatever the job is. Some apartments won't let you live in them if you have been out of work or have a spotty work history. Plus P/t jobs have no benefits, health, vacation days or sick days. People who think it's easy should try living like that, as President Obama pointed out in his SOTU address. - Jean Bakula
- I feel frustrated by those judgmental, condescending, and irrelevant anecdotes, too. My experience with personally enduring homelessness is decades old and I frequently tell people that difficult to escape as it was and horrific as my experiences were, it is much worse and much harder in many ways now. Jobs are definitely harder to get and far less plentiful and more people are more prejudiced against poor people than they were even just ten years ago. - Kylyssa
- Anytime I see an article like this, with a comment section, I always think 'and now for the anecdotal stories!'. I swear, some people will think that just because something worked one way for them, therefore that is the way it will work for all 7 billion people on the planet if 'they want it enough and work for it'. Seriously? Did they not read the article? Many, MANY jobs nowadays require you to apply online. While you can go to a library, many if not most of these applications won't even let you keep going if you don't fill in all required fields, like address, phone number, and references. Even if they went in person, not having an address or telephone is a big problem. So there goes the 'why can't they just flip burgers' thing. Next would be 'why can't they dig ditches, do stuff no one wants to do, etc.'. Again, no address. And even if someone hired them privately, that could be a whole can of worms. It may not be reliable, or, they may get taken advantage of. It's just not so cut and dry as some people think. It's sort of the same way about teens getting jobs. You hear 'when I was a teen, I had a paper route! Kids today are just lazy & entitled!'. Yeah, because it's not like times change or anything like that. When I was a teen, on average a job search would last a week, tops. But just because it was like that in the 90s & early 2000s, I don't go telling teens anecdotal stories about what it was like when I was a teen, as times have changed. - akphilly
- Kimadagem, I just want to point out that I pay 635 a month for a nice wooden floored one bedroom apartment in a suburbian city outside of Austin while going to school full time and working 50 hours a week. I'm 21, pay all my bills, and have been for three years. I think you're the one that's out of touch.Bums are people who have had it pretty bad, regardless of what they've gone through. I think a lot of them need help getting one step forward, but it is possible. You just have to be strong enough. Some bums like being bums.. Some of them give up and think life is hopeless. They might not have anyone to reassure them that they can do better. Dunno.. It's sad, really. I always give them dollar bills and food. I don't mind helping them. I just hope they can become happier someday. - ohhaiitsrachel
- I have seen addiction to drugs and alcolhol do most of the damage - sweetstickyrainbo
- I think that the homeless need a lot more help, and we are all responsible. - DavidBradshaw
- Hard for me to take a side, BUT, Not all homeless people are lazy, because I've seen some REALLY TRY! However, some people say that a minimum wage job can't support yourself. You don't have to live in a $700/mo apartment people! Don't HAVE to live in luxury! If you can't afford, MOVE! And if your already homeless, when you get your job, live as minimally as possible! Pay your rent, pay your utilities, pay your food! - Brian211978
- I been homeless although I always had an address and stayed clean got up and moved on.. there are a bunch of misconceptions...all the homeless people I know all had phones and stayed in a homeless shelter and got jobs as well as back on their feet..but unless you know the situation you can't say either way.. there are temp jobs that will hire anyone..but you have to know people with phones..I am one of the lucky ones now I own my home..everyone offers a temporary situation to a permanent problem.. that needs to change. someone needs to build a homeless shelter that will build skills life and job wise..so they can get back on their feet and won't be back out on the streets 6 months later..if you want to do something about it than by all means do it but otherwise don't judge it could be you next time around it only takes one forclousure a dirvorce or whatever to be just like them and then what - romy67203
- I put yes, but obviously this isn't true in every case. A lot of people are homeless because they have made poor decisions for themselves. I know of several people who would be homeless if they didn't have relatives that were kind enough to put up with them, due to their laziness. - GuitarForLife LM
- Homeless people not lazy.am not accepted . - kathleencl
- Some homeless people refuse to get a job because they have seen first hand that they can make it asking for money; others simply aren't qualified to get a job. - mtaylor92
- Activeman, you'd be shocked by how many people actually believe that homeless people could just get a job and stop being homeless. Many of those same people, who think homelessness is caused by not trying to get a job, are only a few paychecks from being homeless themselves. Veterans have it bad. The government tries to wiggle out of compensating vets for combat related disabilities and generally doesn't provide the help many veterans need to re-integrate into civilian life. - Kylyssa
- GET REAL! This question can only be answered by people who are so well-off, stable, or wealthy that they have no idea or what it is like to not have a job and place to live. First of all, there are very few jobs available, I know; I am a vietnam veteran with years of experience in word processing who has been out of work for 6 months. There is serious discrimination going on here with employers....they want who they want....usually for the wrong reasons. Now that you can't find work....eventually you end up homeless....or possibly on Section 8 like me....then the landlords discriminate against you.....there are ridiculous personal information you now have to provide them.....then after about a month....they don't approve you anyway....so now you are living in a homeless shelter....if you can find a bed available...and once the employer finds out your address.....more discrimination....OHHHHH look where he's living....the snobbishness in this country is so underrated....and disrespectful....they are treating veterans like they are criminals....the bottom line now is you can't get jobs due to discrimination which no one seems to be honest above....and now you can't even get a place to live....because now that you are homeless your credit number isn't high enough....more discrimination....what are we just numbers....what is wrong with this country...and why are veterans being treated as if they are criminals???????????????? - Activeman
- It is easier for them to say that these people are just lazy.Than to admit there is something wrong with the society its self.There are so many discriminating requirement's you face when you go to get a job now, that you didn't have 50 yrs ago.They are making it harder for people to get a job. - coolrayfruge
- No, I don't. I think a lot of young kids leave home because of abuse and start a pattern they might not escape. Others are cast out when rents are too high, bankruptcy and or divorce overtakes them. There are many causes and all too few solutions. - norma-holt
Homelessness, itself, is often a crime
While homeless people do commit crimes, sometimes their only crime is being without a place to sleep. It often doesn't take long for them to get criminal records without doing anything wrong. The charges can be loitering, trespassing or unauthorized camping for falling asleep in a place not designated as a residence. Oddly enough, people with a house or an apartment who fall asleep in public are rarely charged with anything.
In many cities in America, the state of being homeless is inherently illegal so getting a criminal record is pretty much inevitable if one has nowhere to live in those areas.
Employers are turned off by criminal records and few will care to listen to explanations. Applicants without criminal records will almost always get preference.
Even if a someone lucks out and avoids getting a criminal record, he or she will often be assumed to be a criminal and an addict if the applicant's un-housed status is discovered.
Many are Disabled
Disability is the inability to perform substantial work
Whether physically or mentally ill, many homeless people are disabled by their illnesses. I've read the criticisms and assertions that those with mental illness just need to straighten up and get a job. The problem is that anyone mentally ill enough to be sleeping in a cardboard box isn't fit to work a job until he or she gets at least a little better. They aren't faking; they aren't just being too lazy to work. Mentally ill homeless people are just that - mentally ill.
How could anyone possibly think that sleeping outside, getting frequently beaten and abused and suffering humiliation after humiliation is preferable to working and having a safe, comfortable place to sleep, protection from assault, and respect from your fellow man? If a person really thought that the horror of homelessness was better than working a job, wouldn't that be pretty insane in itself? It's not a choice. That strange, smelly homeless guy yelling nonsense at passersby is disabled by his mental illness.
Some are physically too ill to hold down a job, too.
So, if these people are disabled then why aren't they living in a cheap little apartment somewhere supported by Social Security Disability?
They are often still in the process of applying for it. The first denial can take up to six months and the first appeal takes around 500 days. During that time the physically disabled with nowhere to live are both unable to work and not getting any income. Also, to get Disability, applicants must be available to be contacted and able to make it to appointments, sometimes hundreds of miles away. Sometimes those aren't even possible for homeless people. Being without an address might cause them to experience a delay too great in mail delivery making them disqualified to receive assistance for missing an appointment. Food assistance is often pretty much all they can get. That covers some of why the physically disabled homeless are out on the streets.
Many of the mentally disabled who are living on the street are too messed up to get or hold down a job or sometimes even understand what is going on around them. If they are too disconnected or disaffected from reality to work a job how on earth are they going to navigate the process of filing for Disability?
Addiction, Both Real and Imaginary, Keeps Homeless from Employment
Not all are addicted to drugs but most people believe that they are, including employers
Most people think this is the major reason homeless people don't get jobs and that may be true for many chronically homeless people. Addictions prevent them from looking for work and from getting hired if they do. The perception that all homeless people are drug-addicted criminals is possibly a greater barrier to their employment than actual drug addiction is.
There's no doubt that addiction causes many people to remain homeless but it is by no means the reason all homeless people are without homes or why they are not working.
Do you now have a better idea of why those living on the streets don't just get jobs?
Did you learn anything about why people don't just get jobs and stop being homeless?
Questions & Answers
© 2009 Kylyssa Shay