HOMELESSNESS DEFINITION Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are unable or unwilling to acquire and maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack “fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence. The legal definition of “homeless” varies from country to country, or among different entities or institutions in the same country or region. The term homeless may also include people whose primary night-time residence is in ahomeless shelter, a warming center, a domestic violence shelter or other ad hoc housing situation.
Scenario in Ireland: Every three years Irish local authorities assess the numbers of homeless people in their area, as part of the Department of Environment, Heritage and LocalGovernment’s Assessment of Housing Need. The most recent national figures from this survey show that in 2005 there were 2,399 homeless people in need of housing. This figure includes only those on local authority housing lists who have declared themselves to be homeless.
In 2008, the Homeless Agency conducted a survey of homelessness in Dublin. It counted 2366 people homeless in the city, of whom 110 were sleeping rough. Labour TD, Eamon Gilmore recently claimed that over 1,000 young people were homeless in the Greater Dublin area, and according to Roughan MacNamara of Focus Ireland, at least 100 of them are sleeping out on their own. FACTORS LEADING TO HOMELESSNESS ?Poverty, caused by many factors including unemployment and underemployment. ?Lack of accessible healthcare.
People who have some kind of chronic and weakening disease but cannot get healthcare either because they don’t have money to afford it or because the government will not give it to them are simply too weak to go and work every day. ?Lack of accessible healthcare. People who have some kind of chronic and weakening disease but cannot get healthcare either because they don’t have money to afford it or because the government will not give it to them are simply too weak to go and work every day. ?Abuse by government or by other people with power. War or armed conflict. ?Natural disasters ?Mental disorder, where mental health services are unavailable or difficult to access or as a result of deinstitutionalization. ?Disability, especially where disability services are non-existent or poor performing. ?Social exclusion, including because of sexual orientation and gender identity ? Substance abuse ?Lack of affordable housing ?Domestic violence. ?Relationship breakdown, particularly in relation to young people and their parents. ?Prison release and re-entry into society. Disasters, including but not limited to earthquakes and hurricanes. ?Forced eviction – In many countries, people lose their homes by government order to make way for newer upscale high rise buildings, roadways, and other governmental needs. The compensation may be minimal, in which case the former occupants cannot find appropriate new housing and become homeless. ?Mortgage foreclosures where mortgage holders see the best solution to a loan default is to take and sell the house to pay off the debt.
Criminality—Some homeless may have committed crimes and are therefore hiding from the authorities. A substantial percentage of homeless population are individuals who are chronically unemployed or have difficulty managing their lives effectively due to prolonged and severe drug and/or alcohol abuse. Substance abuse can cause homelessness from behavioral patterns associated with addiction that alienate an addicted individual’s family and friends who could otherwise provide support during difficult economic times.
Increased wealth disparity and income inequality causes distortions in the housing market that push rent burdens higher, making housing unaffordable. Social care workers role in Homelessness: The role of a social worker in this sector is enormous. This following diagram will explain the roles in a simple way. Social worker may be involved in a few or all of these roles depending on the nature of their job, and the approach to practice that they use.