(Gloucestercitynews.net)(March 26, 2020)--In modern sociology, there are several approaches to defining homelessness. One reason for this is the emotional coloring of the problem. When we see a person sleeping on the street, or we find out that someone died of cold, having no place to spend the night on a winter night, or at five in the morning we hear the shivering of bottles the homeless man searches for in the trash, we wonder, feel sad, or get angry, asking the question: why are these people on the street and what to do with them?
Homelessness topic research should not only "ascertain the fact" of the number of homeless people, but also answer the question "why?". Those who are trying to blame society or the authorities are inclined to embrace "overarching" definitions to make the problem wider, including families who are forced to live with distant relatives because they do not have their own premises, and persons in prisons, boarding schools or hospitals, and those who spend more than half of their rental income.
- Governments (to reduce budget spending on the homeless), on the contrary, usually try to make the problem either "minimal", considering that only those who need to spend the night on the street are homeless (the fact that they do not have a dwelling is their own fault, we can do nothing).
- Representatives of social services working with homeless people posit the problem of "not ours" (we are not responsible for this, other departments are dealing with it, etc.).
Governments underestimate the problem and focus on several exemplary housing schemes; non-governmental organizations may have a religious or political background that overwhelms their research; newspapers and television tend to be the most dramatic and sensational stories.
The second reason for the multiple definitions when talking about homelessness is the purpose of the study. If we want to count the number of homeless people in a city or country, it is easier for us to do so when the definition is clear and includes fewer categories as possible. When we try to investigate the problem and then develop a network of social services for the homeless, we will need as many categories as possible, since each will have different needs.
If we investigate the homeless on the street, only they will be identified. If we talk about the need for housing, then we will focus on the definition of the formal availability of permanent residence and living conditions. If we are talking about the psychological aspects when writing an essay on homelessness, then in the definition, we will pay attention to the problems of having family ties, friends, psychological stability, privacy and a sense of security.
The third reason for the existence of several definitions of homelessness is that living conditions in different countries of the world are not the same and, accordingly, "housing" is also ambiguous. In Kenya, the majority of the population lives in clay and straw huts and this is considered normal. Instead, in Germany or France, such a shack will not be considered housing. When writing essays on homeless you can make a huge investigation on homelessness by contacting respective centers and governmental institutions to help you with your paper research. One such fact is that at the end of the last century, it was the norm in the Soviet countries to live in communal apartments or to have only one room for a family of four. Instead, in Canada, if the number of rooms in a home is smaller than the number of family members living there, or if several families live together, this is already "overcrowding" and the risk of homelessness.
The question is whether to consider a person homeless if he leads a wandering lifestyle but formally has housing? Or to consider a homeless person who does not lead a wandering lifestyle and does not live on the street but does not have a permanent home.
A homeless person can be both an individual and a family. If one family member has their own home and the other members live with him and both parties are satisfied with such living conditions, then no family members are homeless. The same goes for a few friends or acquaintances, or several families living together. It should also be noted that the availability of housing is linked to access to social services: people living in isolated areas should have access to at least a grocery store, hospital, and school. Homelessness can thus be referred to as the absence of a long-term or permanent home over which individuals or family groups have personal control and which provides basic housing, privacy, and security at an affordable cost, with direct access to social and economic services.
You do not have to be talking to homeless in order to understand that this topic is relevant and important for research. When choosing it, remember that there are many reasons to live on the streets and they are different. Every aspect of people's lives on the street can be important and must be taken into account.