In homelessness, people are often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe and secure housing. Although, it is the result of the cumulative impact of a number of factors, rather than a single cause. Homeless people have a higher prevalence of mental illness as compared to the general population. They also are more likely to be alcoholics and suffer from drug dependency. According to analysis, there are 20% to 25% homeless people as compared to 6% non-homeless people have several mental illnesses. A new study by British researchers has also suggested that homelessness makes people vulnerable to mental and health problems.
Scientists involved 64 people in research. Some of them are homeless and some facing problems related to housing. They were living in slum-like living whereas others living in constant insecurity and flux.
During an interview, scientists found that 48% of them had the poor health condition and 28% had the disability. When asked about their health, scientists found that more than half of people had experienced suicidal thoughts and 9% of people reported about self-harming.
Research led, Dr. Kate Hardy said, “The sheer complexity of many respondents’ situations and the various state institutions involved as well as the significant confusion, lack of information and poor mental health in some was distressing to hear. This is impacting some of the most vulnerable populations in society.”
67 percent of women participants interviewed unduly and more than half (59 percent) of them were dependents, mainly children under 18. This is due to the housing system prioritizes those working in the labor market which disadvantages women who take time away from work to have children.
According to research, 81% interviewed people had been homeless in the last five years. And 73% of them was thrown out from the residence in last five years.
Research co-author, Dr. Tom Gillespie said, “The reasons for people becoming homeless were many and varied and often involved a combination of losing their job, cuts to social support, rent arrears, eviction and family breakdown.”