Shelter is a basic human need. Without it, people cannot take care of other basic needs or protect themselves from the elements. The United Nations estimates that over 100 million people are homeless worldwide. Homelessness is usually the most extreme instance of poverty. People become homeless in many different ways. For years, social scientists have sought the best explanations of homelessness through structural and individual causes. Structural causes are related to living conditions; individual causes are related to personal characteristics that allow people to accommodate and survive within their communities. Homelessness can be transitional, episodic, chronic, the consequence of disaster, or the result of personal struggles. Most people leave homelessness quickly (90 percent of all homeless). The chronic homeless are society’s greater challenge, considering that ...

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