Homelessness is a complex issue that exists in almost all countries and in most of the communities of the world. The homeless living on the city streets are the most visible population of the category of ‘homeless’. We often come across many such people in the pavements, sidewalks, under bridges, or in abandoned buildings or parks. We can say that these ‘rough sleepers’ are the public face of homelessness. These were formerly classified as tramps or vagrants, the occupants of ‘skid row’, the ‘bag ladies’, etc. These wastelands of discarded humanity are mere blocks away from the financial, commercial, and entertainment centers in almost all countries —the two sides of the same coin.
It is estimated that over two percent of the world’s population is homeless. To think of it, this doesn’t sound much but if we sit down and do the math, that’s nearly 154 million people living on the streets or temporary dwellings. The problem of homelessness cannot be pinned down to any one factor. Just like the secondary colors purple, green or orange are formed by mixing two of the primary colors in the same way the issue of homelessness is a blend of social, economic, and personal factors.
So what are the different constituents of this problem and what are the possible solutions? Can it ever be eradicated? What are the social innovations happening in this space? Read the module to find answers to these questions.