7 Major Causes of Homelessness


Imagine being hit with an unexpected curveball that completely throws your life off track.

This is often what leads to homelessness—a sudden, drastic change that disrupts everything.

Sometimes, homelessness isn’t caused by one single event but rather a combination of difficult circumstances.

Here are seven common reasons why people might find themselves without a home:

1. Lack of Trustworthy Relationships

Having close, reliable relationships can make a huge difference during tough times.

We all need family, friends, or mentors to turn to for support and guidance.

Without these trustworthy relationships, people can feel isolated and vulnerable.

When there’s no one to help in times of need, a temporary setback can quickly spiral into homelessness.

Forming healthy, supportive relationships can be the difference between having a place to stay while getting back on your feet and finding yourself on the streets.

2. Illness and Disability

Chronic illness or disability can have a profound impact on a person’s life.

These conditions can prevent someone from holding a steady job, leading to a loss of income.

Without a reliable income, it becomes difficult to afford housing, food, and medical care.

The medical bills alone can be overwhelming.

Illness and disability are often sudden and unexpected, drastically altering someone’s life and making it difficult to maintain a home.

The repercussions of these health issues can lead to homelessness, even for those who previously had stable living situations.

3. Abuse

A staggering 90% of homeless women have experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime.

Survivors of domestic abuse, both men and women, often find themselves with nowhere to go when they escape their abusers.

The fear and trauma associated with abuse leave many survivors in a state of constant fear, unable to find a safe place to call home.

This lack of safe housing options forces many to live on the streets, making abuse one of the leading causes of homelessness.

4. Working, but in Poverty

Many people experiencing homelessness actually have jobs, but their low-paying positions don’t provide enough income to cover basic necessities like housing and food.

The cost of living continues to rise, but wages often do not keep up.

Even with steady employment, evictions and foreclosures can happen, leaving people without a home.

This situation is more common than many realize, highlighting the fact that having a job does not always mean financial stability.

5. Unemployment

Job loss due to layoffs or workplace discrimination can happen to anyone.

The job market is unpredictable, and sudden unemployment can lead to an immediate loss of income.

Without income, paying rent becomes impossible, leading to eviction and homelessness.

The reality is that unforeseen workplace misfortunes can strike at any time, making anyone vulnerable to becoming homeless.

6. Lack of Affordable Housing

There is a clear connection between the shortage of affordable housing and the number of people living on the streets.

This issue is especially pronounced in cities and metropolitan areas.

In places like Atlanta, housing prices are on the rise, and affordable options are becoming scarce.

The average one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta costs about $1,000 per month, while the minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour.

This significant disparity makes it incredibly difficult for low-income individuals to find a place to live, contributing to the growing homelessness crisis.

7. Personal Hardship

Personal hardships, such as natural disasters, toxic relationships, or divorce, can lead to homelessness.

These life-changing events often occur without warning and can drastically alter someone’s financial situation.

For instance, a natural disaster might destroy a home, and insurance may not cover the damage.

A divorce can mean losing a partner who helped split expenses, making it difficult to afford rent or mortgage payments alone.

These personal tragedies can happen to anyone, causing a sudden and unexpected shift into homelessness.

Homelessness is Temporary

Homelessness can happen to anyone, and it can happen suddenly.

It is not a permanent condition.

Having trustworthy relationships and a support system to turn to can make all the difference.

At Atlanta Mission, we focus on transforming lives by addressing the root causes of homelessness and providing personalized support and guidance.

By understanding each person’s unique circumstances, we can offer customized services to help them overcome homelessness.