Homelessness is a huge social problem even in affluent countries. There are more than 3 million homeless people in the USA, and the number is growing.
People become homeless through a variety of reasons: imperfect laws, family problems, drugs or alcohol addiction, illness or separation, rock bottom poverty, loss of job and others. The range of people who are affected by homelessness is infinite as society itself. In Russia many people lost their homes because of scams with flats. In the USA lots of people become homeless because of evictions. 40% homeless people in the USA are families.
Not many homeless people like the life without obligations and responsibilities and being on their own. Just something went wrong in their lives, they lost all social contacts which supported them within society and became social lepers. They found themselves in a downward spiral, life has fallen down roundabout them and they canít patch things up.
Some people are more prone to becoming homeless than others but still nobody is ensured against losing their home. An American magazine told the story of a computer supervisor who had heart condition and had to pay $ 30,000, all his life savings, for hospital bills not covered by insurance. Some time later he got to rock bottom and ended up sleeping rough.
In Moscow the city government is making some efforts to improve the situation. It built several shelters for homeless people where they can sleep at night, wash their clothes and have a snack. There are also charitable organizations trying to improve the life of these people, to help them feel safer. But of course, these measures are not enough, they reach only the tip of the iceberg. Contrary to popular belief, not all homeless people are alcoholics, but many are, and those who have commitment to alcohol recovery, need psychological and medical help. The situation can change for the worse as a new housing law provides for evictions of people who donít pay the rent in time. So the number of homeless people in Russia can just increase, and homelessness will take a greater toll.
There are, of course, some people in American for whom the question of whether to live in an apartment, a condominium, or a house simply does not arise. These are the homeless, who are found on the streets of virtually all of Americanís cities. When it gets cold, some of the homeless stay in special shelters run as either public or private charities. Others spend the night on the street, sometimes in cardboard boxes or even in large trash bins called dumpsters.
People become homeless for various reasons. The collapse of a family, the loss of property can all be factors. There are even people, who for whatever reason, prefer to live in a homeless state. Recently, there has been public controversy over the increasing presence of homeless people on the streets of large American cities. In response to demands from the public that beggars, including the homeless, be prevented from approaching people on the streets, some cities have enacted strict vagrancy laws. Putting homeless people in jail does not, however, help to solve the basic problem of homelessness.
As so frequently happens with such problems in America, the rights of two different groups have to be balanced. The public has a right to be protected from unwanted intrusions into its privacy, whereas the homeless have a right to be left alone as long as they are not causing others harm.