Homeless people are extremely misunderstood. Here are five myths that need to be proven false in order to educate the public.
Myth #1: "We will never solve homelessness."
Solving homelessness comes with an easy solution, housing for everyone. Affordable housing isn't as hard as it is perceived, but with affordable housing there needs to be more jobs.
Myth #2: "Homeless people simply do not want to work."
The housing affordability gap has grown dramatically wider over the past three decades. Since affordable housing and jobs come hand in hand, that means there needs to be a balance between the two. Many jobs a homeless person would be able obtain right away do not pay nearly as much as they would need to afford a home.
Myth #3: "All homeless people are mentally ill or addicts."
People tend to believe that the homeless are homeless because they are mentally ill or addicts, however, that is not usually the case. People become homeless because they could not afford housing. Only 1/3 of the homeless in shelters are affected by mental illness or addiction.
Myth #4: "Homeless people do not have to live on the streets, that's what shelters are for."
Many people assume shelters are the safe haven for homeless people, but that is usually not the case. People who live in shelters risk being harmed, their belongings being stolen, or their freedom taken away. For these reasons, many individuals decide they're better off figuring out how to get back on their feet on their own.
Myth #5: "It's their fault they are homeless."
The real increase in homelessness comes from the lack of real affordable housing and few resources for people to move out of shelters and into permanent housing.