1. Unemployment - military training rarely qualifies for civilian jobs;
2. The shortage of cheap housing;
3. Veterans with disability (PTSD) and persons with substance abuse;
4. Lack of family support – those who, all their lives, avoided to support their children, siblings, their own parents, and extended family like ex-spouse, cousins, uncles and aunts while they had the resources to do so, find themselves with no one paying back.
The first three are for society and governments to address. The last one is a homeless by choice. A man can choose to avoid paying his own children support by doing undocumented jobs or putting up a business in someone else’s name to.
I know someone whose children grew up and eventually became professionals without his help. As he advanced in age, the undocumented jobs went to younger candidates and he had no employment track record for any legal job application.
Aside from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he had no social security contributions to benefit from. The monthly maximum SSI amount as of 2016 is $733. Here, we factor in item 1 to 2, his unemployment due to age and inexperience, and shortage of cheap housing that his SSI can afford. As for no.3, he avoided the military draft by marrying at sixteen, however, his substance abuse started when he was seventeen and continued till he was seventy.
His children has disowned him. His ex-wives have moved on. His parents have died and his siblings, in slightly better situation are not willing to adopt him. The man now lives in the streets, in a state with four seasons. That means killer winters and torching summers over 100 degrees.
Another group of homeless by choice is the runaway. I flew the coop at seventeen for no valid reason other than baseless pride and arrogance. I wanted adventure and dangerous liaisons. When I needed shelter, my cousin Ate Fely, in her kindness, took me in for a season.
I did not evade a military draft, on the contrary, I was war freak. I did not ditch child support, in fact I have raised three professionals. I worked all my life. To this date, head hunters are still emailing me from my LinkedIn, for jobs I no longer have the health to do.
Fast forward to 2015, I went home from California at middle age. I have come full circle. I found myself back in Ate Fely's home. She is still my go-to whenever I’m homeless.
The God of the Poor
The God of the Poor