The Underlying Cause of Homelessness

homeless encampment | Covenant House

“The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text of the article below belong solely to the author of the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of Covenant House International. These articles are shared with the purpose of being informative and thought provoking.”

When young people come through our doors, we always ensure they receive the immediate and long-term care they seek, with absolute respect and unconditional love. However, we can’t control all of the stereotypes that exist outside our walls about people who have been unhoused. Frequently, our young people face discrimination because of their experience of homelessness, which can make it more difficult for them to find fulfilling jobs and stable housing. 

However, as the article we’re sharing today points out, other struggles unhoused people experience, like addiction and mental illness, are not necessarily the reason they face homelessness. As the article from the LA Times states, “We’re not trying to dispute that these individual vulnerabilities matter,” [author Gregg Colburn] said. “They certainly do. But the point is, there are people who are addicted and mentally ill in Chicago, and Chicago has one-fifth the homelessness of Seattle and San Francisco. So what’s going on here? The point is these individual vulnerabilities interact with housing markets to produce homelessness.”

At Covenant House, we understand that the main cause of homelessness is lack of affordable housing. Stand with us in our fight to end youth homelessness, and keep reading here to stay informed. 

Shelter Is Only the Beginning

From crisis to care: Find out what it's like when a young person enters our doors.