Busting Myths About Homelessness | Planetizen News

An arti­cle for CAL­mat­ters by Marisa Kendall uses data to dis­pel six myths about home­less­ness that don’t hold true.

some blame Cal­i­for­ni­a’s severe home­less­ness cri­sis on migra­tion oth­er , the data don’t bear that out: “The vast major­i­ty of peo­ple who are home­less in Cal­i­for­nia are from Cal­i­for­nia — and most are still liv­ing in the same coun­ty where lost their hous­ing, accord­ing to a recent large-scale sur­vey of unhoused Cal­i­for­ni­ans con­duct­ed by the UCSF Benioff Home­less­ness and Hous­ing Ini­tia­tive.” The sur­vey found that 90 per­cent of respon­dents lived in Cal­i­for­nia when they lost their hous­ing, and 66 per­cent were born in the state.

The mis­con­cep­tion that most unhoused peo­ple are expe­ri­enc­ing addic­tion or men­tal ill­ness is also unfound­ed. While rates of men­tal ill­ness and addic­tion are high­er than in the pop­u­la­tion, they do not account for a major­i­ty of peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing home­less­ness. 

The arti­cle also explains the com­pli­cat­ed process of get­ting or hous­ing. There are a host of chal­lenges that pre­vent peo­ple from access­ing shel­ter. Accord­ing to Nicole Fiore, of the team that worked on a state report on Project Roomkey, “Peo­ple will come indoors if they are offered auton­o­my, safe­ty, pri­va­cy, if they’re able to keep their part­ners, their pets, their pos­ses­sions.”

Under­stand­ing the root caus­es of home­less­ness and the chal­lenges unhoused peo­ple face is cru­cial at a time when the Supreme Court the door for more puni­tive mea­sures and crim­i­nal­iza­tion with its rul­ing on Grants Pass v. John­son.

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