Environmental Factors Of Homelessness

622 Words3 Pages
The reasons for these children 's homelessness may be interlinked with social, economic, political, environmental causes or a combination of any of these. Homelessness represents deprivations from basic human needs. However, while other types of deprivations, such as hunger, mainly occur as a result of poverty and economic insecurity, factors that contribute to homelessness are multi-faceted; the factors also vary by the type of homelessness experienced by children and youth. These factors include lack of affordable housing, economic insecurity, violence at home, behavioral health, lack of social support, and involvement in the child welfare system (Aratani, 2009). In a 1993 report, WHO (World Health Organization) offered the following list…show more content…
The experience of homelessness inhibits the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and behavioral development of children. Difficulties faced by homeless children include low self-esteem, lack of sleep and nutrition and feelings of shame and embarrassment. These children are exposed to the harsher realities of life. The stressors of being homeless can lead to many homeless children feeling depressed, causing detrimental health effects (Vostanis and Cumella, 1999). In general, homeless children consistently exhibit more health problems than housed poor children. Environmental factors contribute to homeless children’s poor health and they are at high risk for infectious disease. Homeless children are at greater risk for asthma and lead poisoning, often with more severe symptoms than housed children. Poor nutrition also contributes to homeless children’s poor health, causing increased rates of stunted growth and anemia. Despite these widespread health problems, homeless children generally lack access to consistent health care, and this lack of care can increase severity of illness. Homelessness also exposes infants to environmental factors that can endanger their health. Homeless children begin to demonstrate significant developmental delays after 18 months of age, which are believed to influence later behavioral and emotional problems. A quarter or more of homeless children have witnessed violence, and more than half have problems with anxiety and depression. Family homelessness may result in children’s separation from their parents—either because children are formally placed in foster care, or because parents leave children in the care of relatives and friends (Child Trends Data Bank, 2015). Homeless children worry about where they will sleep on a given night, and if they have a place to sleep, they are afraid of losing it. Older children worry about being separated from

More about Environmental Factors Of Homelessness

Open Document