The Game Plan for Housing Homeless People in Monterey and San Benito Counties

For a briefer education on homelessness in America, read on…
The reasons people become homeless in America are many and varied. Here are a few of the main causes of homelessness:

Lack of affordable housing. An article in the November 2007 issue of Atlantic Monthly reported on a study of the cost of obtaining the “right to build” (i.e. a building permit, red tape, bureaucracy, etc.) in different U.S. cities. The “right to build” cost does not include the cost of the land or the cost of constructing the house. The study was conducted by Harvard economists Edward Glaeser and Kristina Tobio. According to the chart accompanying the article, the cost of obtaining the “right to build” adds approximately $700,000 to the cost of each new house that is built in San Francisco.

Unavailability of employment opportunities.

  • Poverty, caused by many factors including unemployment and underemployment.
  • Lack of affordable healthcare.
  • Substance abuse and unavailability or lack of needed services.
  • Mental illness, such as and unavailability or lack of needed mental health services.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Prison release and re-entry into society.
  • The mass deinstitutionalisation of the mentally ill in the Western world from the 1960s and 1970s onwards.
  • Natural disaster.

Mortgage foreclosures where mortgage holders see the best solution to a loan default is to take and sell the house to pay off the debt. The popular press made an issue of this in 2008; the real magnitude of the problem is undocumented.

A substantial percentage of the U.S. homeless population are individuals who are chronically unemployed or have difficulty managing their lives effectively due to prolonged and severe drug and/or alcohol abuse. Substance abuse can cause homelessness from behavioral patterns associated with addiction that alienate an addicted individual’s family and friends who could otherwise provide support during difficult economic times.
Increased wealth disparity and income inequality causes distortions in the housing market that push rent burdens higher, making housing unaffordable.