July 31, 2008

The homeless are mostly men.

Homeless people are almost as diverse a group as the population at large. There is only one thing that almost all of them have in common apart from the lack of a home: they are male. …

Instead of relying on friends [as women do], men have other – far more destructive ways of coping [in a time of crisis]. If marriages fail or they lose their jobs, pride often stops them asking for help, and they are far more likely to turn to drink or drugs. Homelessness beckons; the risk of suicide rises.

… Many people become homeless after their marriage or relationship breaks down; when children are involved, it is far more likely that it is the man who leaves and has to find somewhere else.

But social attitudes take little of this into account. Men are meant to be strong and should be able to look after themselves – otherwise it’s all their fault. “There’s a lot of stereotyping that goes on – it’s almost the Victorian idea of the undeserving poor, particularly with male rough sleepers,” says [Nicholas Pleace of the Center for Housing Policy], “and because of the way we think about homelessness, they’re seen as an undeserving group.”
from Anthony Brownie’s essay “Homelessness Is a Serious Problem Among Men” in the 2002 edition of The Homeless: Opposing Viewpoints

2 comments:

~C4Chaos said...

yes, in general, men's pride is destructive. thank goodness i've never tried drugs tho. but it's very tempting to drink one's sorrow. godo thing i'm not a drinker too, just a couple bottle of beers is enough to put me to sleep and face the relative world another day.

i hope you get back on your feet again with a more permanent roof above your head soon.

~C

Tom said...

Thanks, C4. A more-permanent roof would be very nice. The world I'm in is far more gruelling than homeful people would ever suppose. Yet, generally speaking, the folks out here on the streets with me are far, far, far nicer, brighter and more interesting than homeful folks would suppose. Wacky world this.

Remember, Ceef, Buddha was an indigent wayfarer. As was Jesus. It is certainly a good learning experience. I would wish a few months of homelessness on you!