Being homeless is one of the most challenging encounters in life. Having to weather cold and rainy nights, violence, attacks, and poor living conditions are some of the things that make the lives of homeless people challenging. Danger lurks any time in the lives of homeless people. Unfortunately, there are no rigid policies to protect them from such dangers.
Dangers of Being Homeless
The following are some of the dangers that homeless people are exposed to while living on the streets.
1. Mental Illnesses
A majority of homeless people deal with mental illness. Many of them experience stress and depression caused by overthinking. Having to live with the harsh conditions in the streets is challenging and makes them stressed leading to mental illnesses.
2. Lack of Basic Necessities
The other challenge that homeless people face is a lack of basic necessities. Some of the things homeless people lack include food, clothing, sanitary products, and housing. The danger of lacking basic necessities is that they never have a dignified life.
Streets are very rough and homeless people face a lot of violence. They often get attacked by fellow homeless people, and robbers, and lose their belongings. Besides, many get stabbed and some lose their lives. Due to the lack of a door to lock, homeless people become vulnerable to such attacks. Unfortunately, there are no policies to protect homeless people against violence.
The other danger homeless people face is insecurity. Homeless people spend their nights in insecure places like abandoned buildings, and storage units. They are not assured of security and animals and thieves can attack them anytime. Besides, even police officers harass them by chasing them away from the streets. They risk losing their personal belongings to thieves or even getting injured.
5. Lack of Healthcare
Healthcare is a necessity for all, but it is a rare thing for homeless people. Due to violence and hardships like cold nights homeless people face, they fall sick very often.
Some of the common diseases that attack homeless people include pneumonia, skin infection, and HIV/AIDS. However, most of these diseases go untreated. Most of them risk losing their lives to treatable diseases just because they cannot access healthcare.
6. Unsanitary Living Conditions
Homeless people live in unsanitary conditions on the streets. They usually don’t have access to toilets, bathrooms, or private and safe places to change clothes. Besides, they do not even have access to sanitary products like tampons, tissue paper, soap, etc.
7. Severe Weather
Homeless people weather the severe colds and rain at night. Most of the dwelling places for homeless people cannot prevent them from severe weather. It is for this reason that many homeless people are prone to pneumonia. Making matter worse, many of them do not even have heavy clothing to help them beat the cold nights.
8. Drug and Substance Abuse
Another danger of being homeless is drug and substance abuse. Many homeless people turn to drug and substance abuse to help them cope with stress and depression. I never understood why homeless people turn to drugs.
After talking to one, I understood that they do it to numb their stress. Substance abuse makes them forget their problems for a short while. In the process, many of them end up getting addicted to drugs.
Summary of Dangers of Being Homeless
The above are some of the dangers that homeless people are confronted with. Instead of sitting and watching them as danger lurks, governments in different countries ought to instill policies that can protect homeless people. Among the interventions would be the creation of more shelters to house the homeless and protect them from the above dangers.