Needs Assessment: Homelessness

The U.S. Conference of Mayors and/or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cite the following root causes of homelessness for both men and women: poverty; lack of affordable housing; substance abuse, mental illness, and the lack of needed services; changes in the labor market; low paying jobs; domestic violence; changes and cuts in public assistance programs; changes in family structure; and chronic health problems and lack of access to affordable health care. Some of these commonly accepted root causes, such as domestic violence, disproportionately affect women. Homeless women have most likely experienced at least one of these potential contributing factors, although it is important to note that there are as many individual causes of homelessness as there are individual homeless women. Women also face challenges, different from those faced by men that increase their risk of becoming homeless. Additional factors identified in the literature that uniquely contribute to h...