Daily Struggles Only Homeless People Will Understand

By Aaron Love 8 months ago

Lack Of Shelter

Image Source: Reddit
One of the most terrifying aspects of homelessness is the absence of having a form of safe and secure shelter throughout everyday life. Many of us can take our home for granted and don't realise that there are many people out there who don't have that to fall back on. There is a constant weight on the mind and soul for the homeless as they will often dream of having an actual place for them to call home.

Being Exposed To The Elements

Image Source: Reddit
Again, people with a home to their name might not realise quite how tough it can be to live on the street with no access to shelter from the elements. Every single change in weather can end up causing their entire plan to have to change. The weather pretty much dictates every single move and decision that a homeless person has to make in order to keep themselves safe and healthy.

Finding Somewhere To Sleep

Image Source: Reddit
Not only does a homeless person not have somewhere to call home, they also have to go out and find somewhere different every single night as well. The search for somewhere new to sleep everyday however has to become a sort of daily ritual, one which can become quite desperate. It isn't just finding a shelter, but also somewhere where people won't be affecting their sleep either.

Being Scared To Sleep

Image Source: Reddit
Even when a homeless person does find somewhere with shelter to sleep, it can still be difficult to get a good rest. That's because without having a stable home there will always be a constant sense of fear and anxiety within a homeless person. Every single night will be a troublesome act of trying to trust the environment that they find themselves in and that must be terrifying.

Limited Hygiene Access

Image Source: ABC News
Another thing that we all seem to take for granted is having access to basic hygiene, although this becomes something of a luxury for people who experience homelessness. The problem here is that maintaining hygiene doesn't just affect the homeless by making them look a little dirty, but it also makes other people look down on them for reasons that might be unnecessary.

Carrying Everything They Own

Image Source: Curbed NY
Many of the little problems that follow the homeless around comes from their lack of a place to call home. We don't have to worry about carrying all of our belongings around with us every day do we? But the homeless actually have to pretty much throw everything over their shoulder. They'll be carrying their bed with them everywhere they go and that can be quite the emotional torture.

Wearing Dirty Clothes

Image Source: Reddit
Just as it can be difficult for homeless people to get themselves clean throughout the days, they can also be unable to access any laundry facilities. Having to wear the same, often dirty clothes every single day can act as an unnecessary and frustrating reminder of their unfortunate predicament. If you see someone homeless on the street then try and give them a hand with something like this.

Constantly Feeling Hungry

Image Source: Reddit
Hunger is something that most of us are able to fulfil pretty quickly when we're at home and that can become even more severe when someone is homeless. In most circumstances, a homeless person would be willing to eat anything in order to destroy their need for food. There is always a chance that there could be days in between meals if things don't go the way they'd want. The bins might even be their best friends.

Trying To Find The Next Meal

Image Source: Reddit
Like I said, there might be days between meals for someone who finds themselves without a home and for that reason they may always be on the hunt for a chance to get their hands on the next meal. The problem is their lack of money and resources means that they have to be pretty much reliant on other people to source their food; it must be scary not knowing when and where your next meal will be.

Limited Medical Care

Image Source: STAT News
Having access to medical care in the US is already somewhat difficult enough when you take in to account how much it costs. This is emphasised even more in the homeless where they don't have access to insurance and therefore the medical care they can receive is often even lower than basic. Necessary medications or treatments might be out of their grasp and their health might be at risk.

Feeling Isolated

Image Source: Reddit
Amidst all of the busy ongoings in your life, you probably don't realise how much better a stable home is for you, especially in terms of being isolated. People who are homeless can often spend every hour of every day feeling disconnected from the rest of the city and even feeling as though they might not belong. Every single social interaction they have could be beneficial for them and their social meter.

Dealing With Extreme Weather

Image Source: Reddit
I already mentioned that homeless people are often exposed to all of the various elements, but did you take into account how harsh these weather conditions can actually be? Freezing temperatures can become a matter of life and death even, especially if the homeless aren't offered any sort of help. Not only do they end up battling homelessness but also this extreme weather too.

Being Judged By Everyone

Image Source: Reddit
There is quite a stigma around the world that homeless people are all dirty and dangerous people. The reality is that most of these people are actually just looking for a second chance in life and would grasp any positive outcome with the snap of a finger. Society can be quick to label people based off of their situation and not the person that they really are deep down. Don't be that person!

Charging Electronics

Image Source: Reddit
Being homeless has changed as the world continues to develop via technology and other aspects of life. In fact, many homeless people actually have phones these days and this can be a lifeline for them to remain in contact with people, gather information and even potentially improve their chances of getting a job. But finding a place to keep them charged can prove difficult.

Securing Identification

Image Source: Reddit
In order to access any of the services provided across the US, whether that be some of the social services, job center appointments and in some cases shelter, it is essential for people to carry round some form of ID with them. Safeguarding documents, particularly paper documents, can be extremely difficult and therefore a homeless person's identity is always at risk.

No Personal Space

Image Source: WIRED
You might not realise how important your own personal space is when you head home at night after work, but for those going through spouts of homelessness they might want nothing more than a little bit of their own space. In a world where the streets are always busy, there becomes very little opportunity for a homeless person to have some respite and be able to relax.

Having No Sleep Schedule

Image Source: Reddit
Another problem that comes with regards to the sleeping process of a homeless person is that they might not be able to settle in to a natural sleeping pattern. Sleep instead becomes something that is dictated by the surroundings than someone's actual choice. Feeling scared, cold temperatures and the lack of a real sleeping environment can cause someone to feel permanently shattered.

Protecting Belongings From Theft

Image Source: NPR
Like I mentioned before, people who are without a home pretty much have to carry their entire livelihood around with them. The problem with that is that they are always at risk of being the victim of theft which will leave them in an even more dangerous position than ever before. Anything could be snatched from them at an instant so they have to remain vigilant at all times.

Lack Of Water

Image Source: Reddit
Access to clean water will always be a basic human right, but for the homeless finding a location to source some might be more of a challenge. In certain areas, there are public faucets that could help but they aren't always available and restrooms might be shut. If they can't get their hands on these the only other shot they've got is the goodwill of the people walking by.

Maintaining Personal Relationships

Image Source: Reddit
Even if someone has become homeless for something out of their own hands, the idea of someone being homeless has become something that can strain relationships. Social interactions can become less and less possible for a number of reasons and many people end up losing many of their friends. If someone you know becomes homeless try and support them as best you can.

Finding Public Restrooms

Image Source: Reddit
Heading to the restroom is something that no one should ever have to be worried about, but those living on the streets can commonly find it difficult to come across a public restroom. These days, they're pretty few and far between and so they might have to turn to fast food places etc. In some cases, even these places might turn away the homeless which could only feel pretty degrading.

Getting Any Support From Social Services

Image Source: Vox
Social services can be quite a complicated and convoluted process at the best of times, so I'm sure you can understand that it becomes even more of a problem for people who live on the streets. The systems are overrun and limited resources available to the homeless can leave them without the help they desperately need. It's an issue that's way too large all the way across our country.

Mental Health Problems

Image Source: NY Post
In recent years, mental health problems have become more and more accepted in society, people are beginning to realise how difficult it can be live with such an issue. Undeniably, living on the streets can take a huge toll on the mental health of the homeless and seeking any form of help can often seem hopeless. The support just isn't widespread enough to truly help.

Trying To Find A Job

Image Source: Reddit
I'm sure there's a few of you who have struggled to secure employment even when you have a comfortable living space; so imagine how difficult it can be for someone who's homeless to find a job. Not having a permanent address, or clean clothes can make a homeless person less viable for a job in the eyes of employers and their will to keep going can quickly become tested.

Avoiding Exploitation

Image Source: Reddit
Finding yourself living on the streets can obviously be frightening as it is, especially when you take in to consideration the amount of people who are always attempting to exploit those who are vulnerable. It can be easy to be lured into work that pays unfairly or heading down a dangerous path like alcohol or drugs just because they have nowhere else to go, or no extra help.

Having A Lack Of Spare Clothes

Image Source: Reddit
One of the most basic of necessities that we might take for granted is our clothing and the wide array that we can get our hands on. For homeless people though, with nowhere to store their clothes except for on their own back, having spare clothes is more of a luxury than anything. I'm sure they'd love to be able to wear clean clothes but it isn't always a viable option.

Discrimination From Authorities

Image Source: inewsource
You might think that people who live on the streets would have some form of support from the authorities but often there is a sense of systemic discrimination against them instead. Encounters are often fuelled with a bias based on the preconceived notions of homeless and in many circumstances the homeless suffer even further when it's suggested they're loitering or panhandling.

No Romantic Partners

Image Source: Reddit
We all want to find a partner we can see spending the rest of our lives with, but the problem is that being homeless can really damage these opportunities. Establishing any form of romantic relationship can be hard enough, never mind maintaining them once it's began. There is way too much uncertainty in life to be able to stabilise a romantic relationship on the streets.

Having To Rely On Others

Image Source: Reddit
It can be quite a hit going from living in your own home to having to make do on the streets. In fact, your own self-confidence can quickly deteriorate as you have to learn to rely on the generosity of other people to help make life easier, whether that's spare change or somewhere to stay. It might feel degrading, but there is no harm in accepting the help of those willing to give it.

Being Separated From Family

Image Source: The New York Times
There are some quite devastating stories available on the internet describing the heart-breaking separation that homeless people go through in regards to losing their family. Often, people can be torn from their families through no fault of their own and have to live their lives disconnected from the people they love. These relationships can become quickly fractured as a result of homelessness.