Homelessness: Causes, Culture and Community Development as a Solution

This thesis seeks to explain the reasons that homelessness occurs, and how it is currently being dealt with in public policy. Triggers and predictors of homelessness are explored and it is shown that triggers are almost always compounded, indicating a multitude of factors that lead to homelessness. The culture and community surrounding the homeless lifestyle is seen as playing a significant role in how the individual copes with their homelessness. The norms and values of their culture are investigated and its role in rehabilitation is explored. Current institutions for helping the homeless are analyzed for different success rates. Additionally, initiatives and solutions to homelessness from two Western countries, The United States and Denmark are compared for varying successes and failures. Based on the analyzed factors this thesis proposes what could be done to improve the situation of homeless individuals by shaping public policy. Specifically the benefits that community building programs of rehabilitation such as Assertive Community Treatment and Critical Time Intervention could offer if public policy was changed to increase their use are discussed. Specifically, Assertive Community Treatment and Critical Time Intervention are advocated for due to their ability to encourage community development in conjunction with its use of community creation as a tool in decreasing recidivism rates and
creating long term solutions for homeless individuals and their reintegration into society.
Keywords: Assertive Community Treatment, Critical Time Intervention, Community, Culture, Homelessness, Predictors, Solution.

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