Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are unable or unwilling to acquire and maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack “fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence.”The legal definition of “homeless” varies from country to country, or among different entities or institutions in the same country or region.
The term homeless may also include people whose primary night-time residence is in a homeless shelter, a warming center, a domestic violence shelter or other ad hoc housing situation. Government homeless enumeration studies also include persons who sleep in a public or private place not designed for use as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
The basic problem of homelessness is the human need for personal shelter, warmth and safety. Other basic difficulties include:
1. Personal security, quiet, and privacy, especially for sleeping
2. Safekeeping of bedding, clothing and possessions, which may have to be carried at all times
3. Hygiene and sanitary facilities
4. Cleaning and drying of clothes
5. Obtaining, preparing and storing food in quantities
6. Keeping contacts, without a permanent location or mailing address
7. Hostility and legal powers against urban vagrancy.
Homeless people face many problems beyond the lack of a safe and suitable home. They are often faced with many social disadvantages also, reduced access to private and public services and reduced access to vital necessities:
1. Reduced access to health care and dental services.
2. Limited access to education.
3. Increased risk of suffering from violence and abuse.
4. General rejection or discrimination from other people.
5. Loss of usual relationships with the mainstream
6. Not being seen as suitable for employment.
7. Reduced access to banking services
8. Reduced access to communications technology