Types of Homelessness

People are homeless for diverse reasons. Because of this, a one-size-fits-all formula for homelessness does not exist. Listed below are the six main types of homelessness that we have identified in our work with the homeless since 1984.

Houselessness (short term): When a traumatic event occurs such as a house fire or natural disaster, people with positive relational resources, solid inner resources & sufficient material resources are able to recover in a short period of time, usually within 30 days.

Houselessness (long term): Much like Short-Term Houselessness, the loss of a house is the result of an unforeseen event, except in this situation the people who are affected have modest material resources which lengthens the amount of time it takes to recover, sometimes up to 120 days. 

Mentally/Physically Limited (MPL) Homelessness: The MPL Homeless population lacks both relational & inner resources due to mental or physical disability & must rely upon outside resources to provide the goods & services needed to sustain life.

Near Homelessness: Those in the Near Homeless category have overextended their personal support systems, which keeps them on the brink of homelessness. Literally “one paycheck away from homelessness,” these folks cannot withstand any type of setback. The loss of a job, roommate, or vehicle can easily push them over the edge.

Self-Induced Homelessness: Self-induced homeless persons reject their relational resources by refusing to cooperate or submit to any form of authority. As a result, they are unable to maintain housing, employment or any type of productive relationship. 

Environmentally Dysfunctional Homelessness: This segment of the homeless population has experienced a series of traumatic events, often a result of the toxic environment in which they were exposed. Broken, dysfunctional or non-existent relational resources have severely weakened their inner resources making it almost impossible for them to sustain the physical resources needed for stability. War Veterans can fall into this type of homelessness when their inner resources are unable to withstand the traumatic events of war.