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  • having no home or permanent place of residence


Homelessness categorizes the condition of people without a regular dwelling because they are unable to acquire, maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack "fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime 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.

  • Problems faced by people who are homeless

The basic problem of homelessness is the human need for personal shelter, warmth and safety, which can be literally vital. Other basic difficulties include:

personal security, quiet, and privacy, especially for sleeping
safekeeping of bedding, clothing and possessions, which may have to be carried at all times
hygiene and sanitary facilities
cleaning and drying of clothes
obtaining, preparing and storing food in quantities
keeping contacts, without a permanent location or mailing address
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:

See also