What are the leading causes of homelessness? Is it really due to affordable housing, or are they really all caught up in addiction?

We often say that homelessness is not one-size-fits-all: there are unique, heart-breaking stories behind every tent you see on the street. But there are key contributing factors we’ve observed over the years. For those who live outside – the 4,500+ individuals that live in tents and sleep on park benches – addiction, mental illness, and criminal background are the most common contributing factors. The other 6,000+ “sheltered” individuals, who stay in shelters, couch surf or enter transitional housing, are too broad to classify, but within that mix you will people in economic distress who are homeless for the first time, such as families with small children and wives fleeing domestic abuse.

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