Myths and Facts About the Homeless

Myth: Homeless people are mostly single men

Fact: While most of those experiencing homelessness are single males, a large and growing percentage of the homeless population includes women and families. Homeless families comprise roughly one third of the total homeless population.

At Chapman Partnership, 44 percent of residents are families with children on any given night.  The center provides early childhood education, tutoring, mentoring and a variety of other services specifically for families.

Source: http://www.familyhomelessness.org/media/306.pdf


Myth: Homeless people are unemployed

Fact: Declining wages have put housing out of reach for many workers.  In many states, a minimum-wage worker would have to work 87 hours each week to afford a two-bedroom apartment at 30 percent of his or her income, which is the federal definition of affordable housing. The connection between impoverished workers and homelessness can be seen in homeless shelters, many of which house significant numbers of full-time wage earners.

At Chapman Partnership, employment specialists offer job training, development and placement services including vocational training, resume and interview skills and placement with local employers willing to look beyond background issues or employment gaps.

Source: http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/employment.html


Myth: Homeless people are mentally ill

Fact: According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25 percent of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of mental illness.   

At Chapman Partnership, an on-site psychiatrist provides mental health assistance to help residents deal with common diagnoses such as depression and anxiety disorders, bipolar disease and schizophrenia.  The staff works closely with case managers and the residents themselves to ensure functionality and a balanced quality of life.

Source: http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/Mental_Illness.pdf


Myth: Homeless people are transient/drifters

Fact: Studies have shown that homeless people do not migrate for services. To the extent they do move to new areas, it is because they are searching for work, have family in the area, or other reasons not related to services. 

Chapman Partnership will assist any person who enters our facilities, yet a recent study found that 75% of homeless people are still living in the city in which they became homeless.

Source: http://www.ashevillenc.gov/Portals/0/city-documents/planning/homeless/National%20Law%20Center%20Myths%20and%20Facts.pdf


Myth: Homeless people became homeless because of poor choices

According to the National Coalition to End Homelessness, the top five reasons of homelessness are: 1) lack of affordable housing, 2) lack of a living wage, 3) domestic violence, 4) medical bankruptcy, and 5) mental illness. None of these reasons are related to choice as they can happen to anyone.

At Chapman Partnership, all residents are assigned a case manager within 72 hours for assessment, evaluation and creation of a mutually agreed upon personalized case plan.

Source: http://www.nationalhomeless.org/civilrights/lawrence/lawrence.html