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Causes of Homelessness

The causes vary widely, but often homelessness and poverty are linked. Being poor can mean a person is one illness, one accident, or one paycheck away from living on the streets. Top contributors to homelessness also include:

  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Unemployment
  • Low wages
  • Mental illness and the lack of needed services (Single adult individuals)
  • Substance abuse and the lack of needed services (Single adult individuals)

The Growth of Homelessness

National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) cites three top factors that have fueled an increase in homelessness over the past 30 years.

  1. Housing has become more scarce for those with limited incomes;
  2. Earnings from employment and benefits have not kept pace with the cost of housing for people with limited incomes;
  3. Services that every family needs for support and stability have become harder for poor people to access and afford.

General Homelessness FAQs

Do police generally arrest people for being homeless?
I have seen a homeless encampment. What should I do?
Isn't homeless a form of trespassing?
What about littering?
Why shouldn't I give money to someone on the street who needs it?
What is a camping ordinance?

Permanent Supportive Housing and Emergency Shelter FAQs

What is permanent supportive housing (PSH) and how does it differ from emergency shelter?
What is the Homekey Program?
Why is City Council pursuing permanent supportive housing and emergency shelter in the City?
How many people in Thousand Oaks are homeless?
How many Thousand Oaks residents are vulnerable to experiencing homelessness due to income?
How will the City make sure persons experiencing homelessness are from Thousand Oaks and they are getting help first?
What is the financial cost to the City to pursue these projects?
What’s the cost of doing nothing?
Won’t these housing resources just attract more homeless to come to Thousand Oaks?
How will the City determine where these sites will be? Will the public have an opportunity to weigh in before site decisions are made?
Will these projects take all homeless off the streets of Thousand Oaks?