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Here’s why not all homeless want to use shelters

Illustration Of Homeless Man Sleeping On Sidewalk Outside Homeless Shelter

Many people don’t understand why the homeless prefer to live outdoors instead of shelters (if they’re available). Kylssa Shay over at Soapboxie provided a great detailed list to learn in detail, but here’s the quick highlights:

  • No pets allowed
  • Danger of sexual assault
  • Threats of violence
  • Fear of contracting illness / disease
  • Worry of Theft
  • Hours of operation incompatible with work hours
  • Difficult to sleep due to noises
  • Endanger disabled individuals
  • Loss of personal control (check-in time, eating, sleeping, waking, checkout, etc.)
  • Lack of privacy
  • Fear of crowds
  • Forced religious services
  • Personal belongings not allowed inside
  • Rejection based on drug or alcohol use (or perception of usage)
  • Separation of family members (due to gender/age restrictions)
  • Lack of handicapped accommodations
  • Disrespectful check-in process
  • Fear of contracting parasites like lice, scabies, or bedbugs
  • Discrimination against LGBTQ people
  • Denied entry due to mental illness

And many times it’s just not their choice to live outdoors, but a lack of available beds in their area.

Duane Nason

Founder of Citizens Again. Certified crazy guy trying to end homelessness. Lifelong entrepreneur, degree in mathematics, software engineer by trade.

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