Hotel and food service losses will lead to small losses in the real estate and construction sectors, at 2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. These spillover job

How is being homeless expensive?

Short Term Expenses

Simply surviving poverty is expensive:

Homelessness increases the costs of poverty due to an inability to store things. For example, the food bill increases (significantly) when there is no refrigerator to keep perishables cold, kitchen/cupboard to store supplies and nothing to cook with (pots and pans) or on (a stove, microwave, etc.).

Try this at home: Trying dispensing with all homemade meals for a week. Carry a $5 bill and use that to cover all of your food for the day. All food must be eaten immediately or carried with you at all time (backpacks are useful) – no leaving it sit anywhere (ever, at all). Keep very careful track of everything you spend on food, particularly if you go above the budgeted $5. How much money did you spend (total) on food (JUST food) during the week?

Mid Term Expenses

Education: Homeless teens rarely qualify for scholarships and homeless adults are no better off. College or technical school must be paid out-of-pocket (e.g.: government grants and student loans). Since ALL expenses are covered by school finances, homeless students (of any age) rack up higher student loan bills than non-poverty-survivors. Paying off that student loan after graduation makes taking a non-paying internship practically impossible.

Legal: Good Lord the FINES! When the police realize you are homeless (and they tend to figure these things out) they will watch your every move. They will look for reasons to bring you in, pull you over and…above all else…ask questions because that’s how they have been trained to handle ‘those people.’ If you can’t pay the fines you WILL spend time in jail. Lawyers don’t work for free, so you are either on your own or spending every dime you have on keeping your criminal record clean.

Long Term Expenses

Rent and Evictions: If a landlord evicts you from an apartment, it gets placed on your rental history. Landlords find out about evictions when they run background checks. Rent on future apartments increases after an eviction. (See: EVICTED)

Debt Collectors: Landlords, credit card companies, hospitals – anyone and everyone who has ever sent a bill that a poverty survivor simply cannot pay (due to being poor) can (and will) hire a collections agency to go after the money. Many of these agencies will keep the debt current for decades…yes, DECADES…because they are hoping the individual will one day manage to get a decent paying job, marry up into a better financial class, receive an inheritance or win the lottery. The minute the individual finally has some kind of financial breathing room, the debt collectors attack.

Medical/Dental Expenses and Health Insurance: Years ago someone asked me why I refused free breast cancer screenings. I was a little annoyed, given the individual’s connection to the medial industry, but I took the time to explain what should have been obvious – for poverty survivors, a cancer screening that comes up positive is a death sentence. Without insurance, all treatments must be paid out of pocket. With a cancer diagnosis on record, the possibility of getting insurance is (effectively) eliminated (read: pre-existing condition). How many homeless people do you know with insurance? That’s why poverty survivors (in general) and homeless (in particular rely heavily on the ER. Emergency rooms can’t turn people away. However, cancer treatments are NOT considered emergencies and the service is simply not available in any ER anywhere in the USA.

Untreated medical conditions tend to get worse over time. So, when an individual finally gets insurance, the doctors start digging in and trying to run every test, apply every treatment and…before you know it…the medical BILLS have gone through the roof!

To complicate matters, anyone with large unpaid medical bills tends to receive little to no treatment after they get insurance because doctors don’t want to work with them. A history of poverty (and all the unpaid bills that goes with it) translates into a “bad business decision” for a doctor. Doctors don’t work for free and patients can be replaced.

Student Loans: Since most people do NOT land a $25+ per hour job upon graduation, student loans are placed in deferment for a long as possible. But, the day comes when the government wants it’s money. If hat big paying job isn’t found (and it usually is NOT available, regardless of you GPA or determination to succeed), the loans start to take away from everything else (e.g.: rent, food, car/transportation, etc.) and/or default. When they default, your credit is trashed and the government starts to take all sorts of actions, including garnishing wages and taking tax returns. After interest, fees, and other misc charges are piled onto the initial debt, a modest loan becomes crazy expensive.

Gossip and Reputation: It’s amazing how long people will dig up and tell the same stories over and over again. Sadly, people talk and some people simply can’t get through a day without trashing another human being. If you were homeless, someone will find out about it and the social annihilation games will begin! These games destroy lives by blocking promotions, causing job loss, preventing job hires, and generally making life miserable for people who managed to survive some hellish experiences and still manage to establish the beginnings of a good, honest life.

Those are the examples that come to mind right. Someone could write a book about the many thousands of ways poverty is terribly expense in the USA – and elsewhere. As for me, I will leave it at that.