Homelessness is the most extreme form of social exclusion. It is a strong indicator of social injustice in any society. Homeless individuals are prevented from participating in social, economic, political and cultural life, placing them at a disadvantage when faced with life choices.
Housing is a basic human need, yet the statistics of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 2005 notes that an estimated 100 million people live without shelter, or in unhealthy and unacceptable conditions. This is a growing problem in addition, there is the problem of poor housing. Housing that will not survive storms, heavy rains, flooding or earthquakes. Today, estimates of the world’s homeless population plus those living in poor housing can reach a figure of ONE BILLION PEOPLE.
It is important to recognize that while homelessness affects individuals, it also has a significant impact on the society in general.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 25.Par. 1. States that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living, adequate for the wellbeing of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and the necessary social services….” A decent home to live in provides the basis for the solution to all of the other social problems facing the homeless populations.