Homeless man sleeping on the side of the road.
Homeless Crisis 18.JPG

Homelessness means people who do not have a place to stay. The word "homelessness" also includes people who sleep in warming centers, homeless shelters, or in abandoned buildings, parking garages, or other places not meant for humans to live in. Homelessness occurs for many reasons. It may happen when people or households are unable to buy and/or maintain housing they can afford. International human rights law includes the right to housing.

Homeless people

Person sleeping in big city

In academic articles and government reports, these people are called "homeless people". You may hear different words to describe homelessness and homeless people. Some of these words apply to people who might not be homeless. Sometimes they are based upon stereotypes. For instance, in slang, a vagabond is someone who travels without the money necessary to stay in good hotels. Such a person may or may not have a home somewhere. Sometimes police reports use the word "transient" to describe people from out of town or who are passing through. Many times these words confuse the issues because someone just passing through might own a mansion somewhere or might not.

There are tough questions in sorting out homeless people even when trying to create programs and services to help them. Homeless counts are required by the government agencies that deal with homelessness. In the USA, for instance, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency requires a homeless "enumeration" count every two years. They classify "homeless" in a careful way and that way is very influential and a lot of other agencies and church groups copy it.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Haweloosheid
български: Бездомник
Boarisch: Sandler
català: Sensesostre
Чӑвашла: Килсĕррисем
čeština: Bezdomovec
Cymraeg: Digartrefedd
dansk: Hjemløs
eesti: Kodutus
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Barbòṅ
English: Homelessness
español: Sinhogarismo
Esperanto: Senhejmeco
euskara: Etxegabe
français: Sans-abri
Gaeilge: Easpa dídine
galego: Sen teito
한국어: 노숙자
हिन्दी: बेघर
hrvatski: Beskućništvo
Bahasa Indonesia: Tunawisma
italiano: Senzatetto
עברית: חסר בית
Latina: Domo carens
Lëtzebuergesch: Wunnengslosegkeet
Bahasa Melayu: Tuna wisma
Nederlands: Dakloze
日本語: ホームレス
norsk nynorsk: Uteliggjar
polski: Bezdomność
português: Sem-teto
română: Om al străzii
русский: Бездомные
slovenščina: Brezdomstvo
српски / srpski: Бескућништво
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Beskućništvo
svenska: Hemlöshet
Türkçe: Evsizlik
українська: Безпритульні
اردو: بے گھری
Tiếng Việt: Vô gia cư
walon: Sins-toet
ייִדיש: באם
中文: 露宿者