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Who Are the Homeless?

Who Are the Homeless?

The short answer to the question is that the homeless are people, just like anyone else in our community:

  • Old and young
  • Employed and unemployed
  • Disabled and physically fit
  • Formerly affluent and disadvantaged
  • White, African American, Hispanic (and more)

Some may also suffer from a mental illness or substance abuse, but many of our neighbors do too. The big difference between the homeless and anyone else is that they don’t currently have a place to call home.

Sure, a poor life choice may have contributed to their homelessness, but other factors, that any of us might face, have also brought them to a homeless shelter: a workplace accident resulting in job loss, death of a supporting spouse or family member, unemployment, lack of savings.

Life throws us all curve balls and sometimes the misfortune happens to be homelessness.

On its website, the Coalition for Housing and Homelessness features photos of our homeless neighbors and a little bit about their journeys and outlook on life.

Thanks to professional photographer Lanny Nagler who donated his time to help guests at Meriden’s Shelter Now tell their stories. Thanks also to Noemi Kearns and Ink & Pixel for the many hours they donated to create the Coalition website. Look for Shelter Now guests’ photos and stories to appear on the Coalition website coming soon.