NOTES

When you walk down the streets of American cities and towns do you notice folks without a home are male or female more often? The problem of homelessness is particularly heart-wrenching for children. The common wisdom is that the kids are most often with their mom and men make up a majority of the single homeless.  Most people on the street are these single men. By a long way. Mixing percentages with absolute numbers is deceptive as here. After a period of economic melt-down the number of homeless has increased dramatically and this is an issue worth talking about.

The National Coalition for the Homeless is one of the major homeless advocacy groups in the United States, and as it happens they have a fact sheet on who is homeless.

Most studies show that single homeless adults are more likely to be male than female. In 2007, a survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that of the population surveyed 35% of the homeless people who are members of households with children are male while 65% of these people are females. However, 67.5% of the single homeless population is male, and it is this single population that makes up 76% of the homeless populations surveyed (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2007). Note that 67% for men. This is about the real tax rate (Income, Land, Sales, Accident Insurances etc) that men pay. Men pay- yet seldom receive any help from it. This comes to us slightly dishonestly presenting the Mayors view. Meaning of the minor amount, one quarter of the total- women were more than half of those. Of the majority amount 75% two thirds were men- a far higher number in absolute terms. Yet the women were highlighted. A surprise to me were the men helping children. They are doing better than the divorce allocations usually handed down by unfair liberal lawyers and Judges. Only fifty fifty outcomes give a true equality benchmark. Justice is supposed to be blind; meaning absolutely neutral.

First, it is necessary to consider aspects of the male gender role that might make men more likely to be homeless: for instance, men’s greater likelihood of being veterans, or the tendency of men to not seek treatment for their mental illnesses and substance abuse. Looking at it without the gender lens risks missing important aspects of gender. Especially the vastly higher numbers involved. And the supposed need to see only trhe women's point of view. Only women bleed? No, it is mostly men who die, get sick and end up homeless. Tent cities abound in the USA- some say as many as 36 Million men.

Second, it is necessary not to erase the existence of women who are homeless. Even though men are more likely to be homeless, homelessness is somewhat a little gender equal than a lot of people care to see. The primary causes of homelessness– poverty, lack of affordable housing, unemployment– affect everyone, regardless of gender. A large percentage of the increase in homeless families is probably caused by the recession: unemployment and lack of affordable housing were the two most commonly cited causes of the direct and immediate increase in homeless families. Longer term and deeper causes are the divorce laws and the favouritism given to women. I knew one young woman offered three housing options by three different state agencies in one day! While a man thirty years living in his car -now old-and sick- took thirty days solid advocacy work to find him one single place in so called 'advanced' Social Welfare conscious New Zealand. Men receive the rough end of the stick by a long way. Although all our governments are social welfare governments. Supporting pensions, housing, sickness and unemployment.

Third, it is important to note that there may be reasons why women are more likely to be housed than men means the women are in a particularly privileged situation. For instance, women could more likely to participate in relationships for housing. “Survival sex or homelessness,” however, is one of those dilemmas that really leaves no one in a particularly good situation. As if this is not entirely why women dress to please; and men are called husbands: meaning 'house'-bondsmen; they pay the rent after all.

 

 

Homelessness is a gendered issue, and it mostly impacts men

Why aren't homeless charities doing more to address the fact that the majority of homeless people are men, and that they need more support and protection than women, asks Glen Poole

Homeless man in Westminster, London
'Homeless men are more likely than women to say they don’t need support' Photo: Ian Jones
 

This week, the charity Homeless Link published the results of a detailed audit on the health and wellbeing of homeless men and women in the UK. In total, 27 different local authorities carried out surveys involving 3,355 homeless people, 71 per cent of whom were men.

Not surprisingly, the results revealed that the vast majority of homeless people experiencing health problems in the UK are male. So why did the charity responsible only choose to publicise the problems faced by homeless women?

It was a Press Association article published in The Guardian with the headline, “More homeless women use heroin and cocaine than men”, that alerted me to this fact. The introduction to the article also claimed that a “greater number of [homeless] women lived with mental health difficulties” and a few paragraphs later the article stated that “more women use heroin-substitute methadone than men”.

As an advocate for men and boys, my bullshit detectors are set to spot everyday sexism against men in a nanosecond (or is that a manosecond?). There is absolutely no way, I thought, that that there are more homeless women than homeless men living with and mental health difficulties and using heroin, cocaine and methadone.

So I decided to take it from the horse’s mouth and spent a couple of hours hanging out with the excellent data at the Homeless Link website, because there’s little I love more than slipping inside a fresh set of spreadsheets and comparing sexes.

This is what I discovered:

327 of the homeless people surveyed used crack/cocaine in the past month, 76 per cent of them were male;
355 of the homeless people surveyed used heroine in the past month, 77 per cent of them were male;
358 of the homeless people surveyed used methadone in the past month, 75 per cent of them were male;
2,659 of the homeless people surveyed had mental health problems, 71 per cent of them were male.

Just how statistically challenged do you have to be to look at that data and come to the conclusion that there are fewer homeless men than women using heroin, cocaine and methadone and living with mental health difficulties?

Gender inequality is not just a symptom of homelessness but also a cause
Gender inequality is not just a symptom of homelessness but also a cause
  Photo: Alamy


Was this a deliberate attempt, on the part of the pro-feminist Guardian, to downplay the problems faced by some of the most vulnerable men in our society? On this occasion, possibly not.

On closer inspection, it seems that this was a case of good old-fashioned, lazy, biased and bigoted sexism that assumes women of all backgrounds are always worse off than men, so when it comes to gender, there’s only one story worth telling.

• Homeless pianist becomes online sensation

And the story on this occasion was propagated by Homeless Link, who published a press release about their survey in which it chose to highlight six issues that affect a higher prevalence (though not a higher number) of women than men.

 

 

This was a case of good old-fashioned, biased sexism that assumes women are always worse off than men
 

 

According to Homeless Link - which represents more than 500 organisations working to end homelessness in England - what the survey showed was that there is a “need for services to understand these issues when planning interventions for women who are homeless”.

At the same time, Homeless Link actively chose not to tell the media about all the issues that affect a higher proportion and a higher number of homeless men and decided to make no mention, whatsoever, of the need for services to understand these issues when planning interventions for homeless men.

This is common practice amongst the hundreds of charities working to end homelessness in the UK. Together, they consistently fail to consider that male gender inequality is not just a symptom of homelessness but also a cause. If the majority of homeless people were women the problem would be solved a lot quicker. Yet because we are collectively more tolerant of the harm that happens to men and boys (than women and girls), we continue to tolerate male homelessness.

Homeless charities instinctively know that the public, press and politicians are more sensitive to needs of vulnerable women, which is why they issue press releases that highlight the problems that homeless women face, while ignoring the problems that homeless men face.

• If as many women killed themselves as men, we'd never hear the end of it

Homeless Link, it seems, has made no attempt to push its statistics about homeless men into public awareness so, on this occasion, I’ll do it for them. Here are some of the key gender inequalities the research uncovered:

Homeless men are more likely to use drugs, smoke and have an alcohol problem than homeless women;
77 per cent of the 1,248 homeless people surveyed who use drugs and alcohol to cope with mental health issues are men;
83 per cent of the 751 homeless people surveyed who say they used cannabis/weed in the past month are men;
72 per cent of the 426 homeless people surveyed who don’t receive support for mental health problems, but say it would help them, are men;
75 per cent of the 346 homeless people surveyed who don’t receive support for physical health problems, but say it would help them, are men;
83 per cent of the 103 homeless people surveyed who don’t receive support for problems with drug use, but say it would help them, are men;
75 per cent of the 124 homeless people surveyed who don’t receive support for alcohol problems, but say it would help them, are men;
74% of the 949 homeless people surveyed who say they’d like to stop smoking are men.

When I contacted Homeless Link to ask why they chose to put out a press release that suggests drug abuse amongst homeless women is a bigger problem than homeless men, their spokesman conceded that "overall the data shows that men have higher proportions of drug use... and alcohol problems" but noted that "the article was looking at problematic/hard drug use among women drug users".

 

 

Homeless men have specific health needs that are not being met by local services, whether or not those men say they need support
 

 

When I pointed out that Homeless Link's research found that the majority of homeless people who don’t receive support for mental health problems, physical health problems, problems with drug use, problems with alcohol and stopping smoking are male, the spokesman said that "[homeless] men are more likely than women to say they don’t need support and it is a mixed picture in terms of those people saying they would like help but don’t currently get any."

To me, that's a cop out. What all of this reveals is that homeless men have specific health needs that are not being met by local services, whether or not those men say they need support. It is a great shame that the charities who are supposed to advocate for homeless people, repeatedly fail to advocate explicitly for homeless men.

Instead, they perpetuate the very sexism that helps create the homeless problem, by treating men as an invisible gender and presenting women as the weaker (and only) sex who should be singled out for special treatment and protection. The knock-on effect of this benevolent sexism towards homeless women, is sexist discrimination against homeless men.

This doesn’t mean that homeless women don’t need help and support to get their lives back on track, because they do, but the needs of homeless men are undoubtedly greater. The failure to recognise that homelessness is a gendered issue that mostly impacts men makes it less likely that we’ll ever find a way to end homelessness in the UK.

And despite all the great work they do, homeless charities are the biggest culprits when it comes to making us blind to the gender of homeless men.

Glen Poole is the news editor of online magazine insideMAN and author of the book Equality For Men

Domestic abuse


The home has long been the focus of feminist analysis as a realm in which men are able to exert their power over women. That may be true, but the statistics on domestic abuse in marriages may well challenge your assumptions. 3.4% of married women reported a case of domestic abuse over the past year. The proportion of men? 3.4%.

Married men and women were also equally likely to be victims of non-sexual family abuse, while for partner abuse and stalking, a greater proportion of men were victims than women. Given that men are less likely than women to report domestic abuse, those figures are also likely to be underestimates.

For single people, cohabitees, and divorcees, we should note, women report significantly higher levels of abuse than men.

 

Crime


There are far more men than women in prison. One explanation for this is simply that they are inherently more prone to violence, crime or drug-use.

But that attitude might conceal important facts, or even alternative explanations. 29% of male first-time offenders were sentenced to custody. For women, that figure was 17%. Men have a 62% chance of being bailed, while for women that figure is 80% and on average men serve 53% of their sentence but women serve 5% less than that.

The average length of the sentence, whatever the plea, also suggests that there may be some issues in the criminal justice system. Once in prison, men are likely to continue to suffer discrimination. A much-publicised scheme addressing the need to take away prisoner privileges applies only to men.

 

Employment


The focus on the persistent pay gap in this country is crucial, but it also obscures other important gender phenomena. Among these is fact that men are 20 times more likely to have a fatal injury at work than women.

Men are also more likely to be made redundant and less likely to be re-employed than women. Note: these statistics are compiled for each gender - so the differences can't be solely attributed to the differences in male/female employment.

 

Education


The gap between men and women applying to, and entering, university is growing.

Claims that men are more inclined to go for jobs or apprenticeships aren't necessarily borne out in fact – each year since 2010, more women than men have started apprenticeships.

Even if the idea that men chased vocational qualifications were true, not continuing higher education continues to affect the average Brits' long-term prospects.

There are other important factors at play here. One study found that by the age of four, girls think they are more clever, hard-working and successful than their male classmates. By the age of seven or eight, boys come round to sharing the same belief.

The reasons cited included feminist influence on girls' self perception, boys' fears of being labelled as 'feminine' for taking a great interest in academic work, and crucially, teachers' lower expectations of boys than of girls.

 

Homelessness


It's hard to track down official statistics on homelessness that take account of gender. But in 2011 the housing charity Crisis found that 84% of the hidden homeless were male. And the latest CHAIN figures suggest that 9 out of 10 people sleeping rough are male.

According to Mankind Initiative in UK refuges or safe houses, there are 33 spaces dedicated to male victims of domestic violence (of which 18 are for gay males only), compared to around 4,000 spaces reserved for females.

 

Suicide


Mental health is an extremely complex and much neglected area of medicine. Sadly, one of the most quantifiable aspects of it is simple suicide statistics. For every single age group between 2006 and 2010, men were significantly more likely than women to take their own lives. There's a basic question that this raises: if those rates were the other way around, would they attract feminist attention?

What do you make of this data – and what else could we look at? Let us know below.

 

 

Are there more homeless men than women?

It is commonly reported that the homeless population is predominantly male. According to the most recent SAMHSA report, the homeless population was approximately 51% single men and 24% single women. Another 23% are families, often single mothers and their children.

A factor that can make it difficult to determine true statistics on homelessness broken down my gender is the general inability to track the homeless population. There are said to be more than 14,000 homeless women in LA county, but no one really knows where they are there. They don’t want to identify as homeless because there is an increased risk of being attacked. They often don’t stay in shelters or anywhere near where men are. Women often dress like men, whatever it takes to blend in. They hide for safety by sleeping in cars and even sleep in the daytime to be alert at night.

What causes homelessness?

There is an issue with how America perceives homelessness. Public perception is generally unfavorable toward homelessness. Many people engage in victim-blaming and see the cause as laziness and substance abuse. These views are dangerous and problematic, dismissing the numerous other causes that often lead to homelessness.

Laziness is hard to define, much less quantify, but substance abuse can be sort of tracked. Per the SAMSA report, 34.7% of the homeless population has substance abuse problems. That’s considerably higher than among non-homeless, which is estimated at 9.4%.

Substance abuse is not exclusive to homelessness. It is hard to consider addiction as a cause of homelessness rather than the opposite that homelessness can help facilitate addiction problems. SAMSA also reports that twice as many adult men use drugs as adult women. This ratio correlates with the overall male to female homeless population numbers.

While it is undoubtedly true that addiction can cause homelessness in many instances, blaming victims is no real way to correct problems. Understanding the litany of other issues that can result in homelessness would help give an understanding on how someone could make a real difference.

While employment is a big factor in the ability to house oneself or a family, a job is not a guarantee that a person can avoid homelessness. In fact, 44% of homeless people do have jobs working on average 30 hours per week. As low as pay is in some states, so many poor people have to make budgetary decisions and housing is a major expense that can fund other things such as child care, or healthcare.

Affordable health care, lack of public assistance, mental illness, all have as big of an impact and employment and addictions on how people become homeless. As well, natural disasters, teenager evictions, redevelopment (aka gentrification), domestic violence and many other social complications have extreme consequences that are beyond most people’s control. Effectively, a good number of people become homeless for no other reason than being poor.

Simply put there is a lot of luck involved keeping a given poor person from the streets. Most people in the country are one paycheck, or one medical emergency away from being homeless. These factors, several of which affect men more than women, would figure to lead to more men being homeless.

A gender issue?

The divide of poor versus rich is a bad enough situation, but this issue seems to be a rally cry for men’s rights groups and homeless advocates. A Voice For Men is certain that misandry creates homelessness, or at least exacerbates it.  

They point to a crucial factor that most veterans, particularly those returning from combat duty, are men. Veterans present many complications with mental health crisis, job placements, broken families, and such problems that lead to extreme conditions such as homelessness or suicide.

Another factor to higher numbers of male homeless is that women are streamlined out of the system. A men’s rights subgroup on Reddit has some controversial perspectives, including this one from a homeless male, “I’ve been homeless. 8 years of it. This is bullshit. I’d say 10% are female. Don’t even get me started on the inequality of it. Women get to come and go at the shelter. Men are herded like cattle. A woman goes in and asks for a job they get career training, good references and a foot in the door. A man asks for a job they get put on a list of maybe 50-100 guys for maybe 20 jobs a day that pay $10 per hour for hard labor.”

It’s also true that social services will extend services for helping children first and foremost. Since most homeless families have mothers, and often only the mother, they receive services over single males.

Should it be a big deal that more men are homeless?

Men’s rights groups seem to want to focus on how to help the male homeless population. To that end, perhaps, yes focusing on the issues that create homelessness is a good thing, but complicating the situation by adding fodder to a gender war is not much help.  

Apparently, there are men who feel that no one cares about the plight of men. Sure, when we speak of domestic violence, we generally think of women as victims. But even though we may focus a little more on women, does that make the problem of homelessness worse for men?

On the other hand, maybe it’s appropriate to focus on homeless women. When we consider the root causes of homelessness being based on income, violence and other oppression, we can quickly figure out that these are issues that affect women more. Despite the advances of the last 100 years, women still are paid unequally, have fewer work incentives, sexual discrimination and face similar hardships in employment. That considered, we must wonder how bad the female homeless population would look if they didn’t get extra services.

In the end, homelessness is a gender neutral issue. Even women who are hiding from the statistical count or not considered homeless are not necessarily in a better position. Fleeing the streets to an abusive relationship would not be a step up. And certainly, if a woman is homeless with children, it makes all the sense that children be taken care of first.

Society doesn’t have to care whether a homeless person is a man or a woman. What’s really going to make a difference is to fix the economics; unemployment, the housing market and one-percenters hoarding the wealth and the host of actual problems. But it’s easier for people to blame things on others and talk about why and what something is rather than just dealing with it.

That is not to say that there isn’t a lot of work to be done as far as public perceptions of the lives of men, as well as all homeless people. Absolutely, the thinking that men can’t be victims of domestic violence, that men can’t be homeless with children, or that men don’t suffer numerous other problems needs to be addressed. We can’t operate off of stereotypes, but at the same time there are trends and that’s what we follow.

 

 

 

Personal sexism does little harm, examples, feelings injured that is all, should be misdemeanour- nothing more- criminalize tendency instead to ramp up accusations - storm in a teacup style ie feminist essentialism once again! as incitements to riot-real lynch mob toxicity- as prevalent at Massey University Art School circa 2012- 2016, leading to INCREASED tensions and false accusations, laying University open to parental/student class action, which may arise on my cloud funded site seeking legal action for same from/for on-behalf of parents/students/especially sensitive fAILED students angry at their bigoted political treatment in a place that ought to be safe from hostile self harming propaganda as such as white/human/life global guiolt? for being alive- for gods sake fire them.

 Structural sexism

 Structural sexism is where the real damage occurs. Big money is on the table. Most of it male homelessness

 Artefact of feminist ideology. Feminism as its own worst bigotry.

Hidden sexism of institutions; outwardly verbally polite and controllingly correct/ ever correcting others. is this an abuse of power. Always aimed at men. men are always the victim of state power; war, abuse, boys schooling. Get away with it so continue.

cars/benches couch surfing/ living at work- pavement/ vans, under bridges- busshelters

If woman three offers in one day. If man 30 months on waiting list until only severe medical condition obtains help

Conscious magnificant effort by one new intern socialk worker - Rowan Wellington City mission.

vans, caravans, under bridges

123 official nz level  more like 1,234/ ten times nationwide

60 Minutes found 40,000/ Pulling down regular housing to create 'studio' housing/s for men (bedsits by any other name.); I plead supervised hostels as more appropriate- ie drunkeness, as result of feminist/matriarchal policies. Inexpensive, mass built, modular construction to be built where work is- ie in Southland.Taranaki. Country run like business... do not put money where the province fails to pay its way- invest in success not poverty. Mad bad and sad to 'know' such pointless policy. Let us have real effect- not rhetorical poit scoring political affections- which nare treacherous to the max. Think big etc...ones with a real feeling for the total economics of that situation.

 

I knew one student at art school lived on the green belt

night shelter inadequate and punitive - no sense of place ,'right of occupancy' or continuity

bus station tents backyards- situationwider than housing caused by image of men esteem as in education WINZ - examples abound- back channel on ashburton.

36 million in USA/ status no address so no vote...implications political and we see xcconcrete social result.

no addresses so no statistics/ no vote so no power- so no effort made

 

Tells the lie of a male caring false feminism/ fifty percent of all social workers should be men

Lower class men receive half the financial incomes of lower class women so yeah equal pay here too?

no power so no

 

Is homelessness a men’s issue?

This week is National Hunger and Homelessness Week.

Is homelessness a men’s issue?  Indeed it is. Men are the majority of the homeless. But it goes deeper then that.  Not only are men the majority of the homeless, but homelessness is the dead end for so many other men’s issues.  How many homeless men do you think have been raped by the family courts? How many homeless men do you think have been falsely accused?  How many homeless men have been victims of domestic violence and ignored? How many homeless men have been severely depressed and overlooked. The sad fact is that homelessness is the end of the road for many men after they have faced years upon years of misandry, people looking the other way, and no services available when they face hardship and discrimination. Nearly all of the issues we discuss and work to bring into public awareness find their dead end in the two male exit points: homelessness or suicide.

This is not to say that the only path to homelessness is misandry.  Mental illness surely plays a role as does economics and a host of other forces.  It is a complex problem but one aspect that has likely never been considered by the mainstream media or psychological professionals is the horrible impact misandry has upon millions of men.

Just like other men’s issues, very few people want to talk about or publicize that men are the majority of the homeless.  Search the web for facts on homelessness and you will be hard pressed to find most organizations who support the homeless making a big deal over the fact that most of their clients are male.  Even the research oriented groups seem to be leery to focus on this fact.  This will likely not come as a surprise to the readers of AVFM.  The sad fact is that almost every area where men face hardship, trauma, and discrimination you will see a pattern of avoidance and eye turning. Male suicides, male victims of domestic violence, male circumcisions, male deaths in the workplace, longevity and on and on.  All of these areas have something in common.  No one wants to focus on the pain of men.  People just don’t want to see it.  Groups who try to help the homeless are probably very aware that if they advertise their client base to be male they are much less likely to receive donations and funding.  This is probably why you see the emphasis on homeless families even though they are a minority of the homeless.

What are the percentage of the homeless that are men? I found that the estimate for the percentages of men ranged from 60-80%.  The US Interagency Council on Homelessness estimates that of the chronically homeless 75% are male.  One third of those are veterans.  In case you are wondering 97% of the homeless vets are male.

But aren’t these guys just a bunch of drunks?  Well, that is the assumption that has prevailed for many years. N’er do wells and drunks.  In some ways this attitude continues still powered on by the invisible misandrist expectations for men.  But wait a minute. Some folks are starting to understand that there may be some powerful underlying aspects to homelessness that most are simply not seeing.  The sad fact is that most every homeless man may have started out his slide into homelessness with a huge trauma like divorce, death, illness, loss of job and probably more than one of these or others all rolled up into one big plate of stink.  These trauma overload the system of any person, but they are particularly hard for men.  Why?  Because no one wants to hear his pain, and no one wants to hear his story.  When people see a man in pain they run, when they see a woman in pain they consider it a call for action. So men are left alone to deal with huge amounts of pain.  Often they find ways to move through it and sometimes they end up soially paralyzed and homeless.

Another reason that men predominate the homeless is due to extended families going out of their way to help the women and being much less likely to go out of their way to help the men. Extended families see the women as vulnerable on the street and find some alternative. The men? They are not seen as being so vulnerable.  They are left holding the bag and not having any sort of help. He can handle himself on the street….

To complicate matters further men’s esteem is generally based on his success, when he fails and is ignored even by his extended family, his esteem will likely plummet like a rock.

He finds himself in a huge dilemma.  He is now dependent.  This is hellish bind for men who are valued based on their ability to be independent.  When men are dependent they are disdained.  Peter Marin wrote a powerful article on men’s homelessness titled Abandoning Men: Jill Gets Welfare–Jack Becomes Homeless.  Here’s a quote from Marin’s article that focuses on the problem of men’s dependency:

“To put it simply: men are neither supposed nor allowed to be dependent. They are expected to take care of others and themselves. And when they cannot or will not do it, then the assumption at the heart of the culture is that they are somehow less than men and therefore unworthy of help. An irony asserts itself: by being in need of help, men forfeit the right to it.”

Marin describes a powerful double bind for men. If they admit to needing help they will be disdained and devalued.  If they don’t admit to needing help they are alone and on their own.  So when these men are moving towards homelessness and not getting any sort of help or support along the way what they do get is a sledge hammer of judgement from the culture that since they are dependent they are less then men and officially unworthy of getting the assistance that had, of course, been refused all along.

The amazing thing is that we don’t have more homeless men.

 

About Tom Golden

Tom Golden is an author, speaker, a psychotherapist in private practice, and a long-time advocate for men's issues. He is very happy to have played a small part in the Red Pill Movie. Among his published books are
Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing, The Way Men Heal, and Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons: Understanding the Unique World of Boys. Tom also has a Patreon Site.

 

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