Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

Some Characteristics of Homeless People in the Timisoara City

Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

Some Characteristics of Homeless People in the Timisoara City

Article excerpt


In the fourth century - the year 374 - there appeared settlements for persecuted people. They were placed in monastic complexes (Filoramo, 2008). In 1547, in England, King Edward VI commanded that those who are found wandering on the street to be marked with the letter V for vagrancy - loitering (Caton, 1990). Some people were deported to Ireland and Scotland. Those who were given jobs and ran twice from a work place were executed. In 1725, in the U.S., establishments for homeless people appear, called the poor-houses (Acosta and Toro, 2000).

According to Daly, the causes of this phenomenon are theoretically divided into two categories. The explanations take into account as main factor the socio-economic aspect, followed by the responsibility of the persons targeted by this phenomenon. In Romania, one cannot prove that the number of homeless is lowered by the GDP growth or is directly proportional to the rate of poverty. Extreme poverty and poor areas are somewhat new phenomena in Romania; this can show that homelessness is new or at the beginning, regularly increasing from 1990 (Caraboi, Fierbinteanu, 2013). People that are new to living in the streets feel excluded from society, however those living on the street for a long time selfexcluded. Basically as long as a person keeps living on the street, chances for that person to aspire to a shelter drop significantly, becoming followers of a total freedom (Flick, 2007). PAFA (adult person without shelter) is a person who has no place to live, is in crisis, has health, social, psychological and legal problems (Johnsen et al., 2005).

Families go through different events that have negative effects and affect its normal operation, turning them in dysfunctional families. Occurring trauma affects not only the individual but the entire family (According to "Ffomeless' Assessment and Psychological Assistance" and "The National Survey on the Situation of Street Children 2012" - Save the Children NGO). Some of these events are: violent quarrels in the family, physical abuse, child sexual abuse, delinquent parents, separation or divorce of parents, parents' unemployment (one parent or both), very difficult financial situation, parents' various chronic diseases, death of one or both parents, housing crisis, impossibility to pay rent, physical and mental health problems, real estate scam, and detention.

Theories on PAFA - after Fournier L., "Sans domicile fix" (Without a Stable Residence) 1996 and "Ffomeless' Assessment and Psychological Assistance."

The theory of social gaps

Before 1940 the phenomenon was associated with alcoholism and after 1950 with vagrancy. Later it was recognized that some of the people associated with vagrancy arise from those discharged. The responsibility belongs to the society, not to the person.

The theory of social competition

Structural factors are not always determinants of homelessness. Multiplication of problems occurs with patients, addicts and repeat offenders. This theory argues that the PAFA phenomenon is a process of natural selection and allocation in different social strata.

Types of PAFA

Different classifications of PAFA take into consideration different medical, social, biological or family problems: alcoholism, poverty, drug use, vagrancy.

* Insulated women: their number is growing both on the street and in various shelters. Some turn to shelters because of domestic violence, then return to their family until a new physical abuse. Social service providers subdivided this category in elderly women accompanied by very young children and very young mothers (Badea, 2002).

* Numerous families: due to the large number of members to share financial resources, families have problems in ensuring adequate nutrition and housing conditions. It is almost impossible for these families to be hosted in the social centers together giving the shelters' infrastructure (Badea, 2002).

* Young people (adults): they access various services and their number is constantly growing, and if until recently the boys were most numerous, in the latest years more and more girls appeared (Badea, 2002). …

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