Homeless people come from all kinds of life, from single men and women to families. Many people believe that homeless people choose to be homeless, however when a research was conducted, it showed that less that 6 percent of all homeless people are that way by choice. At this point some people might ask “So what are some of the problems in the U.S. that cause nation-wide homelessness?” From the book Sociology of Our Times, it concluded that Social interaction and Social structure are essential for the survival of society and for the well-being of individuals. And I will use these two components to explain the causes that contribute to homelessness. Social structure is the complex framework, which composed of Social Institutions, Status and Roles, and Social Groups. These three groups organize and establish limits on people’s behavior. Functional theorists stress that social institution exist by performing five essential tasks: Replacing members, teaching new members, Producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services, preserving order, and providing and maintaining a sense of purpose. When one of tasks encounter a problem, it will cause conflict to some people and then lead them to homelessness. An example will be during an urban renewal project, many low cost housing are destroyed, and thus it puts a large numbers of people onto the street. Status and roles are also causes of homelessness. Status is composed to ascribed, position at birth, and achieved, result from personal abilities. If a person was born from a low income family, it will be extremely difficult for that person to raise his/her ascribed status. Both ascribed and achieved status often encounters problem with role conflict and role strain. Which incompatible demands are placed on a person by either a single or two or more status at the same time. When the conflicts become so strong, a person will take the role exit, which he/she disengage from its central identity, and therefore, homelessness starts to form. According to Sociologist C. Wright Mills, sociological imagination is the ability to see the relationship
between individual experiences and the larger society. Homelessness is both individual and society problem. Personal trouble may be one person is being unemployed or reassigned. However a widespread of unemployment which affects number of people is a social issue. Therefore, although there is a distinction between them, however personal issues and public issues have a both way relationship, which bonds the two together.