There are 150 million people globally on any given night who will have to sleep in the street, in their cars, or in abandoned spaces. Homelessness is an issue that spans all parts of the globe. There are overwhelming numbers of homeless people in first-world countries, third-world countries, and countries torn apart by conflict. Our selection of homelessness quotes helps to raise awareness and provoke actions to address this inequality.
The Canadian Definition of Homelessness states that homelessness is “the situation of an individual, family, or community without stable, safe, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means, and ability of acquiring it.”
Despite how all-encompassing this definition may appear to be, it does not capture every detail about homelessness. About 2% of the world’s population may be homeless. Another 20% lacks adequate housing. Homelessness affects people in different ways. These differences are even more important because we would need to consider them to make an effective plan to address this issue. One strategy may not be successful in every community.
Related: Homelessness Facts & Statistics
Below are some of the best inspiring and provocative homeless quotes that address the issue and proffer possible solutions.
A multiple record-breaker, Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American member of Congress, the first woman of color to hold elective office from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim-American women to serve in Congress. Omar had fled her birth country, Somali, during a civil war and migrated with her family to the United States in the 1990s. She represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Council of Economic Advisers report states, “Over half a million people go homeless on a single night in the United States. Approximately 65% end up in homeless shelters, and the other 35% —just under 200,000— remain unsheltered on (the) streets”. As Omar’s homeless quotes reflect, the staggering statistics of homeless people in the US reveal that homelessness is a prevalent political and socio-economic problem that does not leave out even “wealthy” nations.
Stacey Jaclyn Dooley, an English television presenter, and journalist, is best known for her TV roles, her first being Blood, Sweat, and T-shirts. She has made television documentaries for BBC Three concerning child labor and women in developing countries.
The National Center on Family Homelessness reports that “A staggering 2.5 million children are now homeless each year in America.” This report validates Stacey Dooley's heartfelt homelessness quote. Dooley opens our eyes to what homelessness might do to our future if we refuse to do the needful.
Related: Read more info about volunteering at homeless shelters to find out more about how you can help out.
Linda Lingle, an American politician, stands out as the first Republican elected governor in Hawaii since 1962, the first county mayor elected governor in Hawaii, and the first female elected governor in Hawaii who served from 2002 to 2012. Before serving as governor, Lingle served as Maui County mayor, council member, and chair of the Hawaii Republican Party.
Linda Lingle delivers the sad news in her homeless quote. Homelessness is so common that we’ve almost accepted it as normal. And when something seems normal, only radical efforts can change the status quo. There’s no reason why we should accept homelessness as a part of life. We must dispel our pessimism and work towards making the world a haven for everyone, where homelessness will become a thing of the past.
“Don't try to drive the homeless into places we find suitable. Help them survive in places they find suitable.”
~ Daniel Quinn
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”
~ Mother Teresa
“People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes.”
~ Sheila McKechnie
Stephen Moore is an American writer and television commentator on economic issues. He was a writer for The Wall Street Journal and a Wall Street Journal editorial board member. Moore co-founded and served as president of the Club for Growth. He is a member of President Trump’s economic task force.
Moore's homelessness quote is a clarion call for philanthropy, and he did well to highlight how we can all participate in this call. Moore refers to “do unto others,” which means we should advocate for others, the things we would need if we were in their position. Life, as we know it, is uncertain; we may, inadvertently, find ourselves on the other side of the coin.
Famed for his roles as Corporal Fred Henderson in Saving Private Ryan (Amazon), Wiley in Level 9, First Sergeant Sid Wojo in The Great Raid, and as Master Sergeant Mack Gerhardt on the military television drama, The Unit; Max Martini is an American television actor, writer, and director. Inspired by his encounters with veterans and active-duty military during his acting career, as a form of gratitude, he wrote, directed, and starred in his movie, “SGT. Will Gardner.”
Max Martini has a special kind of relationship with veterans as he has met and worked with several during his acting career. After service, many veterans become homeless due to factors beyond their control. Martini thus advocates, in his homelessness quote, the need for society to stop being indifferent to the homeless.
A renowned award-winning guitarist and singer, Riley B. King, best known as B. B. King (Amazon), is a force to reckon with in the world of music. Many came to know him as "the Beale Street Blues Boy" when he began his career as a disc jockey in Memphis, Tennessee. His song “Three O'Clock Blues,” which reached No. 1 on the R&B charts, became his first national hit.
In his homelessness quote, B. B. King instructs his fans to divert whatever resources they may want to spend on him to those actually in need of them.
Samantha Morton started her acting career at thirteen when she dropped out of school to attend Central TV junior workshops. Regarded as one of the most compelling actors of her generation, she has won Oscar nominations for her roles in two movies. Other accolades she has received include a British Academy Television Award, a British Independent Film Award, and a Golden Globe Award.
Morton is amazed by how previously comfortable people, all of a sudden, become homeless. Little wonder the rate of homelessness increases day by day globally. Also, homelessness does not come in solitude, as noted in Morton’s quote. Homeless people are prone to indulge in crimes. Homelessness is a form of deprivation, and an average human being would want to get out of the dismal situation by every means possible.
Ron Hall is a successful art dealer whose life was transformed forever when he befriended a homeless man, Denver Moore, while he volunteered at homeless shelters. The friendship blossomed and birthed the bestselling book Same Kind of Different As Me (amazon), co-written by Hall and Denver in 2006. The book was later adapted into a movie. In 2017, Denver founded a nonprofit organization, the Same Kind of Different As Me Foundation, which provided emergency needs for homeless shelters, notably smaller homeless shelters that do not have large support bases.
Everybody has a story. Hall urges us to look beyond a person’s status as ‘homeless’ and learn about them as an individual.
Neon Hitch, an English singer, and songwriter grew up in a family of circus performers and with a Bohemian upbringing. Mike Skinner and Ted Mayhem’s label, The Beats, signed her on before it closed down. Later, Benny Blanco discovered her on MySpace, then flew her to New York City to work with him. Their work together earned her a music publishing deal with EMI and a record deal with Warner Bros. Records.
Having gone through such a big challenge and coming out of it with her vision still intact, we cannot but appreciate Hitch’s resilient spirit. She was able to draw positivity from her not-too-good experience and proceeded to become one of the popular musicians of the 21st century.
Jackie Speier is an American politician, a member of the Democratic Party, who currently serves as a U.S. Representative for California's 14th congressional district. Newsweek named her in their list of 150 “Fearless Women” in the world.
Jackie Speier unveils one of the hidden truths about homelessness in her quote. Gainful employment is not enough to fortify us against homelessness. This political and socio-economic problem affects all and sundry irrespective of economic status.
Originally named Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna Jr., Nikki Sixx took a keen interest in music at an early age. Sixx is best known as the co-founder, bassist, and primary songwriter of the band Mötley Crüe (Amazon).
Nikki Sixx’s homeless quote challenges anyone who may be going through some difficult times. Pulling one’s self out of poverty isn’t easy. It takes both personal effort and the support of someone (or a community) willing to give a helping hand. But if Nikki Sixx could go from zero to hero, we should all try to make the best of our situations.
Lauren Daigle is an American contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter. Her debut album, “How Can It Be” (amazon), is certified platinum by the RIAA and has produced three certified Gold singles. A two-time Grammy Award winner, she has won other awards such as seven GMA Dove Awards, five Billboard Music Awards, and two American Music Awards.
Lauren Daigle, in her homeless quote, openly says that she does discriminate based on economic status and that she “considers the homeless just as important as the richest of the rich.” When we stop prioritizing people’s socio-economic status as an indicator for offering empathy and support, our world will improve on a whole other level.
Societies cannot continue to ignore the issue of homelessness. We should not force our homeless people into the shadows or berate them for finding shelter where they can. All in an attempt to preserve a false image of flourishing communities. Instead, we should address the issue of homelessness head-on. People, communities, and governments should work together to ensure that every resident of a state has a safe, clean, and warm space to call theirs.