The reasons why someone becomes homeless, and the reasons they might stay homeless, are complex and varied. Difficulty holding a job, family conflict, physical and mental health, or addiction-issues that often compound one another-can all play a role in driving people into the shadowy corners of our communities.
Those shadows exist even in a sun-soaked place like California's Monterey County, home to some of the country's most iconic destinations. Towns like Big Sur, Carmel, and Seaside evoke images of luxurious homes along one of California's picturesque beaches.
However, Monterey is anything but paradise for the county's homeless population - more than 2,300 men, women and children by the latest official count. But the data collected by any one social service agency, while valuable, gives an incomplete look at an individual's circumstances.