Deep Dive: Do You Have Hobophobia, Fear of Homeless People? Because You Shouldn’t

Over half a million Americans experience homelessness on any given night. We see these people panhandling on our city streets, hanging out in parks, and waiting in long lines to get into shelters. For some, the sight of homeless people is terrifying. Hobophobia, the fear of homeless people, is a real thing. Its symptoms include elevated heart rate and/or body temperature, trembling, fainting, nausea, crying, screaming, and the urge to bolt. But rather than let your fight-or-flight response kick in when confronted with a homeless person, what if you could put yourself in their shoes instead and empathize with them? In this deep dive, we’re breaking down why hobophobia happens and what you can do to defeat it.

Cover Photo: D-Keine (Getty Images)

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