Often it's because the breadwinner in a household may've lost his/her job. Eventually, even if there is a financial reserve, it may run out -- bills can't all be paid, including the rent.
On a recent day, 18 adults and 16 children were being evicted from their various apartments, says Sharon Anderson, director of the Family Connection Center (FCC) in Bountiful and Clearfield.
"If they're not paying one thing, but putting another thing first, they'll eventually be out," she said. That's because it can come down to paying the gas bill one week, maybe the power bill the next. That might not leave enough for food -- and rent.
"That (evictions) doesn't include the majority of homeless in Davis County -- the doubled up families," she said. In Davis County, two years ago, 720 families applied for transitional housing that was being set up by the FCC.
"Twenty slots were funded for homeless housing. We had a huge response," said Kent Adamson, FCC homeless coordinator.
Through some re-configuring, it was possible to serve 30 families, or half again as many as had been programmed.
"We've served 65 families since July 1, which really maximized the use of those dollars," Adamson said. But there continues to be a large waiting list.
To be accepted, participants must be willing to work toward employment, finishing necessary training, as well as completing other life skills-type classes and training.
"The first group in transient housing will complete training soon," Adamson said. "It's about a return on investment."
About $10,000 has been spent per family. While that seems high, it's a lot less than paying upwards of $30,000 a year to house someone who obtains no skills, etc., and ends up at Point of the Mountain, Anderson said.
Beyond these relatively few are the estimated 1,200 youngsters in the Davis School District that are primarily in families double bunking with friends or relatives, often moving several times during a school year.
"Almost every school had homeless kids. It's not just a certain status or location" that means people are homeless, Anderson said.
"Kids move three-four times a year, meaning they have to leave friends, etc., and put all their clothes and possessions, usually into a bag," Anderson said.
For those young people, it often means not attaining skills that lead to adult literacy. That's because they've moved so much, not had a chance for the stability, the chance to establish roots that lend themselves to learning how to read, etc., she said.
"What's the cause of homelessness? It can be domestic violence, marital problems. People like to live in a place where they can get (familial) support, even if they've broken up (with spouses)," Adamson said. "That can be better than little kids growing up without finding some security."