The basic problem of homelessness is the human need for personal shelter, warmth and safety, which can be literally vital. Other basic difficulties include:
- personal security, quiet, and privacy, especially for sleeping
- safekeeping of bedding, clothing and possessions, which may have to be carried at all times
- hygiene and shaving facilities
- cleaning and drying clothes
- obtaining, preparing and storing food in small quantities
- keeping contacts, without a permanent location or mailing address
- hostility and legal powers against urban vagrancy.