Housing is more than just protection from the outdoor elements. Safe and stable housing is a basic need, and it can be difficult or impossible to care for your mental health if that need is not met.
Stable (or secure) housing means that you aren’t living in uncertainty about your housing situation and generally have a choice over when to move. The opposite of this – housing instability – can mean you’re facing a number of different challenges, like struggling to pay rent, overcrowding in shelters, moving frequently, or spending most of your income on housing.
If you face the possibility of homelessness or move spaces frequently, the stress and anxiety of those situations can wear on you after a while, especially if you’re moving without much notice. Frequent moves also make it hard to develop routines and connections to your local community, which are beneficial for mental health. For many people, not having a true “home base” to consistently return to can leave them feeling distressed, disconnected, or isolated.