"Taken to the road" means living on the streets. They beg for spare change, eat what they can find, and bathe in public restrooms.
This story seems to be talking about people who are voluntarily deciding to live on the streets, not people who are forced into that lifestyle. Usually people who live this way have been "failed by the system", meaning they've perhaps lost their job and all other sources of government aid have been exhausted. They might be mentally ill and unable to afford professional treatment.
I don't know if the story is set in the U.S., but a widely held opinion in this country is that America is such a wealthy nation that no one should have to live on the streets. If they do, it's a sign that the government has failed them.
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