Homelessness : Affordable Housing And Homeless Prevention Programs

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Countless throughout the streets of Jackson, MS there are homeless people asking for food, money, etc. and some people aid them and others walk away. However, does anyone ever see the other side of the equation? Driving down Gallatin St. one night I saw firsthand the “other side”. Because of this, the issue that my research will cover is homelessness. Homelessness is defined as a state in which individuals lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence. Poverty, lack of affordable housing, declining wages, lost jobs, the economy, foreclosure, decreased assistance programs, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, single parenthood, etc. are some of the causes of homelessness in America. Some of the proposed solutions are: affordable housing and homeless prevention programs. However, there needs to be less energy focused on providing temporary housing for those who are homeless, and more focus on providing permanent, affordable housing. Homelessness is an issue that should concern all of us. With a decrease in this situation it would clear up the amount of people walking around on the streets and everyone would feel more comfortable traveling at night. If someone is homeless, it is a common belief that they are more inclined to criminal activity; therefore less homelessness could equal less crime. Homelessness is not discriminatory and can happen to anyone at any time. “Sometimes it 's easy to walk by because we know we can 't change someone 's whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize it that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place.” ~ Mike Yankoski Homelessness is a significant problem because it is something that effects everyone, e... ... middle of paper ... ...At its root, homelessness is the result of the inability to afford and maintain housing. Government funding should be put into place that can incorporate an investment in creating affordable housing. This includes supportive housing, which is permanent housing coupled with supportive services. In order to maintain housing, people exiting homelessness must have income. Cash assistance programs are available through federal and state government, and career-based employment services can help formerly homeless people build the skills necessary to increase their income. Mainstream services, including the Workforce Investment Act, should be used for this purpose (Ten Essentials). Lastly, programs must ensure that the homeless have access to these services but are able to attain independence as soon as possible as well. To do this there must be instant access to housing.

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