Solutions To Homelessness

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Solutions for Homelessness

This great nation of awesome power and abundant resources is losing the battle against homelessness. The casualties can be seen on the street corners of every city in American holding an ?I will work for food? sign. Homeless shelters and rescue missions are at full capacity. There is no room at the inn for the nation?s indigent. Anyone who has studied this issue understands that homelessness is a complex problem. Communities continue to struggle with this socio-economic problem while attempting to understand its causes and implement solutions. The public and private sectors of this country are making a difference in the lives of the homeless by addressing the issues of housing, poverty and education.

Many believe that a common thread among the homeless is a lack of permanent and stable housing. But beyond that, the factors leading to homelessness and the services that are needed are unique according to the individual. To put them into one general category ? the homeless- suggests that people are homeless for similar reasons and therefore a single solution is the answer. Every homeless person shares the basic needs of affordable housing, adequate incomes and attainable healthcare. But a wide range of other unmet needs cause some people to become or remain homeless which include drug treatment, employment training, transportation, childcare and mental health services (Center 8.)

Presently, one of the main causes of homelessness in American is the lack of affordable housing. New York researchers claim that affordable housing is the answer to homelessness. Researcher, Mary Beth Shinn, states, ?homelessness is first and foremost a housing problem not a psychological one? (qtd. in Franklin 15.) Nearly all the families in their study became stably housed regardless of substance abuse, mental illness, physical illness or incarceration. This study indicates that homelessness is not a permanent condition. People do get themselves out of the problem when an intervention occurs to provide them with access to the housing market (NYU 2.) Without permanent housing, people are unable to keep jobs and are more likely to become ill. Permanent housing provides stability that enables them to find and retain employment with health benefits.

Housing assistance can make the difference between stable housing, unstable housing or no housing...

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...ue to be one of the greatest unsolved social problems of this era as long as there are limited resources to drug and alcohol treatment for this population.

Works Cited

Aiken, Kimberly. ?Hope for the Homeless.? Essence Oct 94: 152

Alcoholics Anonymous. New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 1976.

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Baum, Alice and Donald Burnes. A Nation in Denial: The Truth About Homelessness.

Boulder: Westview, l993.

Christiansen, Elaine. ?The SRI Gallup Study of Recovery from Homelessness.?

27 Nov 1999

Franklin, D. ?Homelessness is a Housing Problem.? Health Feb 92: 15.

?Helping People Off the Streets: Real Solutions to Urban Homelessness.? Center for

Poverty Solutions. 25 June 00


Hess, Robert. ?Helping People Off the Streets.? USA Today Magazine Jan 2000: 18.

Karinshak, Carole. ?Teaching Homeless Adults.? Adult Learning Sep 96: 28.

Shinn, Marybeth. ?Housing is Best Cure for Homelessness.? New York Amsterdam

News 12 Nov 1998: 6.

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