Homelessness is a vast predicament in America and around the world. It is severely overlooked as people don’t really think of homelessness as real world problem. However, there have been ways that people have tried to fix the problem. They have come up with homeless shelters, emergency shelters, food banks and soup kitchens. These solutions have limitations though, which will hopefully come to an end.
This paper will explain approaches to resolve the social issue of homelessness in the state of Delaware. It will also explain a few reasons why homelessness should be addressed the correct way to potentially end it. I will describe the correlations of homelessness and health, the crimes involving and against the homeless, and lastly the families subjected to homelessness. A few solutions will be recommended in this paper also to optimistically achieve the goal of assisting the homeless and improving the assistance already given.
According to the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, “approximately 3.5 million people are homeless each year, while 36.3 million live in households without enough food.” This statistic only reflects the United States, and to many people, it just doesn’t make sense. For instance Alfredzine Black of the YWCA in Marion, Indiana says, “I don’t understand why we have so much poverty in the richest country in the world!” Citizens of the United States have a hard time defining and identifying poverty in their communities, so the country should crate a consistent and accurate measure of poverty. Also, urban growth is leaving people behind and causing unnecessary evictions that lead to homelessness, and this problem can be solved by following the advice of housing experts. Last, homeless shelters in the United States are losing government funding, but this could change by allowing for more government spending on shelters and feeding programs. Thus, homelessness is a social injustice in the United States because everyone deserves to be recognized as homeless and therefore assisted, and everyone deserves a safe place to live.
The many causes of the homelessness issue has arisen from global conflict, unemployment increase, education tuition costs rising, and the increase of poverty. Homelessness is affecting all ages, ethnicities, and religions striking in both urban and rural communities. “Just last year, the national poverty rate rose to include 13.2% of the population. 1 in 7 people were at risk of suffering from hunger in the United States. In addition, 3.5 million people were forced to sleep in parks, under bridges, in shelters or cars.”
With the number of homeless students on the rise, schools encounter new educational challenges that include: establishing and maintaining enrollment procedures that would not discourage school attendance; lack of teacher-training/awareness in the special needs of homeless children; the non-existence of a school transfer system for homeless children that would be least destructive to a child's education, while all the time not overlooking the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, security and medical care that homeless families with children require immediately.
Homelessness is a continuing growing problem, with more and more not just adults but children forced to live on the streets. Homeless people are humans just like us. Being homeless, you are faced with an everyday constant battle just to stay alive. With the government, creating laws that are against them along with being mistreated by society on a daily basis and with little or no support at all makes it very hard to want to survive. Homelessness affects everyone. No matter their race, age, ethnic background (Rosenheck, 2007).
The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of poverty on young children and their families. The focus will be on homelessness and how the child is affected in two major settings: the home, or lack of, and school. In both of these settings, children are impacted by different social forces and must push through barriers that are set before them given their circumstance. “Living without permanent, long-term housing creates a number of stressors for children and families, but being homeless can be particularly detrimental to the healthy development of young children” (McCoy-Roth, Mackintosh, & Murphey, 2012). “Homeless families with very young children are one of the fastest growing segments of homelessness. This period in the life cycle is recognized as the most formative and fragile time for children and families” (Swick, 2010).
Homelessness is a problem that happens in many different countries around the world. Definitions of homelessness are defined in different meanings by different people. However, the Stewart B. McKinney Act defines a homeless person as “ one who lacks a fixed permanent nighttime residence or whose nighttime residence is a temporary shelter, welfare hotel, or any public or private place not designed as sleeping accommodations for human beings” (McNamara 1025). It is impossible to find out exactly the number of homeless; however, the researchers can do a study to estimate that number. Based on different statistics from different researchers, the homeless population in America has been increasing as “an alarming rate” (Markos and Lima). Therefore, even though America is one of the most powerful countries in the world, homelessness, which has many common causes, has always been a big problem in society.
I chose to research childhood homelessness, and how it impacts early educational and cognitive development. The negative effects of childhood homelessness are clear, but I am specifically interested in identifying the effects of childhood poverty and homelessness, and attempting to understanding the specific effects of homelessness. This issue is important for a variety of reasons; of the approximately 320 million people living in the United States, 1.35 million of those are homeless children (Yu, 2008, p. 2). If we as a society are unable to understand homeless children, we will be unable to meet their needs. These consequences are specifically relevant for teachers and school practitioners, since the school system is one of the best places to help these children.
There are too many connecting issues that have caused homelessness to escalate from a lifestyle that was really only lived by middle aged individuals with a substance abuse problem, to a condition that is endured everyday by a diverse number of people. The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress reveals that 36 percent of the homeless population consisted of individuals in families--over half of which were children--17.8 percent was made up by the chronically homeless, and an estimated 10 percent was comprised of veterans.