With all of the wealth and overindulgence in our society, it is hard to fathom that there are people in our community who do not have a place to live. Homelessness is clearly a significant, complex, and expensive social issue here in Santa Barbara County. According to Santa Barbara’s Healthcare for the Homelessness website, it has been calculated that close to 6,250 people including men, women, and children, as well as families, have no place to call home here in our county. This has been an issue for many years, and it’s time to make solving the problem of homelessness a priority Every U.S. citizen deserves the right to have food, clothing, and shelter, and there things we can all do to help solve the growing problem of homelessness here in our community.
When you hear the word “homeless,” your mind probably goes straight to the stereotypical middle-aged male sitting on a bench on State Street with a cardboard sign. One might be surprised to learn that there are actually many faces of homelessness. Who truly are these 6,250 people that are represented by this one inaccurate perception? Men, women, and children are affected every day from the effects of homelessness here in our area. Homelessness strikes people of every age, ethnicity, and religion. It is calculated that single men do indeed make up about 60% of the homeless population. 20% of these homeless men are veterans. It doesn’t seem fair for someone who has served our country to ever go without a safe, stable place to call home. Another group that might be forgotten is the many families and children that maybe sometimes aren’t the most visible. The number of women and children on the streets has dramatically increased throu...
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...ough problematic and controversial, we must continue to fight the battle against homelessness here in our community. Families, men, women, children, lacking a safe, stable, place to call home continue to remain scattered throughout the streets. What will they do for Thanksgiving? Where will they be for Christmas? While we are comfortable in the luxury of our own lives, homes, and families, we must not look the other way during these times of need. Homelessness is definitely a problem, not only in large cities, but in our local communities as well. We must make the genuine effort, and extend our helping hand to our fellow family members of the world. With all the abundance and overindulgence in our society, we have to recognize this problem and make homelessness a priority. I can make a difference. You can make a difference. Together, we can all make a difference.
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