To some people, the existence of homelessness in USA is a paradox. Why does a country as wealthy as The United States of America have so many homeless citizens? To date, homelessness has had an impact on every citizen one way or another to remain truly obscure. To sufficiently cover the social problem of homelessness, the first issue is to discredit the myth that homelessness is an issue plaguing the mentally ill, the lazy misfits of the society, and alcohol and drug users. This belief is unfounded. Homelessness is a product of political, social, and economic changes.
Homelessness is the situation in which an individual or a family lacks stable, regular, permanent or appropriate dwellings. The homeless population can be categorized into three groups: the unsheltered, the emergency-sheltered, and the provisionally accommodated. The unsheltered homeless lack dwellings and also do not have access to the emergency shelters. The second group has access to the system’s shelter support while the provisionally accommodated are either in an interim house, are sheltered in facilities that lack security of tenure, or are in institutionalized care lie group homes.
Almost 1% of the United States population is homeless. The politicians call the situation of homelessness a revolving door. Every day, a number of homeless people find permanent shelters and in the same day, a significant number of people also lose their houses. Homelessness has a tremendous impact on the people and causes a multitude of problems for the society as a whole. Homeless people are ubiquitous that the society forgot that they are people in desperate need of healthcare, transportation, and they have little control over their daily lives. They live by the schedule of shelters or by the mercy of some marginal jobs that they can get.
It is hard to determine the cause of the significant number of people who are homeless. However, some of the causes of homelessness are the failure of some supporting systems for the veterans, like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, women and children running away from domestic and other types of violence, redevelopment of urban areas which demolishes cheap housing in favor of real estate development, disasters, and difficulties with ex-prisoners getting good jobs. All the issues listed above are the social contributions to homelessness.
These factors are differentiated into system failures and discrimination factors. The system failures examples are when proper organizations fail to offer support to guaranty the welfare of veterans or children, lack of a good support system for domestic violence and refugees, and improper planning for people leaving hospitals and rehabs. Discrimination comes in mostly for people leaving correctional facilities, like a penitentiary, rehabs, or juvenile jails. Such people are not hired and hence cannot afford adequate housing. As long as the society will see value in pushing poor people out of their homes with no compensation to build mansions that will be occupied by well-off tenants who can pay a fortune, or fail to employ ex-convicts, stereotyping them as dangerous and not fit to work, then the issue of homelessness will continue to fester.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness states that about 630,000 people spend their nights in a state of homelessness. 22% of these are children, 13% are veterans, and 46% are the disabled and unable to work. In 2014, 7 million people moved in with their families and friends, a well-known step before becoming homeless. 6.6 million people in 2014 were paying more than half their salary for their monthly rent. The pattern shows that the number is increasing by 2.1% every year, which is a worrying trend. This is the reason why understanding the social problem of homelessness is important.
Some of the solutions that are currently being implemented include government and NGOs awareness, funding, and other community-based solutions. The National Alliance to End Homelessness has been on the forefront, fighting for awareness for the state of the homeless. This has led to coming up with nonprofit and government sponsored development plans, and funding for low-income housing with more security to prevent the areas from turning into crime havens. Some of the organizations have created awareness to make sure that companies do not discriminate individuals who are looking for second chances. The companies should give jobs to able and reformed people, including the ex-convicts and individuals who have been in rehabs. The government is working hand in hand with NGOSs to make sure that there are homes for people running away from domestic terror, refugees, and immigrants.
Other solutions to eradicating homelessness are systems to negotiate with landlords to help with bad credit histories and rental assistant programs to solve short-term issues. The community should join hands to make sure that the houses are of reasonable price ranges, that there is a process of building more houses with a subsidized cost, and make offers for low-income people.
The challenges that the community is likely to go through in pursue to end homelessness is an economic crisis, and low people turn out in developing subsidized housing. The first huge problem is an economic crisis which may lead people to think only about themselves. Most people are profit-oriented and will not care much about subsidizing rent to take into consideration the welfare of the destitute. People live in the world of focusing more on themselves, which leads to little or no turnout for community projects. Most people may be too focused on their woes that they fail to contribute to the joint efforts of the society. I anticipate that this is a major issue that will get in the way of ensuring that everyone has safe and permanent dwellings.
While people are in their permanent home, it is easy miss the invisible inhabitants at the mercy of food remains. Their living conditions are at the subjects of the environment. It is our duty as a society to note that homelessness is a social problem that should be carefully thought about. We should all join efforts and help the people affected by homelessness as it is our role and responsibility to help those in need.