There are two sided opinions about the homeless in our country:
1. Those who think homeless folks are lazy people living out of government, sucking all resources.
2. And those who have empathy and believe homeless people are in terrible need.
The question is what do you think?
“Homelessness” is not a recent “label” given to this sub-population; however, it is not that old either. Back in the late 1980’s when that “label” was little known, activists began to make public demonstrations to create awareness on behalf of those less fortunate. They believed that, for whatever reasons, people found themselves out of a place to live such as a house, an apartment, a room, or even doubled-up with family or friends. Mitch Snyder, an activist from the Washington Metro Area, went on hunger strikes for weeks, covered by all kinds of media, just to make public the need for shelters. The trend back then was just to shelter people. Today, however, we are more equipped to assess homeless needs, identify the reason why they became homeless and assist them accordingly.
Maybe, you are not aware that the homeless people you see on the streets, panhandling, unkempt and perhaps unruly, are approximately only 10% of the total homeless population nationwide. They are the “Chronic Homeless” and suffer from a myriad of mental and physical disabilities. Perhaps you don’t know either that a large number of homeless people in the country are women and children, and that most of them go to work and their children go to school every day. Now, you tell me if this sub-population fits item #1 that I listed in this post.
Homelessness is not who they are, it is only a situation they are in. What is needed is everyone’s understanding that this is a social problem that concerns us all. The government is doing their part, by providing funding. Two top Federal agencies are leading the fight. The Department of Veterans Affairs, (VA) assists veterans with numerous services including permanent housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD) assists local jurisdictions and states to operate transitional housing programs for those who need time to get back on their feet. The funding is used for leasing units and programs and it is critical in providing permanent supportive housing for the most physically and mentally disabled. Finally, our communities need more concerned developers to help increase the inventory of affordable housing. I believe that if we collaborate with each other, including volunteering to help nonprofit organizations reduce their operating cost, we will eventually conquer this tragic social problem in our country.
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.