Do you wish to play your part in ending homelessness in the United States? If YES, then keep reading because this guide especially focuses on overcoming homelessness in the United States and how we can play our part in overcoming it as a nation.
From the recent updates in a survey in 2019, it has been found that every night almost 552,830 people experience homelessness. This number is roughly about 17 people out every 10.000 people living in the United States of America. Most of the people that are experiencing homelessness are 67% individuals and 33% families with children. Youth is among the population most affected by homelessness. Youth under the age of 25 is part of the 7% of the homeless population. The American homeless population is largely comprised of male individuals which consist of 70% of men.
The race is also a huge demographic of the American homeless person’s story. It comprises 49% of white Americans which is the largest racial grouping that is homeless. However, African Americans and Indian Americans are less compared to it.
Causes of homelessness:
The people who experience homelessness are not that different from you or I , in fact, there is a very thin line between being housed or homeless.
Homeless people may not share much in common with each other. Other than the fact that they are highly vulnerable, the lack of proper management, income, and the necessary support to make sure they stay housed. Below I have listed a few specific reason why people fall into homelessness:
● Structural factors:
Structural factors include the economic and social issues that have a huge effect on the opportunities and also the social environment of an individual. The major factors that contribute to this are low incomes, no access to affordable housing and also lack of health support. Most of the time drastic shifts in the economy which include nationally and locally can create hurdles for people who are not able to earn enough income, so they can pay for their food and housing.
Poverty is directly linked to homelessness. Most of the people who are homeless are suffering from poverty and are unable to pay for their basic necessities such as a house food child care Healthcare and also education. Poverty means any person is just a minor incident away from being homeless. Any large expense that takes place in a person’s life can cause a person to be homeless.
The shortage of houses in our society causes the prices of houses to rise and as well as the rents to increase drastically. There is a high demand for houses but the supply is very less which results in high prices and rents.
Most of the people are evicted from their houses by their landlords because they are not able to pay the skyrocketing rents. Which results in being homeless. Families spend 30% of their income. Most of the families spend about 50% of third income on housing have a high risk of being homeless.
● Personal problems:
There can be many factors that are included in a person being homeless. There are individual and rational factors that cause a person to experience homelessness which includes a traumatic event such as a house for a person losing his job.
The personal crisis may also be a huge factor for a person to become homeless such as a family breakup, mental health, and addiction challenges and brain injury, etc. It can also have physical health problems and health problems that can cause homelessness. Rational problems may include family abuse, addiction, mental health problems of family members and the most important factor is poverty.
● Domestic violence:
Domestic violence has an undeniable connection with homelessness. It is estimated that 237 out of a hundred thousand people are affected. It can force individuals and families to leave their homes suddenly. This is the main issue for youth women, especially those children. Women who have experienced violence in a power-driven environment are often found to be choosing between abusive relationships and homelessness. Young people are victims of sexual and physical abuse often and up experiencing homelessness.
One of the most common reasons for homelessness is disabilities. When a person acquires a disability sometimes he or she is not will not able to perform a job. Disabilities do not occur by personal choice But can result of an accident. When you have any such an economic disability which can prevent you from doing a job. You may have to leave the job. Due to the result of such disability. And without employment it is difficult to keep that roof over your head. That being said, lack of income will result in homelessness.
Without a job you will not have any means of income with no steady income you are homeless. A person never knows when he is going to get ill or get into an accident that may result in a disability.
● Mental illness:
It has been found that mental illness has affected more than 75% of the people who are currently facing homelessness. The lack of resources and the very long waiting list of public housing, insufficient medical treatment makes it very hard to find stable employment meant that it can make it nearly impossible to find a permanent house to stay in.
● Vicious cycle:
When you find yourself in an unstable housing situation it can become very difficult for you to get out of that situation. Finding new housing can be extremely difficult without landlord reference, good credit and a verified income. The lack of basic necessities of life will lead you into homelessness. You will realize quickly a little money is better than no money. And that it cost money to be homeless. Life is not a free ride and living in a shelter is not free either.
The relationship between addiction and homelessness is a very controversial relationship. Rates of alcohol and drug users are extremely high among homeless people. The increase in homelessness that has taken place in the past two decades is so high that it cannot be explained by addiction. Whereas a portion of the population who are homeless are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Drugs and alcohol are a huge risk of homelessness. But it does give you something to think about.
One report I read recently read claimed that 74% of people who are homeless are not drug users of any kind. While only 15% of the homeless population was chronically homeless.. Not so sure I believe those percentages since the article I read was on the internet.
● Lack of trustworthy Relationships:
The lack of trustworthy relationships is one of the most major and common causes of homelessness these days. We all have someone in our family that we are very close to. I know all homeless people want someone to call a friend or a mentor. Someone that you can go to when you are going through a tough time. Or just simply when we need a little guidance from someone to put you back on track. But in our society sometimes feel like such relationships in our lives which causes us to lose track of our goals and have a big hole in our lives.
For a person to stay stable and healthy it is necessary to form healthy relationships and trustworthy relationships. With people who you know and love. Who will support you always. In order to get back on track And stand up on your own feet and face your problems.
What to give to homeless people?
This is a very common question that is asked by people. Some people are not comfortable with giving cash to people that are homeless. Or might not just carry cash with them.
You may tend to wonder what other things you can give to help homeless citizens. You might wonder what to pack in a giveaway kit to distribute among the homeless.
But most of the time people are asking the wrong people for advice.
If you ever really want to know what the homeless people need you will need to ask them directly. Go to the source and ask. The source is the homeless individual. . Giving homeless people items that he or she needs is important. You can call them homeless items if you want.
Here I have provided you with a list of things that every homeless person needs. And you should be able to a to fulfill some homeless peoples basic needs.
● Grocery gift cards:
A grocery gift card is a great means to provide someone access to access to daily essentials of life that a homeless person might need. You can pick up a gift card from wherever you want. When you are making your own grocery trips. You can always get some grocery store gift cards to give away to homeless. When you see such homeless people that are in need of it.
If you don’t want to waste much time and energy in carrying things around to give away gifts cards are the best things for you.
Gift cards are easy to carry and easy to handle. These gift cards provide people with a lot of freedom to choose items. Without carrying cash with you..
Who doesn’t need a fresh pair of clean socks? Socks are usually well received by the homeless community in a variety of different circumstances.Socks prove to be very useful not just in winters but throughout the seasons of the year. It is always nice to have a nice pair of warm socks to keep those feet warm. But you also need socks in summers to avoid blisters.Socks are a great item to have. with a person at any time in case someone asks for them. A pack of socks can go a long way.
Giving homeless people socks socks would be very helpful.
At times when the weather tends to get very cold, gloves are usually known as hand warmers. And can prove to be very useful to have for someone facing homelessness.. Most of the homeless people would be more than happy to accept hand warmers from you. It not only adds to the comfort of the person It can also make a huge difference in the harsh cold weather.Don’t be surprised if you are asked for hand warmers because it is the number one request for every person.
● Unscented baby wipes:
Unscented baby wipes provide you with a way to keep your hands and body clean without the use of water. Or in case you do not have any shower facilities these and centered baby wipes can be used to clean yourself.
A homeless individual can use these unscented baby wipes to clean their hands before they get mail. In case there is such a place where they have access to soap or clean water or as a sort of shower in a bag when other options are not available for a person.
Homeless people that are usually sleeping on the street will of asking you unscented baby wipes because while in the streets they do not have access to clean water.Wipes are the first priority for them. Make sure you get the unscented baby wipes because usually the centered Vibes have a very irritating and overpowering smell And can cause irritation on the skin.
You may have seen how expensive sanitary products can be. Tampons are also a very essential sanitary product which most homeless people are not able to afford. If you are able to buy tampons, then getting an extra box to give away to someone in need won’t be that big of a deal.
One box can last a very long time. This is such an item that it varies from person to person. It depends on personal preference and also the availability of the product itself. In some places, the shelters are overstocked in female hygiene products. But in others, they are almost not even available. Even if they are stocked. You might have pads which is not everyone’s choice.
Tampons are always good to have with you. If they are ever asked for. It depends on the person. The homeless may or may not need it frequently.
● Garbage bags:
Most of the people who are living in a tent city or any sort of larger group, garbage bags are usually asked for. They are used to keep the area clean and to protect items from the elements. Homeless people use such bags to protect their belongings from the rain. And to protect themselves from the rain as well. The bags create a watertight barrier for their own personal use.
● Toilet paper:
Toilet paper is a very useful product that is generally used by every person for their own sanitary purposes. Toilet paper is mostly a needed in areas where people live in groups. And homeless have access to such facilities where they will require to use toilet paper. Yes, of course, people who live on the streets will have full access to the public facilities. So rough sleepers on the street will not have much need to use this item. It’s highly unlikely that anyone would ask for toilet paper. But you never know so it’s recommended that you keep a pack with you.
● Water Bottles:
You should always keep a crate of water bottles that are very handy and you can give every individual person a water bottle that they can use for you can also donate a full case to any shelter home or you can find any tent community and distribute Water bottles among them.
These days at the age of global warming dehydration has become a very major issue for homeless people. There may not always be a convenient source of drinkable water for them. So they will always need a water bottle with them. Also, a water bottle can be reused by them to show a water bottle is always appreciated and asked for.
Homeless people in our society are left out and are treated today as if they are exiles in our society. Such homeless peoples are also human beings that need love and affection. homeless people can help you in the development of the country. If they are provided with the proper guidance.Moral support that they need to stand up on their feet and achieve whatever they need to achieve. To get themselves out of any situations. Who knows maybe some of the most brilliant minds are living on the streets just because they have had a rough time in their lives, because of which they are going through a hard patch in their lives. While having a tough time recovering from such hard times.
The politicians should make the necessary decisions regarding homelessness. They should provide homeless people with the equal opportunity in life as other people have And should not discriminated against homeless because of their living situation or because he or she have gone through a hard time in their life.
I believe it is the duty of the people and the government to provide homeless people with all the necessary help that they need to carry on with their lives. And also provide them with the basic necessities of life.
People should encourage giving jobs to homeless people as a first preference because they are the ones that need the Jobs the most. There should be a policy that would keep the prices of houses and the rents of houses at a level where it is affordable for each and every person of the society. Every person has the opportunity to live their life with dignity.
I hope this guide was informative. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.