Homelessness Affects Adults and Children

The homelessness problem in America affects adults and children alike. This is a problem that needs to be corrected. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless 41% of the homeless population are comprised of families. Homelessness is a devastating experience for families. It disrupts virtually every aspect of family life, damaging the physical and emotional health of family members, interfering with children’s education and development, and frequently resulting in the separation of family members. The problem of family homelessness is not solely restricted to urban areas; rural and suburban communities are increasingly plagued by the problem. (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009)

The number of families that make up our homeless population are frightening. I had to take that into consideration when coming up with ways to effectively address the homelessness problem. In doing so, I had to think about how these families end up homeless. My first thought was that they may have lost their job, gotten divorced, or may be a single parent and are unable to afford the cost of housing. I then began to think that maybe these individuals are ashamed to ask for help from family or friends for fear of being judged. Many may be too proud to go to a shelter, or perhaps the shelters are overbooked and there is no availability.

My first way to effectively address the homelessness problem would be to ensure affordable housing for families. I proposed that the government put programs in place to help educate individuals on owning or renting a home. They should teach them how to create budgets that are tailored to their circumstances in an effort to show they how to pay the monthly bills and what will be remaining for the necessities and any extras.

The second way to effectively address the homelessness problem is to assist individuals with obtaining or maintaining employment. This could be done by providing training programs to ensure that individuals have the knowledge and skills required to use the most recent technology. Individuals need to be able to keep up with technology and the ever changing environment. There also needs to be childcare readily available for these individuals. This will help to avoid the problems with parents finding daycare to obtain employment. This is even more beneficial if the employers have a program available on site or within close proximity.

The third and last way to effectively address the homelessness problem is currently in effect and is twofold. This would be to help individuals stay healthy. Which we are seeing begin to happen with the Affordable Care Act. This act is making it possible for individuals and families to obtain affordable healthcare coverage. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, Preventing poverty and homelessness also requires access to affordable health care, so that illness and accidents no longer threaten to throw individuals and families into the streets. (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009) It will also help individuals have better attendance at their place of employment due to their being healthier.

It is my opinion that there are other ways to address the homelessness problem, but we must start somewhere. Start with one and move into all the others. I believe that all of these ways work hand in hand with each other. If we train and educate individuals and provide the necessary skills they will be able to obtain employment. Along with that they may need child care or transportation. If we provide those things or a means to obtain them there will be less reasons for the individual to miss work or call out which could eventually end in termination leading to inability to pay for their bills and housing causing homelessness.

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