Solutions To Homelessness Essay

1833 Words 8 Pages
Solutions for Homelessness

This great nation of awesome power and abundant resources is losing the battle against homelessness. The casualties can be seen on the street corners of every city in American holding an ?I will work for food? sign. Homeless shelters and rescue missions are at full capacity. There is no room at the inn for the nation?s indigent. Anyone who has studied this issue understands that homelessness is a complex problem. Communities continue to struggle with this socio-economic problem while attempting to understand its causes and implement solutions. The public and private sectors of this country are making a difference in the lives of the homeless by addressing the issues of housing, poverty and education.

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Today, much of the nation?s affordable housing stock is being converted into condo complexes or commercial property. Even when disabling conditions such as addiction or mental illness are treated, the homeless must compete with other poor people for a dwindling supply of low-income housing. Homelessness is like a perverse game of musical chairs in which the loss of chairs (housing) forces some to be left standing (homeless).

Equally important, poverty is largely responsible for the rise in homelessness during the past decade. A popular misconception is that the homeless are lazy and do not want to work. Twenty percent of the homeless population work full-time but do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. Robert Hess, president and CEO of the Center for Poverty Solutions states, ?policies must be put into place to guarantee a living wage--the minimum income needed for an individual or family to meet basic needs: housing, food, health care, transportation and clothing (18.) Employment opportunities for the poorly educated continue to be in the service industry, which pays significantly less and provides little stability. Furthermore, few homeless people own cars so the jobs that are available may not
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