Essay about Solutions to Homelessness

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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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For many Americans, work provides no escape from poverty and homelessness. Poor people are unable to pay for housing, food, childcare, health care and education. Difficult choices must be made when a limited budget must cover all these expenses. As a result, it is housing that is often dropped.

Yet, others feel strongly that educational programs are an important component in reducing the homeless population. In order to eliminate homelessness, federally funded adult education programs in reading skills, life skills and job training should be available and accessible to those in need. This education teaches the fundamentals needed to read the want ads, prepare resumes and complete job applications. Many former students have commented that living in shelters has caused them to feel like they were as low as they could go. The opportunity to learn about decision making, conflict resolution, interviewing techniques and communication skills has empowered the homeless students by boosting their self-esteem (Karinshak 28.) Most of the homeless population is hindered by limited employment opportunities and trapped by inadequate wages. Accordingly, The Homeless Education and Resource Organization started by former Miss America, Kimberly Aiken, set up a computer lab enabling the homeless to develop computer skills that would help them move beyond minimum wage jobs (Aiken 152.)

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