Homeless23.png        It’s no question that everyone deserves a healthy and comfortable life. As human beings, we are accustomed to having the necessities in life such as food and shelter. Most people do not exactly realize how beyond blessed they are because it seems we constantly compare our lives to those of higher class. For example, some individuals thrive to afford a $300 name brand purse while the homeless struggle to have at least one meal a day. Sadly, the homeless deal with a variety of obstacles such as harassment, health issues, and starvation. “Homelessness is an ongoing challenge for many families and individuals. “Many struggle to meet their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter” (Anne Birgitta Pessi). It is heartbreaking to see the homeless suffer, like all of us, the deserve the support needed to get them off the streets; including more available shelters, providing jobs for financial struggles, and offering mental and physical counseling to ensure their health. Although, to help them they must accept change and be willing to cooperate. Sometimes, homeless people deny any form of help that’s offered to them. It’s not uncommon that at some point in life everyone has had an odd experience when attempting to aid a homeless people in need. One day, a family member of mine bought food for a homeless person and offered it to them, but they denied it and wanted money only. Its common that many homeless people find solace in narcotics, they become addicted to drugs and alcohol and therefore they only want money for their addictions.

The first solution to help the homelessness is to provide more shelters to keep them off the streets. A basic housing unit can help a person feel more secure and allow them to have a safe place sleep. It’s simple to do your part in helping the less fortunate such as donating canned goods, blankets, clothing, and many other items to shelters even your local church. Most local communities have locations with organizations that donate to homeless shelters. Even donating 2 items can make a significant impact to a person in need. “Homeless persons in US cities have high mortality rates” (Stephen W. Hwang, MD, MPH). This provides higher life expectancy for homeless people living in shelters, because they are well taken care of. Unfortunately, the homeless become very fatigued and famished, they may feel like there is no other way to get the items they need to live and resort to stealing. That gives the homeless a bad reputation, and people don’t understand that it’s not intentional, they are suffering on a scale we cannot understand. “The shelter environment’s impact on families’ food choices suggests a role for nutritionists in ensuring availability of adequate, nutritious foods” (April 4, 2006 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN) Shelters provide food guidance for daily nutrition needed, and provide the homeless diverse ways to retrieve food. This is a great solution because this will keep them from starving and committing crimes, but most importantly provide them with safety.

Jobs for the homeless could also be extremely efficient considering that it will provide them a steady source of income and brighten their outlook on their future. Providing jobs to the homeless will solve several problems by keeping them off the streets, access to clothing, and basic living necessities. They will be able to successfully work higher above in their trade of field, plus gain a great amount of knowledge allowing them to move on to diverse careers. In some instances, it could be that the person became homeless because they got laid off work and spent so much time unemployed that they dug themselves into s deeper dilemma. In this century, it doesn’t matter who you are, to make a living you need to be employed and have income. “Meaningful and sustainable employment is the key to creating and maintaining housing stability” (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) – Pathways to Employment). Life isn’t easy for the homeless, but there are many programs such as USICH that’s willing to provide suitable jobs. The homeless are getting much more aid than they have in the past. “Some organizations employ homeless people and even find them housing” (Scott Thompson). Amazing, this program provides everything necessary for homeless people to get a job, including clothing, speech skills, interview skills, proper dressing, and housing. Everyone has the ability create a suitable and sustainable future for themselves including the homeless, its just the matter of having the right resources.

Lastly, the homeless need to stay healthy, it’s extremely crucial to prevent the spread of common disease and keeping them alive. Unfortunately, most homeless people do not have any form of medical insurance. This means they often go untreated and in worst cases, they eventually end up dying because there is no treatment available. In the medical field, often times homeless people come to see if treatment is available, but insurance companies end up denying authorization needed for treatment because it’s expensive and unaffordable. Without any medications or treatments death is unavoidable. “Homeless people are at increased risk of dying prematurely and suffer from a wide range of health problems, including seizures, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, musculoskeletal disorders, tuberculosis, and skin and foot problems” (Stephen W. Hwang). Due to their lifestyle, homeless people are prone to a diverse amount of diseases. In order to prevent the spread or worsening of diseases, the solution is to allow the homeless access to basic health check-ups such as proper immunizations and have them compensate by doing community work. If healthcare insurance covered homeless people that would help shelters expand because homeless shelters are currently overcrowded. Homeless shelters are one of the few resources that provide availability for shots, medicine, and other health related problems. Being homeless is the primary cause of incoming disease mentally and physically. “Ill health, physical as well as mental, is both a cause and a consequence of homelessness; homeless people suffer from many physical disorders at dramatically elevated rates” (14 April 2010 James D. Wright). Sadly, homelessness has been going on for a very long time, and the problem seems to only be growing exponentially as poverty levels rise.

One issue is that the government does not provide enough services and support for them. Honestly its quite unfair, because the government doesn’t use sufficient taxes to aid the homeless. With all the tax deductions that the government makes, you would think that there would be more money going to organizations that aid to homeless. These people are the ones most in need for assistance and it’s important that the government acts before things get worse. Rather than spending billions of dollars on the military it should be evenly split with the homeless. With president Donald Trump, the idea of helping the homeless quickly seems to factor out. “Trump wants lawmakers to boost military spending in the coming fiscal year by 10 percent, or $54 billion” (Alyson Hurt/NPR). Instead of investing that much into the military Trump and the government should put that towards homeless services.

One of the greatest solutions to help end homelessness is building a stronger community full of individuals that want to help and make a change in the world. If a community gets together there are many ways they can help. For instance, coming together as a local community can provide helpful services from local restaurants, food markets, clothing stores, and utility stores. With this much support from a community they could potentially feed about 15 families! Helping anyone out gives one the feeling of completeness. On Thanksgiving Day, my family and I family go spend most of our day in Los Angeles feeding the homeless. The estimated amount of people that participated in the food drive came out around 300 plus. Giving and helping the homeless means a lot, because we don’t truly understand what they’re going through and it makes you want to help in any way possible. That’s how great of an impact one community can make, just putting a smile on those in need and providing the best as possible for them will suffice.

Understanding why many people are homeless is very difficult to determine, that’s due to how diverse their situations are. There was a man who took homelessness to another level. This man was Jimmy Butler, he is a famous outstanding NBA player, but he grew up homeless at a young age in Huston Texas. At the age of 13 his mother kicked him out of the house, unfaithfully he was left in the streets and had nowhere to live. Ultimately, he never gave up, he thrived for his basketball career and it pushed him to achieve success. Now Jimmy Butler makes millions of dollars and is truly an amazing basketball player. The reason behind this anecdote is to show that homeless people have options for solutions to their problems. Even in challenging times, there’s always a way to pull yourself together. Every single homeless person has something to offer the world and it’s up to them to make the effort to show it.

Other options that could help the homeless is getting more volunteers for homeless services. Volunteers are important because they give their time to cook, clean, and host a variety of events to entertain the homeless. It is hard putting in the time to help, but even once a week can be an immense help. Shelters and local communities require a mass amount of time and work from volunteers. From subjective experiences, it takes a whole day, more than eight hours. Many people understand how long it could take, which does make it difficult to get the volunteers needed. Another reason that makes it difficult to recruit volunteers is that most originations supporting the homeless are non-profited. The whole reason is to help with care and love, and give any support you can to the homeless. The more volunteers there are the more support the homeless are given. It helps homelessness because it helps spread the word of help needed and attracts more people.  The more people there are means more support.

Overall, homeless people deserve the best, like everyone else they shouldn’t be mistreated or harassed because they are trying to make a living. Helping the homeless is an arduous task, but it’s possible. With the use of social media and other type of networks the need of help for homelessness will spread and acquire much more support. Those who are homeless need the help of kind hard working people and others willing to join now. Lately it seems that the government is trying to make the lives of the homeless harder. For example, when you drive to Los Angeles you can see many sharp spikes on the ground. Those spikes are put there to assure that the homeless cannot sleep in those areas and push them further away from the local city. That’s disturbing, they are not animals or pest, and this treatment is basically stating that they are nothing more than a nuisance.

The homeless deserve more shelters, jobs, and better health systems to insure they stay healthy. More shelters mean more help for the homeless because it provides food, cleansing, and reliable information. Adequate jobs can provide housing, support for homeless families, and determine their future. Providing healthcare will allow the homeless to receive necessary treatments, keep them from getting ill, and give them a longevity of mortality. With so many options to help these individuals its absurd to think that the government will allow the percentage of homeless individuals to continue rising. It only takes commitment and a good heart to make a difference.

 

 

Work Cited

            “Homelessness is an ongoing challenge for many families and individuals.” “Many struggle to meet their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter.” (Anne Birgitta Pessi).

Homeless people are at increased risk of dying prematurely and suffer from a wide range of health problems, including seizures, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, musculoskeletal disorders, tuberculosis, and skin and foot problems” (Stephen W. Hwang).

“Homeless persons in US cities have high mortality rates” (Stephen W. Hwang, MD, MPH).

“Ill health, physical as well as mental, is both a cause and a consequence of homelessness; homeless people suffer from many physical disorders at dramatically elevated rates” (14 April 2010 James D. Wright).

Meaningful and sustainable employment is the key to creating and maintaining housing stability” (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) – Pathways to Employment).

“Some organizations employ homeless people and even find them housing” (Scott Thompson).   (Google Scholar)

“The shelter environment’s impact on families’ food choices suggests a role for nutritionists in ensuring availability of adequate, nutritious foods” (April 4, 2006 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN).

“Trump wants lawmakers to boost military spending in the coming fiscal year by 10 percent, or $54 billion” (Alyson Hurt/NPR).

https://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/things-to-do/volunteer-opportunities-in-los-angeles (Picture)