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There is no particular federal definition what it means to be of homeless. However, Todd (2006) defines homelessness as the lack of a nighttime residence that is fixed and regular or a person that lives in a private or public place not fit to be a place of residence for temporary provision of accommodation. The data of the homelessness individuals is in most cases unavailable owing to their nomadic lifestyle. While estimates are hard to ascertain, Todd (2006) states that reports indicate that there are over a hundred million homeless people in the world. In some countries, the idea of homelessness has been entirely eliminated as compared to others especially in developing countries where the problem seems to be increasing rather than decreasing.
As this project question comes closer to a reality in many countries, the more often questions are; what are the sources of homelessness? What are the programs that have been put in place in order to combat this problem? Why is it that the problem in other countries seems to be escalating rather than decreasing? The world’s structural changes seem to have significantly increased the risk of homelessness over the last 50 years. Even in the developed countries, most people live in poverty without jobs or a stable income. These people face the risk of being denied social housing therefore exposing them to homelessness as explored in “Strategies for Preventing Homelessness.”
It is cheaper for the government and taxpayers to prevent homelessness than fund the ongoing treatment of homeless individuals. Taxpayers pay millions in dollars yearly for street service and for rehabilitation of recuperating drug addicts who make up a large fraction of homeless persons. It would be cheaper for the government to provide housing for them that is inclusive of medical and counseling with the aim of monitoring them instead of continually treating them while still on the streets. The costs incurred in solving an already escalating problem can be prevented through provision of projects and other measures that will eliminate this problem. These funds could be diverted to other pressing issues like education and healthcare.
Even in the current economic affluence, statistics indicate that the number of homeless individuals remained persistently high. Homelessness persist in the urban parts which have for the longest time remained economically depressed, high price of housing have rapidly risen and earnings for lower skilled workers remained constant.
Before 1980s, most homeless individuals were assisted by the local government. However, advocates received national attention in advocating for the rights of the homeless and this is when the federal government started playing a role in response to homelessness. Policies were enacted with the intention of providing shelter and other services that were crucial for their survival in the society (Todd, 2006).
Causes of Homelessness
Structural transformations have significantly increased the risk of housing segregation. In several European countries political and social mechanisms effectively protect majority of their citizens from becoming homeless as compared to the developing countries. Data indicate that the homelessness might be decreasing in the developed countries by the years, but commentators believe that this could be because people are not coming forward for help from official agencies as they know that the offers they will get are not close to what they would want (Todd, 2006). If this number of hidden homeless individuals is added to the official data, then it is challenging to say that the number of the homeless is increasing or decreasing.
It is vital to understand that social issues such as homelessness do not just emerge spontaneously and are in most cases coupled to political issues. With reference to the majority African countries where the political climate is unstable, homelessness becomes a key problem. This is because most people are jobless and therefore, face the risk of being homeless. The constant internal wrangles and fighting within a country due to ethnicity is also tied to political issues. When this happens, most innocent citizens are driven out of their homes making them refugees in their own countries. Others take refuge by migrating to the neighboring countries to live as homeless people.
Globalization is often mentioned as one of the reasons of increasing homelessness in the world. The increase in concentration of capital power in multinational and financial institutions aim mainly at maximization of profits make securing of employment at such institutions no longer reliable. The parallel increased reliance on markets and reduction in the social reduction duty of the state, through policies promoted globally have removed government jobs, released long-term residence of institutions for the vulnerable into society and reduced the delivery of social housing. While the rich have undoubtedly benefited, the increased prevalence of homelessness is all in its manifestations presents a less acceptable side of the coin minted through this years.
Solutions to Homelessness
In Comparison to other social issues, homelessness is unnecessary and can be easily addressed by policymakers. This issue costs taxpayers a lot of money in service and shelter costs that could otherwise be used for other crucial social problems like health care. Housing all the homeless individuals would cost not as much as the money paid by taxpayers, and numerous studies indicate that people living indoors visit the hospital or go to prison far less than those living on the street. In this essay, seven solutions to curb this problem are highlighted with each idea being effective in different areas.
One of the reasons why the homeless continue to live on the streets is because they were incapable of navigating through the procedures and programs that planned to help and were frustrated with the bureaucracies that have been put in place (Paulsen, 2007). Projects have been successful in enrolling homeless people in social service programs making them feel safe and respected. The trade fairs are opened so as to provide information to the homeless on how to acquire long term and short term housing within the city. They provide clothing, counseling, free phone calls, medical treatment, government identification cards, benefits information and more. This trade fairs also involve service providers, social workers an.............
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