Wednesday, December 21, 2011
National Coalition for the Homeless: Helping People Find Homes
Now that we are just four days away from another Christmas and with an improving economy. Christmas will be a lot better for more families in America but we'll still have people. Living on the streets, wondering where their next meal is coming from. Addicted to alcohol and other drugs, having Mental Issues, unemployed. And all going through these things on the street, because they don't have a job and they can't afford a place to live. So if they are lucky they'll be able to stay in a Homeless Shelter for maybe one or two nights. And get enough food to eat while they are there but then going through the same experiences all over again. That they were going through before they went to the shelter. Because they don't have the means to get a good job that will allow them to have a place to live. Whether they rent or own, live with roommates or with family or live by themselves. So as we get closer to Christmas literally just a few days away, we should take a minute at least, to think about are we doing all we can to help people in this situation. And if so great and we should keep up the good work but if not, what exactly can we do more or better to help homeless people. Because a lot of americans right now are a paycheck or losing a job away from being in the same situation as a lot of homeless people. And a lot of homeless people in America are educated, had good jobs but then were laid off. Perhaps got addicted to drugs. Couldn't find another job, lost their home or didn't have money for a hotel and found themselves living on the street. If you want to call that living.
The way to help homeless people is not to put them in a Homeless Shelter for a night or a couple of nights. Give them a cot and a bite to eat and then send them back on the streets. But give them a place to stay, where they can stay not be out on the street the next day. But where they can be while they are getting help getting Healthcare, ID, counseling, Job Training. Help looking for a job, their own housing at like a Housing Center or in a Motel Environment, Motels for Homeless People. During the day getting the help they need to get the skills that they need so they can have a good job and their own home. And all these things can be paid for through the current Public Assistance System, things like Section Eight Housing to cover their stay at a Housing Center or Motel. Medicaid to cover their Healthcare, Welfare, Disability or Unemployment Insurance to cover their income. Food Assistance to cover their other grocery's. As well as giving them jobs at the Housing Center or Motel so they can contribute and having them work as volunteers or employees. Once they graduate from the program.
We need a new approach to how we handle Homelessness in America as well as the broader "War on Poverty" in this country. Thats more about helping the homeless get back to work and into their own homes. Instead of letting stay for a night or two nights and some food and then sending on their way and hope they survive.