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Solutions to Homelessness, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Homelessness is a situation where people lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This explanation implies that homeless people move from one place to another and spend the night where darkness gets them. Such people are difficult to identify and keep data on them as they are ever mobile. Homelessness is a current issue that is facing very many people in the US. Most of these people could be immigrants or people who may have lost their jobs in one way or another. Such people do not have money with which to pay their rent. That is why it is possible to see that the little money they get is spent primarily on food and clothing, while housing is never catered to by these people. Current data indicates about half a million homeless people in the US (Alpert 1). That is an enormous figure for a developed country like the US. Since the primary reason for homelessness is the inability to pay rent, it is worth noting some of the reasons that may make some people not meet their rent obligations. Among the postulated cause include loss of employment or illegal immigrant status that cannot allow people to take part in formal jobs that can earn them decent pay. That is why illegal immigrants end up spending their nights in various mobile places, making it difficult to track and identify them. Other reasons for homelessness may include violence in the home, substance abuse, and loss of existing homes due to actions like being auctioned or displacement due to natural calamities like hurricanes. Homelessness is a problem in the US since it leads to unequal societies, exposes the victims to vagaries of nature that may affect their health conditions later, exposes one to dangers of being harmed by others, or even exposes one to the threat of illegal drugs. More so, there is also the danger of turning people into criminals and developing behavioral problems that are not compatible with other society members, among others. That is why it is possible to see that there is a need to ensure that solutions to homelessness are found to take care of all people’s well-being.

Since high rent is one of the causes of homelessness, coming up with solutions that touch on this issue may drastically reduce homeless people. As Gubits et al. (835) point out, one way of addressing homelessness would be by coming up with rent subsidies for vulnerable people. In so doing, it will be possible for these people to stay in decent houses as they would meet the cost of those houses. However, in situations where rent is very high, it may make it impossible for those who earn low wages to afford to stay in decent homes. There is a need for the various government levels to develop means and ways of ensuring that people can access affordable housing units. Lucas (548) says the federal spending on subsidies for the homeless has increased from $16400 in 2011 to $ 50,000 in 2015 per year. With such an approach, it is possible to see that the federal government is doing something to help the homeless people overcome this challenge. If this program can reach many homeless people, it is possible to see that homelessness would be solved.

Another way of solving homelessness is by the government coming up with legal mechanisms of protecting people from evictions when they are unable to pay their rents. In many situations, unexpected problems may incapacitate tenants to the extent that they are not in a position of paying rent. Evans et al. (15) say that legal representation aimed at preventing evictions is gaining momentum as one way of preventing homelessness. With the courts’ protection, people can be given enough time to sort themselves and ensure that they pay rent on the stipulated date. However, the current situation where people can be evicted without following due process or exhausting other legal mechanisms has exposed very many people to homelessness.

Since drug and substance abuse is cause f homelessness, coming up with ways of helping people not get addicted can be another way of preventing homelessness. The reason is that once people become addicted to drugs, they spend most of their resources on addiction at the expense of other basic needs. Rehabilitating these people so that they control or stop their cravings would be another way to solve homelessness. Those who sell their homes to meet their drug addiction needs are prevented from getting their way into the streets. As Evans et al. (18) note, drug addiction plays a role in taking people to the streets as they sell most of their possession to meet their cravings. More so, drug addiction may make people lose their income sources, making it impossible for them to get money to pay rent and meet their other basic needs.

Fostering family unity is another way through which cases of homelessness can be reduced. One of the reasons for homelessness is domestic violence, which drives some people to the streets (Pauly et al., 12). When people find themselves in violent relationships or when the caregivers turn violent, those who experience the violence may find themselves on the streets without a shelter over their heads. One cause of power in the family could be a mental condition that could affect some family members. That is why getting solutions to mental disorders will ensure that family disintegration does not occur, reducing the number of homeless people.

Addressing the issue of illegal immigrants can also play a role in eliminating homelessness. In many situations, illegal immigrants do not have legal documents to help them access jobs or other government grants. Since most illegal immigrants come from the developing world, they may not have the necessary skills, attitudes, knowledge, and training to help them get reliable employment. They survive on menial jobs that have meager pay that cannot even meet their basic needs. That is why such people find themselves on the streets without a home where they can call home. That is why ensuring that illegal immigrants do not cross into another country where they are likely to suffer, homelessness cases would be reduced drastically.

Coming up with affordable housing units for poor people is another way of addressing the issue of homelessness. The reason is that since high rent has been cited as one of the reasons for homelessness, coming up with affordable houses can play a significant role in addressing the issue of homelessness. The various government levels can develop policies that will determine the categories of people that can be given priority housing or cheap and affordable houses so that they do not become homeless. More so, the various government levels can mobilize resources or form linkages with other like-minded entities that will enable them to come up with affordable housing solutions for people. People who earn less will no longer have a problem paying their rent as it is within their means. In some situations, the vulnerable populations can be given free houses by either government or well-wishers’ various levels. With such gestures, it is possible to see that the issue of homelessness would be solved.

Putting in place mechanisms that may lead to sustained economic growth will also reduce instances of job losses occasioned by layoffs. Once people are assured of stable employment, they are sure to meet their rent obligations or even put in place mechanisms of owning homes (Schneider 322). Such means may include taking mortgages or loans with which they can use to buy or build their homes. Since job loss is one of the contributing factors to homelessness, addressing this issue will ensure that homelessness is not experienced among the working-class people. More so, having defined career pathways will enable workers to climb the social ladder, which will motivate them to find better houses, or they may be forced to own homes that they can never be evicted when they fail to pay rent.

Accepting those who have served their jail terms back into society and family is another way homelessness can be addressed. The reason is that in many instances, people who come out of jail are stigmatized by their families or societies, or communities (Philips et al., 516). The result is that they may not be employed as there is fear that they cannot be trusted. Their families may also disown them. The product is that such people may find themselves on the streets as they do not have a home where they can put up. More so, since many employers are unwilling to engage them in meaningful work, it becomes impossible for the jailbird to get the money they can use to pay their rent. It is also possible to see that these people may not get help from their families once their families disown them. The result is that they find themselves on the streets as that appears to be the only place, they can find solace. That is why accepting them after being rehabilitated is a sure way of helping them become reform people in society, which will enable them to take part in various economic activities that will prevent them from becoming homeless.

In conclusion, solutions to homelessness can be found by preventing situations that lead to homelessness. These situations may include drug and substance addiction, violence in the family, mental conditions, lack of employment, and high rent cost. Rejecting those that have served his jail terms also leads to homelessness since they cannot get meaningful work or even are rejected by their family and friends. That is why addressing these issues may be the best solution for homelessness in the US and the entire world.

Work Cited

Alpert, Joseph. Homeless in America. The American Journal of Medicine, 16 (3)., 1-2. 2020.

Evans, Williams, Philips, David C., Ruffinin, Krista. Reducing and preventing homelessness: A review of the evidence and charting a research agenda. A Report Prepared for the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action lab, 2 (2) 70-80.

Gubits, Daniel, Shinn, Marybeth, Wood, Michelle., Brown, Scott R., Dastrup, Samuel R., &

Bell, Stephen. H. What interventions work best for families who experience homelessness? Impact estimates from the family options study. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management37(4), 835-866. 2018.

Lucas, David The impact of federal homelessness funding on homelessness. Southern Economic Journal84(2), 548-576. 2017.

Pauly, B., Carlson, E., & Perkin, K. Strategies to End Homelessness: Current Approaches to Evaluation. Toronto, Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press. 2017

Phillips, A., & Baker, A. (2014). Housing and health–a public health perspective. Journal of Public Health, 36 (3), 517-521.

Schneider, M., Brisson, D., & Burnes, D. (2016). Do we really know how many are homeless? An analysis of the point-in-time homelessness count. Families in Society97(4), 321-329.

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