Homelessness In The United States

Topics: Homelessness, Poverty, Sociology Pages: 16 (4533 words) Published: June 21, 2015

Homelessness in the United States
(Social programs that impact homelessness)
Nyria Madison
Liberty University


Homeless refers to the people who do not have an adequate and permanent residence. They live and sleep in the streets or in impoverished shelters, under bridges, or on street curbs. Although homelessness, which is a construct of poverty, is an important issue in all countries, it is particularly if interest within the United States because it is wealthier that many other nations; yet, a much higher share of its population has income near or below the poverty line, resulting in millions homeless citizens. The social phenomenon has increased since the 1980s and many state officials and social aid organizations and institutions are addressing the issue head on. This policy analysis will use empirical research to reveal how poverty has a negative effect on communities and inevitably, the thriving of poor oppressed people, leaving millions homeless, when systems fail them. Also, this paper will discuss the current issues that America has with homelessness and also the history of this social woe. Additionally, you will read the social structural sources that are responsible for this social problem such as lack of employment, under education, institutional racism, which are just a few of the factors constructing and perpetuating poverty, resulting homelessness. Moreover, it will include policies and programs that were implemented to aid the issue, and TANF, that perpetuates the phenomenon. This paper will also address who is held primary responsible for resolving the issue and will provide practitioners with insight, evidence based skills and approaches to assist in combating the phenomenon. Lastly, my personal thoughts and interest will be discussed.

Overview of social problems
Over 7 % of persons living in the United States have been homeless at some point in their lives. (Donohoe, 2004) A majority of homeless people counted were in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs, but nearly 4 in 10 were unsheltered, living on the streets, or in cars, abandoned buildings, or other places not intended for human habitation. (The State of Homelessness, 2012) The nation’s homeless population decreased 1 percent, or by about 7,000 people, it went from 643,067 in 2009 to 636,017 in 2011. The only increase was among those unsheltered. The largest decrease was among homeless veterans, whose population declined 11 percent. (The State of Homelessness, 2012) The majority of homeless adults is not eligible for Medicaid in most states, and is also not eligible for Medicare. Besides the lack of health insurance, other barriers to care include denial of mental health problems and health problems; the pressure to fulfill competing nonfinancial needs, such as those for food, clothing, and temporary shelter; and misconceptions, prejudices, and frustrations on the part of health professionals. (Donohoe, 2004) Homelessness has a history in America, as poverty has existed in some form of American society since founding of the Nation. Poverty is directly related to homelessness. At the end of the American Civil War many people were left without homes and this started a new counterculture in the country that was given the name hobohemia. (NCPAH, 2011) During the Great Depression of the 1930s many families were no longer able to afford their homes and traveled along a migrant work trail to where they could find work. Over two million people were homeless at this time and suffered severely from hunger and extreme poverty. (NCPAH, 2011) Also, de-institutionalization of the mentally ill unaccompanied by promised outpatient psychiatric and social services led to a large increase in the homeless, mentally ill population in the late 1970s. The number of homelessness grew in the 1980s, as housing and social service Cuts increased. This was in part a...

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