Hope for Houston Homeless

Topics: Homelessness, Poverty, Homeless shelter Pages: 11 (2926 words) Published: May 14, 2014

Hope for Houston's Homeless
Heather Tollerson
University of Houston- Clear Lake

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Houston's Homeless

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Based on the 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Report, “On a single night in January 2013, there were 610,042 people experiencing homelessness in the United States, including 394,698 people who were homeless in sheltered locations and 215,344 people who were living in unsheltered locations.” (1) Out of those numbers, 12 in every 10,000 people residing in Texas are homeless equaling an astonishing number of 29,615. In Houston alone, there are over 6,300 men, women, and children that are without their own residence on a given night. (HUD, 3)Many have a preconceived idea of what homelessness is, there are many subcategories that fall under the umbrella that contribute to the epidemic. Factors range from joblessness to domestic violence. While small communities are not immune to the issue, it is usually larger urban cities that see the biggest effects of the problem. Throughout this research, we will take a look at both national and local statistics that identify contributing factors of homelessness, who is affected most, and solutions and services that are provided to the homeless population.

What is Homelessness?
Homelessness is defined as “a condition of people without a regular dwelling. “(Homelessness 2). Although the more familiar idea is those walking, sleeping, and living on the streets, homelessness covers a much larger spectrum. Within this same track are those that reside in conditions that are not equipped for inhabitants, such as cars, abandoned buildings, and parks. However there are other populations that tend to go unnoticed. There are those that live in emergency shelters and transitional housing, people who are incarcerated, substance abusers in treatment facilities, stay in permanent supportive housing, or those living with family members and friends. Categories of Homelessness

Families that experience homelessness are typically those that resemble families that live in poverty. Although every situation is unique, the majority of the characteristics are the same. It is important to recognize that not all homelessness can be blamed on the individual, but in fact there are

Houston's Homeless

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countless reasons why people fall victim to the pandemic. According to professionals, homelessness can be categorized into three groups.
1. Generational- These families have been homeless for two or more generations. Approximately 20% identified as chronically homeless, and 1 in 20 identified as a memebr of a chronically homeless family. (Troisi & Grier, 2013, 16) In this type of situation you will find that many of the second generation have never had a place to live on their very own. They have always stayed with grandparents, family members, in hotels, as well as shelters. The people that fall within this category tend to lack education and motivation. Because they have never known anything different, they strictly focus on day to day survival versus long term goal setting and stability. Of the three categories, generational homelessness is considered to be the most severe because the members are left in a state of constant hopelessness and stagnation.

2. Situational- Families that experience setbacks typically belong in this group. Extreme life changes and unforeseen circumstances may lead a family to fall behind and not be able to maintain ones basic needs and necessitates. Misfortunes such as job loss, death, divorce, unexpected bills, sickness, hospitalization, and domestic violence are some of the situations that may contribute to the downward spiral of homelessness. This class of homelessness is very common and according to an article written by James Bloodworth, 8 million people are one paycheck away from being homeless. “An alarming picture of a nation where the buffer between having a home...

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