This paper presented the subculture of homeless people in Raleigh City, North Carolina. The paper focused on describing the health problems and issues being experienced by the homeless people in Raleigh. It also enumerated the different health care systems available in the city that provide health services to homeless individuals, as well as the different organizations built to address the needs, health and housing concerns of the homeless people in the city of Raleigh. Moreover, the researcher also attempted to describe an ideal health care system practices and services that should be made available for homeless individuals and for the whole community.
Homelessness in Raleigh, North Carolina
Homelessness is a state and social condition wherein an individual or group of individuals cannot afford to own a house or shelter. Some sociologists associated homelessness with augmented risks of mortality or simply the inevitable increase of population. However, other sociologists identify homelessness to be a consequence of socio-economically deprived populations. Whatever the cause of homelessness is, the fact remains that homelessness is becoming a serious problem all over the world. It is estimated that more than 100 million people worldwide are homeless, “of which 20 million to 40 million are adrift in major urban centers” (Habitat International Coalition [HIC], 2005).
Homelessness is one of the serious problems in Raleigh, capital of North Carolina. Although Raleigh is a capital city, a number of residents here are facing the problem of poverty, unemployment, health problem, and homelessness. This has led some people to build different organizations and health care centers which aim to resolve the mentioned problems. There are also several health care services established to manage the health problems in the community. This paper will dwell on the subculture of homeless people in Raleigh, North Carolina and on the diversity in health care organizations being provided for the community.
The Community Profile of Raleigh
Raleigh is the capital city of North Carolina with an estimated population of 341,891 of which 49.7% are male and 50.3% are female. Raleigh population is dominated by mostly working-aged adults with 77.6% of its residents aged between 18 to 64 years, 7.5% under age 5, and 7.8% aged 65 years and over. There are different races inhabiting the city wherein 60.4% are White American, 28.2% are African American, 0.4% are American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.8% are Asian, and the rest of the other races not mentioned. The total family household is 136,993 with a median income of $51,647 in 2007. Of the population 273,453 (16 years old and over), 179,896 are employed in industry and civilian labor while 10,738 are unemployed (US Census Bureau, 2007).
Raleigh is governed by a city mayor, a city council and a city manager with a budget of $557,055,589 in 2006-2007 wherein municipal service cost is at $200,000. As for social services Raleigh has three hospitals, seven police stations, 27 fire stations, one library, and six universities. As for recreational establishment, Raleigh has 117 city parks, 22 staffed centers, nine non-staffed program centers, two art centers, 112 tennis courts at 25 different locations, eight public swimming pools, and 8,817 acres of parks and greenways (City of Raleigh Website, 2009).
For the past decade, Raleigh had developed as center for education, research and development in North Carolina. Moreover, cultural activity flourishes in the city, for it houses theaters, symphony orchestra, art museums, galleries, and other entertainment and recreational enterprises (Community Link, 2009).