Homelessness - The Biggest Problems in America

Over 500, 000 Americans are considered homeless. Over the past decade, the problem has decreased but is still a very serious issue. Poverty causes homelessness in a wide range of demographics, which could be resolved by providing affordable housing. Homelessness is caused by a wide range of issues. There have been two trends concerning this issue in the past decade (Howson). The two trends include the shortage of affordable housing and poverty. Poverty has become the number one predictor of homelessness. Declining wages and unemployment play a big role in the cause of this poverty.

Along with the shortage of affordable housing and poverty, there is only limited welfare to assist the homeless.

Most people must make financial decisions in which many cannot afford housing (Christian). People are unaware of financial issues people around them go through, leaving them uninformed of the issue. More welfare could be funded if governments took action to help end homelessness, but many are still not informed of the problem.

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Homelessness is seen in a variety of American demographics. The poorest and most disadvantaged in society are considered homeless. Most people blame the homeless for their situation and say it is their fault, and believe they got into themselves so they should get out of it alone. The population of the homeless is overwhelmingly male (Christian). African American males are most [1] likely to become homeless than white males.

Women under thirty make up most homeless women in rural areas. Children can also become homeless, [2] being a foster child raises their risk of experiencing this situation.

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This issue is also a trend in rural areas. In rural areas, females within a family are more likely to become homeless. This issue also occurs commonly in women who have experienced domestic violence from family (Rukmama). Homelessness can be resolved through a variety of actions. Most people go through this issue alone and are scared to ask for help. Many people assume that the homeless put themselves in the situation, so they deserve it which is very untrue (Kroger). Most people are unaware of the fact that many people cannot help their situation. The act of providing affordable housing is believed to be the most effective action to lower homelessness rates throughout America (Howson). Offering a place to stay can help someone get back on their feet and decrease their risk of sickness, especially in elders. If people were more aware of the situation and more willing to help the homeless population would likely decrease in years (Christian).

Poverty can also be seen in school-aged children. Many are unaware of their situation, causing them to be unable to help those students in need. This is also to be said about teachers who teach children that live in poverty, as well as those that are homeless. Head Start which is a nonprofit organization that is funded by grants from the federal government has been a leader in helping to help educate children ages birth to five. Head Start does not just educate the children that they serve, but also the families of the children in their program. Head Start helps the families of the children they serve in several ways, which include assisting parents in obtaining their GED, housing, help with paying bills, etc. Families start the school year by making a family goal that they hope to obtain by the end of the school year.

For families who are homeless, this could be a huge encouragement as well as a steppingstone to a better life for them and their children. Throughout the school year, a family service specialist meets with the family to see where they are in fulfilling their yearly goal. If all school systems would adopt Head Start policies, we could be more involved in not just students’ lives, but the family as well. This could help identify those children who are at most risk and could be a game-changer when dealing with our homeless population. We would be able to assist parents in planning to obtain suitable housing, and being about to keep housing, giving stability to not just children, but the family. Homeless students often lag far behind other children in poverty academically. They are coping with stigma and trauma. They also may not have access to basics such as food, clothing, a place to sleep and bathe, let alone school supplies.

Educators should be educated on what to look for in a homeless student, and what steps they can take to encourage, uplift, and teach children who are coping with this type of trauma in their lives. All schools should offer special hours for children to come in and shower, use the washer and dryer to wash clothes and should have access to basic supplies to bathe and wash clothes with. Many schools send food home with children on the weekend to ensure that children have food within their home that they can eat while they are not at school. For our homeless population of children, we should have a system in place somewhere on the school property that children can access food anytime they need it. As educators, it is not only our job to educate but to also meet the basic needs of children who we care for daily. Within the homeless community children of many demographics are affected.

As we look closer, when compared to those children who are not homeless more children with learning disabilities and behavioral issues are homeless. As an educator, we face a challenge of identification, the effect of homelessness can mirror the challenges of a disability. As an educator, we need to be informed and educated on how to deal with these issues. The educators also need support from the school councilors as well as the whole school system. Although many special needs students battle homelessness, they do not deserve any fewer education rights of an ordinary student. Many faces added barriers such as language barriers and not having a parent to advocate on their behalf.

According to studies, children who are homeless need special education services at two to three times the usual rate. Many of those that are homeless face a battle they cannot go through alone. Homelessness is a major issue in the United States. Even with the rates annually decreasing, it is still one of America's top ten issues. Americans should work together and become more aware. This could help provide affordable housing, poverty would decrease in a range of American demographics potentially resolving the issue of homelessness.

Updated: May 19, 2021
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Homelessness - The Biggest Problems in America. (2020, May 11). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/homelessness-the-biggest-problems-in-america-essay

Homelessness - The Biggest Problems in America essay
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