Hunter 1Kathryn HunterMrs. CorbetAP Literature18 April 2012 “Homelessness is a preventable and solvable problem; and allowing over a millionpeople to become homeless each year has enormous economic, social, and human costs”(“Increases in Homelessness”). Every day, the number of homeless people in America continuesto rise leaving more people on the streets due to numerous reasons. Poverty and the amount ofpeople suffering from it also do not help the large number of people in need of a home aroundthe U.S. Although this is a colossal issue society is facing, it is a very curable matter. To put anend to this problem throughout America, first citizens need to be aware of the predicament,aware of the economical situation, and realize there are many options they can choose from inorder to help. Homelessness throughout America is continuing to grow more rapidly each year asmore houses become foreclosed and the poverty level persists to greater amounts. “By definition,homelessness refers to the state of being without permanent housing. It can also refer to personsliving in temporary housing, in shelters, or in places that are not traditionally consideredpermanent dwellings” (“Homelessness Overview”). Studies each year are taken in order tocalculate the growing levels of the population living without a home in the United States.Researchers have found that most of these unfortunate people are, in fact, finding temporaryplaces to live in public, nonchalant areas. “A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Hunter 2Development (HUD) report released in June 2010 revealed that there were about 170,000American families in homeless shelters, up 30 percent since 2007” (“Homelessness Overview”).The rapidness of the growing amount of homeless people continues to escalate at a quick pacewith more citizens being left out on the streets every day. “The National Alliance to EndHomelessness predicts that 1.5 million Americans could become homeless in the next two years”(“Homelessness Overview”). The National Alliance to End Homelessness organization iscurrently one of the most helpful and effective associations towards this cause in America today.They began in 1983 and “the alliance [quickly] grew from a federation of more than 2,000providers and public agencies to a current network of over 1,000 partners, making the Alliancethe largest partnership dedicated to ending homelessness” (“Increases in Homelessness”).Researchers from this institution have developed many studies in order to find the approximatenumber of people in need and discover different ways to put an end to it before the populationincreases to even greater amounts. Another study shows that the “HRI projects the overallhomeless population [to] increase by nearly 5 percent in the next three years (2010 to 2013). Thebaseline, 1.6 million people, is the number of people who were homeless from October 2009through September 2010, as documented by The 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report toCongress (AHAR)” (“Increases in Homelessness”). The rapid pace at which the population ofAmerica is increasing at results to more and more people in need and left out on the streets. Aspeople are joining the work force, job qualifications raise and ultimately create a greaterdifficulty to find a job. “On any given night in America, anywhere from 700,000 to 2 millionpeople are homeless, according to estimates of the National Law Center on Homelessness andPoverty” (“Homelessness”). Larger amounts of children, people, and families walk on to thestreets, looking for a place to sleep, every night, all over the nation. “The projection does not
Hunter 3take into account the rising cost of housing, which is statistically linked to homelessness”(“Increases in Homelessness”). Homeless people are in need of assistance and the economicalrecession currently taking place does not help the struggling citizens trying to solve their existingproblem or put an end to their occurring hardships. The economical state of America at this time can only be thought of as a majordisadvantage to the homeless population. “Throughout the countrys history, the conditions of alarger society, such as a frequently depressed industrial economy that struggled withoverproduction and labor surpluses, have resulted in family upheaval” (Shifflett). Recessionsthroughout the economy limit the jobs available and also restrict the amount of people that canbe hired for said jobs. As the economy continues through its downfall, the amount of homelesspeople, on the other hand, is steadily increasing. One key factor affecting the economy is theincreasing poverty over America. “Absolute poverty measures the number of people livingbelow the poverty line, which is the minimum determined income an individual needs to surviveadequately—to have enough money for food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities”(“Poverty”). Poverty is a repetitive cycle, being passed on between generations. As one is borninto a family in the state of poverty, it is very likely that child will be in the same predicament asthey get older as well. “According to the United Nations definition, anyone living on less thanone U.S. dollar per day is in a state of extreme poverty. As of 2005, 1.4 billion people lived inextreme poverty worldwide.” A study has been found which states that approximately 15% ofAmerica’s population is living in poverty (“Poverty”). The economy is a vicious cycle; people inpoverty cannot find work, so they remain living in shortage, ultimately not helping the overalleconomy, which therefore cannot pay for as many people to work. “The United States Census
Hunter 4Bureau released further grim news about the worsening level of poverty in the U.S. in September2010. According to the report, one in seven Americans lived below the poverty line in 2009.That is the highest level of poverty in the U.S. since the 1960s” (“Poverty”). Homelessnesstherefore is not going to go away until this brutal rotation comes to an end. Another disadvantage to the economic troubles America is facing is how during thisrecession the country is also struggling through a mortgage crisis. Hardships such as this onedoes not add to the problem of Homelessness, and this is part of the cycle as well. “The U.S.mortgage crisis is a set of financial failures that began in 2006. The crisis caused several millionAmericans to lose ownership of their homes, cost other homeowners up to $4 trillion in lostproperty values by 2010, severely damaged or ruined financial institutions, and affectedeconomies around the world” (“U.S. Mortgage Crisis”). Due to the economy, the mortgage crisisis an immediate outcome of this recession. As the cycle continues, people cannot afford to buyhomes, ultimately keeping the poverty level and the number of homeless people both at highamounts. “Nationally, banks foreclosed on 2.2 million homes in 2007, up from 1.2 million in2006, after homeowners defaulted on their mortgages” (“Managing in A Tough Economy”).Therefore, after homes are rapidly being foreclosed every day, most of the people that are beingaffected are left homeless and without a place to go. Although these economical troubles are nothelping put an end to homelessness, there are still many other alternatives people can partake into help make a difference. Fundraising and donating are two useful tactics which can be exercised in order to helpthe homeless. Many different paths throughout the field of fundraising can be taken including:fundraising events, direct mail, or telemarketing. In order to raise money for a charity, one would
Hunter 5need to know the right steps and the overall process in order to raise money (“Take Action”). Tohelp out the homeless, a fundraising event could benefit in more than one way and the moneycould be put forth to build houses for people in need. “Charitable institutions comprise the bulkof Americas nonprofit organizations. These include a wide variety of institutions involved in therealms of poverty assistance, religion, science, health, and education” (Hillstrom and Hillstrom).All throughout history charity funds have raised billions of dollars helping to benefit manypeople spread all over the country. Fundraising is one of the most useful tactics in helping toraise money for a plethora of good causes (“Take Action”). “In order to prosper, nonprofitinstitutions not only need to know where the sources of funding are, they also need to know howto solicit those funds and how to effectively manage that revenue when it comes into theirpossession” (Hillstrom). Overall, if a company raises money, in any way they decide, if theyknow what to do with the money and how to make a difference, then someone, somewhere, willbenefit from it. Homeless people specifically can advantage in multiple ways from any amountof money they are given. In San Francisco, for example, Mayor Gavin Newsome in 2007,created a “Housing First!” plan to last for ten years. Newsome’s arrangement stated that this willstabilize homing and create support systems for homeowners (“Fighting Homelessness in SanFrancisco”). In the long run, this plan is sure to be a success by, not helping the homelesssituation currently, but sure to prevent it from happening so excessively in the future. “Inaddition, $1.5 billion was provided to a new Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-HousingProgram (HPRP) in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act specifically to prevent amassive increase in homelessness resulting from the recession” (“Increases in Homelessness”).The HPRP is a program to help prevent homelessness in the future. Overall, there are manydifferent programs and charities around America that people can donate to, to help this cause.
Hunter 6 One popular fundraising organization, known as Must Ministries, is a nonprofitorganization, helping many families every year. “Due to innovative, fundraising approachesfocused on preventing homelessness and quickly and appropriately re-housing those who dobecome homeless, homelessness declined by 2 percent from 2008 to 2009” (“Increases inHomelessness”). Results according to this study show how much the economy and the homelesspeople of America can be affected by donations from people around the nation. Homelessnesseach year is increasing, but with nonprofit organizations, such as Must Ministries, helping out,the amount of people without homes is sure to begin to decrease eventually. Throughout time, the rapid growth of homeless citizens in America has continued toincrease more and more. Homelessness, by definition, is the state of being without a home. Asthe amount of citizens without a home has continued to increase, the economical recession hasnot been an advantage. Through rough times in the economy, people are losing jobs and housesare being foreclosed on. As this occurs, houses are being lost and people are losing money,therefore putting them out on the streets and without a home. However, with multiple successfulnonprofit organizations helping out, much benefit can be created. Programs and organizations allaround the nation and even the world are working hard to help put an end to this continuous,heartbreaking situation. Works Cited
Hunter 7“Fighting Homelessness in San Francisco.” Discovering Collection. N.p., 2006. Web. 12 Nov.2011.Hillstrom, Laurie Collier, and Kevin Hillstrom, eds. “Nonprofit Organizations.” Gale VirtualReference Library. N.p., 2002. Web. 14 Oct. 2011.“Homelessness.” Almanac of Policy Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.“Homelessness Overview.” Gale Cengage Learning. N.p., 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.“Increases in Homelessness on the Horizon.” National Alliance to End Homelessness. N.p., 28Sept. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.“Managing in a Tough Economy: How Nonprofit Leaders and Their Organizations Are Facingthe Uncertainty.” Bridgestar. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2011.“Poverty.” Gale Cengage Learning. N.p., Nov. 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.Shifflett, Peggy A. “Homeless Children and Runaways in the United States.” Gale VirtualReference Library. N.p., 2006. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.“Take Action.” National Alliance to End Homelessness. N.p., Sept. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. .“U.S.Mortgage Crisis.” Global Issues in Context Online Collection. N.p., 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.