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  • For my project, I decided to look into the reasons behind how people become homeless and get a better understanding for what they go through in their daily lives. Living in such a diverse area, I find it amazing how life can be so different for people who live only several minutes away. I think that it is important that myself, as well as others, see the homeless for who they really are. Like anybody, I’m sure a lot of them have a story to tell. Many probably haven’t always been homeless and I think we can learn a lot from them.
  • By definition, a homeless person is someone who “lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence.”An estimated 1% of the United State’s population, or 3.5 million people will experience homelessness at some point over the course of a year. It’s really difficult to judge the number of homeless people at any given time. Many people live with friends, fall in and out of homelessness, or don’t seek support from organizations.Typically, people are homeless and average of seven months before finding some sort of housing. However, it is very common for them to fall back into homelessness before they are able to get back on their feet."Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. ."Homelessness." Almanac of Policy Issues. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • Homeless people can be of all different races and genders.61% are single men15% are single woman4% are families2% are unaccompanied minors42% are African American, 38% are white, 20% are Hispanic, 4% are Native American, and 2% are Asian71% live in cities, 21% live in the suburbs, and 8% live in rural areas."Who Is Homeless?" National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. .
  • There are many different ways people can become homeless."Homelessness." Almanac of Policy Issues. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • Substance abuse is the largest cause of homelessness among adults without families.It’s a common misconception that people begin using drugs once they are already on the streets, however, drugs are the cause of homelessness in the first place for many people. Drug and alcohol usage can alter a person’s priorities, break apart their family, and can often cost them their job.Once homeless, they offer a temporary vacation from reality.Approximately 38% of the homeless population suffer from alcoholism while 26% abuse other drugs. Alcohol abuse is more common with older homeless people."The Health of the Homeless - Substance Abuse." Library Index. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. .
  • 75% of homeless youth have reported using marijuana, compared to 26% who live in secure housing. 26% admitted to using cocaine, compared to 2 percent in secure housing.Without shelter or food, health and future planning usually take a backseat to survival in the moment. Most homeless people are more concerned with where their next meal is going to come from more so than the condition of their lungs or liver.An estimated 19.3 million people in American are in need of some sort of treatment, rehab, counseling, whatever it may be, but not receive it."The Health of the Homeless - Substance Abuse." Library Index. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. .
  • Substance abuse often goes hand in hand with mental illness. In fact, only one in four homeless people live a life free from drugs, alcohol, or mental disability. Unfortunately, most treatment programs for people with mental illness’ turn people with substance abuse problems away, and many treatment programs for people with substance abuse problems do not admit people with a mental illness.This often leads to the use of alcohol or other drugs as “medication” to relieve the pain of serious medical conditions.
  • Similar to drugs and alcohol, gambling usually starts out as a recreational activity, but eventually becomes a serious problem. Compulsive gambling can break apart families, cause the addict to steal, even from from loved ones."Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling: Signs, Help, and Treatment." Helpguide.org: Understand, Prevent and Resolve Life's Challenges. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. .
  • Approximately a third of America’s homeless population have served in the military.Half of homeless veterans have problems with substance abuse or some sort of mental illness, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.With most of the funding and support for the homeless being directed towards families, women, and children, it can be very difficult for a single male to find an accepting shelter."National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Background & Statistics." National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Welcome! Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • 260,000 veterans are homeless every year, and only 100,000 of those homeless receive any kind of care from the Department of Veterans Affairs.The majority of today’s homeless veterans have served in Vietnam. Other’s have served in WWII, the Korean War, Panama, the Cold War, and Operation Iraqi freedom to name a few."National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Background & Statistics." National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Welcome! Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • 42% of homeless people live with some sort of mental or physical disability, compared to 17% of the general population.Many people are released from institutions into the streets, with no idea of where they are going to stay, or what they are going to do to earn money."More Than Two-Fifths Of Homeless Have Disabilities - Disability Scoop." Disability Scoop - Developmental Disability News. Web. 29 Mar. 2010. ."Homelessness & Disability." Autism | Change.org. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. .
  • Currently, there are 46 million people without health insurance living in America.These people are constantly at risk of becoming homeless.Many people who are living paycheck to paycheck and supporting a family simply don’t have the money for insurance, and when they or a family member become sick and need medical attention, they are caught between either not receiving the best treatment possible, or losing everything in order to pay for it. Since many people are afraid of what the Doctor might say if they were to go get checked out, many people living without insurance avoid the doctor at all costs, even if they know they are in need of medical attention.Because of this, simple problems that could be easily fixed with the help of a professional turn into major medical problems."Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • 60% of families don’t receive Medicaid, even though they are eligible for it.The chances of a homeless child being hospitalized are twice that of a child with a permanent home.Without health insurance, much needed treatment for substance abuse is simply unattainable for many people."Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • Natural disasters can make hundreds of thousands of people homeless in an instant. Over the past twenty years, the homes of 141 million people have been destroyed at the wrath of a natural disaster.Hurricane Katrina left thousands of people homeless in 2005, when it hit New Orleans. The storm destroyed 275,000 homes and robbed 400,000 people of their jobs.Even today, five years later, New Orleans homeless population is four times greater than the average of other US cities. Many laborers who came to the city in hopes of work rebuilding New Orleans were able to find work for a couple years, but were laid off and now face the threat of homelessness.5 years after the storm, housing prices for single family homes have actually declined, however, on average, rent for small apartments has almost doubled, making it simply not feasible for people living under the poverty line to afford.(Storms are blind-Guy under bridge with tweeker)"Hurricane Katrina Relief." Hurricane Katrina Relief - HurricaneKatrinaRelief.com. Web. 04 Apr. 2010. .
  • When many people think of somebody who is homeless, their first thought is a miserable elderly man who has lost control to drugs and alcohol. However, this is not the case for many people who have made the choice to lead a homeless lifestyle.Many people who have obtained an excessive amount of debt choose to live in their car anywhere from a couple of months to several years in order to clear their slate and start fresh.For many people, being homeless doesn't affect their social life. They still maintain relationships with friends and family and participate in hobbies.(Guy living in truck liked to rock climb, kept job, showered at YMCA)"Homeless by Choice - The New Trend." Associated Content - Associatedcontent.com. Web. 06 Apr. 2010. .
  • In the beginning of 2010, there were 14.8 million unemployed people in America, .3 percent less than in previous months.Rent and utility expenses use up half of the monthly income in 2.5 million households with children. Housing prices make it very difficult to find affordable housing. Assuming that 30% of a persons income goes to rent payment, a single adult earning minimum wage would need to work almost 90 hours a week in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment on average."Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • Adults in 29% of homeless families have a job, be it a regular or irregular income.In 2007, minimum wage was raised from $5.15 an hour to $7.25.40 years ago, someone working a full time job earning minimum wage made enough to raise a family of 3 responsibly without falling below the poverty line. In the same scenario today, a full time worker supporting a family of three on minimum wage earns a yearly salary that is 25% below the poverty line.National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 02 Apr. 2010. .
  • There are approximately 1.3 million children who are homeless at some point throughout the year in America. Many families have to separate from each other in order to be admitted into shelters, so 90% of these children are accompanied by a single parent, usually a mother.42% of homeless children are under the age of 6.One in five homeless children have a medical, emotional, or mental health problem in need of professional analysis and treatment, however only one in three receive any care whatsoever."Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • Homeless children's lives usually lack scheduled routines, privacy, personal possessions, and a sense of community and security. This sort of trauma can lead to major medical disorders, which 1 in 3 will develop before their 8th birthday.8% have been abused physically and 21% sexually. Abuse often leads to low-self esteem and self destructive behavior. Abuse can also lead to anxiety or depression, which half of homeless children suffer from compared to the 18% of children with a permanent home suffer from these disorders."Families | Community.familyhomelessness.org." The National Center on Family Homelessness | Community.familyhomelessness.org. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • 12% of homeless youth are not enrolled in any type of school. Homeless students have a very hard time getting an education. With many homeless shelters only allowing occupants to stay for one month, and the constant chance of eviction, 41% of students attend several different schools in a single year. This constant change in a child’s routine not only causes them to struggle academically, but also makes it a constant battle to maintain social relationships. "Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. .
  • Homeless children are twice as likely to be held back in school, and 3 out of 4 won’t receive a high school diploma. Sadly, only 28% of people who don’t finish high school live above the poverty line."National Center for Homeless Education at Homepage." SERVE. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. .
  • There are a lot of different ways that you can help the local homeless community. First, and most important is to simply respect the homeless and act toward them the same way you would want to be treated."JustGive Guide - Ways to Help." JustGive.org - JustGive - The Destination for Online Charitable Giving. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. .
  • It is advised that donation to the homeless go through a recognized charity, but if you want to directly donate to the homeless, it is a good idea to buy them a bag of groceries, make them a bag lunch, give them some clothes, or even recyclables, which they can take to the recycling center. It isn’t a good idea to give them money, because there is always the possibility they will use it to fund a drug addiction."JustGive Guide - Ways to Help." JustGive.org - JustGive - The Destination for Online Charitable Giving. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. .
  • Volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen in your spare time. Many church groups and other organizations need chaperones when they take underprivileged children on field trips.If you have any talents, share them with the homeless and underprivileged community at a local shelter. Maybe you know how to sew, maybe you can play the guitar, maybe you’re a good cook. These are all things that you can share."JustGive Guide - Ways to Help." JustGive.org - JustGive - The Destination for Online Charitable Giving. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. .
  • More clinics need to be set-up where homeless people tend to congregate. Organizations need to start concentrating not so much on helping people once they are homeless, but more so helping to keep people from becoming homeless in the first place.Affordable housing needs to be made available for people earning a salary which puts them below the poverty line. Even with all of the shelters, organizations, and community support that can be available to someone, they cannot rise above homelessness without permanent housing.Programs need to be set-up in order to help people reconstruct their lives while working closely with a mentor/advisor.National Alliance to End Homelessness. Web. 29 Mar. 2010. .
  • During the month of November, I distributed bags throughout the homerooms here in the high school and collected basic toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and mouth wash.I collected the bags in mid December and took them to St. Patrick’s Church on DeKalb Street in Norristown
  • In April, I held a second drive in attempt to collect supplies for the Grace Bean Soup Kitchen.After talking with Grace, I discovered that soup kitchens have little trouble keeping their stock room full of canned goods and basic goods to distribute to the homeless.
  • For this drive I focused more on collecting supplies for the soup kitchen such as plates, napkins, paper towels, silverware.These items are easily overlooked by people who donate to the kitchen, and the expenses end up coming out of the kitchens pocket.
  • Several times throughout the course of the year, I volunteered at the Grace Bean Soup Kitchen at the St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norristown.Grace Bean and her staff of volunteers serve over 600 hundred meals every week to Norristown’s homeless and poor community.The menu consists of various soups, chili, salad, bread, and even a desert bar, lined with cakes of all different kinds donated by neighboring food stores.
  • One thing that I was very surprised to see was the amount of diversity in the dining hall. People from all different walks of life were there. Many were nicely dressed in a button down shirt, khaki pants and were clean shaven, possibly out looking for a job. Some looked as if they had a place to stay, while others had obviously spent the night outside in the cold.
  • I think that completing this project has given me a new appreciation for how fortunate I actually am. No matter how bad a situation you might find yourself in, there’s always a way out, and there’s always somebody in a worse situation than yourself. I also learned to never take what I have for granted because it can all be gone in a second.

Senior projectdone Senior projectdone Presentation Transcript

  • Personal Relevance?
  • "Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://npach.org/facts.htm>.
    "Homelessness." Almanac of Policy Issues. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://www.policyalmanac.org/social_welfare/homeless.shtml>.
  • Who are the homeless?
    "Who Is Homeless?" National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. <http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/who.html>.
  • Homeless, but how?
    Substance Abuse or Gambling
    Home from war
    Released from prison or an institution
    Illness, with no insurance
    Mentally ill
    Natural disasters
    Homeless by choice
    Recession or job loss
    "Homelessness." Almanac of Policy Issues. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://www.policyalmanac.org/social_welfare/homeless.shtml>.
  • Addiction and Substance Abuse
    38% of the homeless population have problems with alcohol
    26% abuse other drugs
    "The Health of the Homeless - Substance Abuse." Library Index. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. <http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/2322/Health-Homeless-SUBSTANCE-ABUSE.html>.
  • Addiction and Substance Abuse
    19.3 million are in need of treatment
    "The Health of the Homeless - Substance Abuse." Library Index. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. <http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/2322/Health-Homeless-SUBSTANCE-ABUSE.html>.
  • Many use alcohol or other drugs as “medication” to relieve the pain of serious medical conditions.
    "The Health of the Homeless - Substance Abuse." Library Index. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. <http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/2322/Health-Homeless-SUBSTANCE-ABUSE.html>.
  • Gambling Addiction
    "Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling: Signs, Help, and Treatment." Helpguide.org: Understand, Prevent and Resolve Life's Challenges. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. <http://helpguide.org/mental/gambling_addiction.htm>.
  • Homeless Veterans
    Approximately one third of America’s homeless population have served in the military.
    "National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Background & Statistics." National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Welcome! Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm>.
  • 260,000 veterans find themselves homeless every year.
    "National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Background & Statistics." National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Welcome! Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm>.
  • Homeless and Disabled
    "More Than Two-Fifths Of Homeless Have Disabilities - Disability Scoop." Disability Scoop - Developmental Disability News. Web. 29 Mar. 2010. <http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2009/07/16/homeless-report/4153/>.
  • Insurance and Healthcare
    "Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://npach.org/facts.htm>.
  • A homeless child is twice as likely to be hospitalized than a child with a permanent home.
    "Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://npach.org/facts.htm>.
  • In case of emergency
    "Hurricane Katrina Relief." Hurricane Katrina Relief - HurricaneKatrinaRelief.com. Web. 04 Apr. 2010. <http://www.hurricanekatrinarelief.com/be_prepared.html>.
  • Homeless By Choice
    "Homeless by Choice - The New Trend." Associated Content - Associatedcontent.com. Web. 06 Apr. 2010. <http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/78862/homeless_by_choice_the_new_trend.html>.
  • The Recession and Job Loss
    In the beginning of 2010, there were 14.8 million unemployed people in America.
    "Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://npach.org/facts.htm>.
  • Employment
    National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 02 Apr. 2010. <http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/employment.html>.
  • Homeless Children
    Approximately 1.3 million children are home homeless in the America.
    Children under 6 make up 42% of all homeless children.
    "Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://npach.org/facts.htm>.
    Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/>.
    "Families | Community.familyhomelessness.org." The National Center on Family Homelessness | Community.familyhomelessness.org. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://www.familyhomelessness.org/node/4>.
  • Homeless Children
    1 in 3 homeless children will develop a major mental disorder before their 8th birthday.
    "Families | Community.familyhomelessness.org." The National Center on Family Homelessness | Community.familyhomelessness.org. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://www.familyhomelessness.org/node/4>.
  • Education
    12% of homeless children are not enrolled in any type of school
    The 40% who are enrolled have trouble making school a regular priority.
    "Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://npach.org/facts.htm>.
  • Education
    More than 75% of homeless children won’t graduate high school.
    "National Center for Homeless Education at Homepage." SERVE. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. <http://center.serve.org/nche/index.php>.
  • How Can the Community Help?
    Respect
    "JustGive Guide - Ways to Help." JustGive.org - JustGive - The Destination for Online Charitable Giving. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. <http://www.justgive.org/ways/50wayshomeless.jsp>.
  • Donate What You Can
    "JustGive Guide - Ways to Help." JustGive.org - JustGive - The Destination for Online Charitable Giving. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. <http://www.justgive.org/ways/50wayshomeless.jsp>.
  • Volunteer
    "JustGive Guide - Ways to Help." JustGive.org - JustGive - The Destination for Online Charitable Giving. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. <http://www.justgive.org/ways/50wayshomeless.jsp>.
  • What needs to be done?
    National Alliance to End Homelessness. Web. 29 Mar. 2010. <http://www.endhomelessness.org/>.
  • November Drive
    During the month of November I collected toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, and conditioner for St. Patrick's Church and Soup Kitchen
  • “Help the Kitchen” Drive
  • “Help the Kitchen” Drive
    For this drive, I collected paper plates, bowls, coffee cups, napkins, paper towels, and plastic silverware.
  • Grace Bean Soup Kitchen
  • Grace Bean Soup Kitchen
  • Video
  • Activity
    Preparing lunch bags for the homeless
    Each Bag will get…
    - 1 sandwich
    - 1 bag of chips
    - 1napkin
  • Works Cited
    •"Facts About Homelessness." NPACH: The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://npach.org/facts.htm>.
    •"Families | Community.familyhomelessness.org." The National Center on Family Homelessness | Community.familyhomelessness.org. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. <http://www.familyhomelessness.org/node/4>.
    •"Homeless by Choice - The New Trend." Associated Content - Associatedcontent.com. Web. 06 Apr. 2010. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/78862/homeless_by_choice_the_new_trend.html.
    •"Homelessness & Disability." Autism | Change.org. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. http://autism.change.org/blog/view/homelessness_disability.
    •"Homelessness." Almanac of Policy Issues. Web. 03 Mar. 2010. http://www.policyalmanac.org/social_welfare/homeless.shtml.
    •"Hurricane Katrina Relief." Hurricane Katrina Relief - HurricaneKatrinaRelief.com. Web. 04 Apr. 2010. http://www.hurricanekatrinarelief.com/be_prepared.html.
    •"Just Give Guide - Ways to Help." JustGive.org - JustGive - The Destination for Online Charitable Giving. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. <http://www.justgive.org/ways/50wayshomeless.jsp>.
  • Works Cited
    •"National Center for Homeless Education at Homepage." SERVE. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. http://center.serve.org/nche/index.php.
    •"National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Background & Statistics." National Coalition for Homeless Veterans - Welcome! Web. 03 Mar. 2010. http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm.
    •National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 02 Apr. 2010. <http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/employment.html>
    •National Alliance to End Homelessness. Web. 29 Mar. 2010. http://www.endhomelessness.org/.
    •"Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling: Signs, Help, and Treatment." Helpguide.org: Understand, Prevent and Resolve Life's Challenges. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. <http://helpguide.org/mental/gambling_addiction.htm>.
    •"The Health of the Homeless - Substance Abuse." Library Index. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/2322/Health-Homeless-SUBSTANCE-ABUSE.html.
    •"Who Is Homeless?" National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. <http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/who.html>.
  • In Conclusion