SISTERS OF ST. CHARLES BORROMEO,WESTERN PROVINCE, BANGALORE.INNOVATION IN S.C.B. MISSIONPRESENTED BY SR. JANET D’SOUZA(Provincial Superior)
The number of homeless peopleworldwide has grown steadily inrecent years. In some Third Worldnations such as Nigeria, and SouthAfrica, homelessness is rampant,with millions of children livingand working on the streets]Homelessness has become aproblem in the countries of China,India, Thailand, Indonesia, andthe Philippines despite theirgrowing prosperity, mainly due tomigrant workers who have troublefinding permanent homes.
A vagrant or avagabond is aperson, often inpoverty, whowanders fromplace to placewithout a home orregularemployment orincome. Othersynonyms include"tramp", "hobo","schnorrer".
The "unsheltered" are that segment of a homelesscommunity who do not have ordinary lawfulaccess to buildings in which to sleep. Suchpersons frequently prefer the term "houseless" tothe term "homeless". Others may use the termstreet people which does not fully encompass allunsheltered in that many such persons do notspend their time on urban "street" environments,and to the contrary shun such locales and preferto convert unoccupied buildings, or to inhabitmountains or, more often, lowland meadows,creeks and beaches.
A disability may be physical, cognitive,mental, sensory, emotional,developmental or some combination ofthese. A disability may be present frombirth, or occur during a personslifetime.Disabilities is an umbrella term,covering impairments, activitylimitations, and participationrestrictions. An impairment is a problemin body function or structure; an activitylimitation is a difficulty encountered byan individual in executing a task oraction; while a participation restrictionis a problem experienced by anindividual in involvement in lifesituations. Thus disability is a complexphenomenon, reflecting an interactionbetween features of a person’s bodyand features of the society in which heor she lives.
An individual may also qualify as disabled if he/she hashad an impairment in the past or is seen as disabledbased on a personal or group standard or norm. Suchimpairments may include physical, sensory, andcognitive or developmental disabilities. Mentaldisorders (also known as psychiatric or psychosocialdisability) and various types of chronic disease mayalso qualify as disabilities.
Homeless people are more likely to sufferinjuries and medical problems from theirlifestyle on the street, which includes poornutrition, exposure to the severe elementsof weather, and a higher exposure toviolence (robberies, beatings, and so on).Yet at the same time, they have little accessto public medical services or clinics.
The conditions affecting homeless people aresomewhat specialized and have opened a newarea of medicine tailored to this population. Skinconditions, including Scabies, are commonbecause homeless people are exposed to extremecold in the winter and they have little access tobathing facilities. They have problems caring fortheir feet and have more severe dental problemsthan the general population.[Diabetes, especiallyuntreated, is widespread in the homelesspopulation.
Communicable diseases are of great concern,especially tuberculosis, which spreads more easilyin crowded homeless shelters in high density urbansettings.There has been an ongoing concern and studiesabout the health and wellness of the older homelesspopulation, typically ages fifty to sixty four years ofage, and even older, as to whether they aresignificantly more sickly than their youngercounterparts and if they are under-served.
Homeless persons often find it difficult todocument their date of birth or their address.Because homeless people usually have no place tostore possessions, they often lose their belongings,including their identification and other documents,or find them destroyed by police or others. Withouta photo ID, homeless persons cannot get a job oraccess many social services. They can be deniedaccess to even the most basic assistance: clothingclosets, food pantries, certain public benefits, andin some cases, emergency shelters.Obtaining replacement identification is difficult.Without an address, birth certificates cannot bemailed. Fees may be cost-prohibitive forimpoverished persons. And some states will notissue birth certificates unless the person has photoidentification.