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					Brooks Roberts

5th Period

Holt

12/6/11


                                    Homelessness: Helping the Cause

       Today, homelessness is a tragic problem that the world has to deal with. Hundreds of

thousands of people are homeless not just in America, but the whole world is filled with victims

of homelessness. There are countless numbers of men, women, and children of many different

ages and races are homeless all over the world. Thankfully, there are many organizations and

methods used to prevent and help the cause of homelessness. Although it is a huge problem,

there are many people dedicated to solving or aiding those who have fallen victim to

homelessness.

       Homes with Hope are a non-profit organization that helps aid the homeless. It is a local

working class action to help the tragedy of homelessness. With a loving staff and the help of

more than 400 volunteers, Homes with Hope helps out the homeless. Homes with Hope was

formally known as as the Interfaith Housing Association of Westport & Weston. According to

Homes with Hope, their main goal is to provide shelters and services in a safe environment that

help out homeless people in a certain community so they can live normal lives. For example,

Homes with Hope can accomplish this through permanent supportive housing, casework and

supportive services, emergency shelter, meals and the life skills training that help people avoid

being homeless from reoccurring in shelters. This will help the homeless by giving them a

chance to live normal lives.


       According to estimates of the NLCHP (or the National Law Center on Homelessness and

Poverty), 700,000 to 2 million people are homeless in America. The 2000 report of the US
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Conference of Mayors states that single men comprise 44%, single women 13%, families with

children make up 36%, and unaccompanied minors make up 7%. 50% of the homeless people

are African-American, 35% Caucasian, 12% Hispanic, 2% Native American and 1% are Asian.

The 1996 National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients, or NSHAPC statistics

show that in 1996 single homeless people got an average income of $348 during the last 30 days.

Nearly 51% of the 1996 federal poverty level was $680/month for one person. 28 % admit to

sometimes or often don’t get enough food, compared with 12 percent of poor American adults.

44% got money from doing small jobs. 21% get money from friends and family. 66% of the

homeless have drug, alcohol, or mental illnesses. 22% have been physically beaten. 7% have

been sexually abused. 38% say someone stole either their money or possessions. 30% have been

homeless for 2+ years.

       According to The Continuum of Services (provided by Homes with Hope) provides many

services for homeless people across the U.S. There are many different types of help provided, but

some examples include the Gillespie Center (provided by Homes with Hope), which is a local

emergency center that aids homeless victims. Local food pantry funded by Homes with Hope

keeps 15 beds for men in an emergency shelter. The shelter usually operates at 100%

capacity. Homes with Hope also provide social services and casework for the homeless. It is a 24

hour facility. Hoskins’ Place (provided by Homes with Hope) is another emergency shelter for

women is next door to the men’s facility and offers the same services. The Bacharach

Community (provided by Homes with Hope) helps provide emergency shelter for up to four
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families. Mothers and their children are in need of safe emergency housing and caseworker help.

Homes with Hope expanded this program to add the Linxweiler House on the Post Road in April

2009, sheltering one to two additional families. Food is also provided for homeless victims.

Homes with Hope operate the Community Kitchen at the Gillespie Center and serve 30,000

meals every year. Volunteers from other organizations take turns preparing lunches and dinners;

breakfast is always available through the resources of the food pantries provided by Homes with

Hope.


        In Homes with Hope, there is a lot of corporal involvement that deals with helping

homeless victims. For example, Castles in the Sand (provided by Homes with Hope) is an event

in which every year a fund-raising event allows a kindhearted opportunity to meet outside the

office. This helps an employee a chance help the 60 + homeless people that we house each night.

Lots are accessible for $100 - $300 and give a "blank canvas" for employees to express

themselves for a good cause. You could also help when you leverage your corporate giving.

People can speak to us about the Neighborhood Assistance Act (provided by Homes with Hope).

Through the charity of the state of Connecticut (where the program is located), you might be able

to get a 60% tax credit for donations made to Homes with Hope. Employee fundraising also

helps a lot. Having your employees raise money for Homes with Hope is a great way of

motivating team work and helps out your company's corporate social responsibility. The

Matching Gift Program (provided by Homes with Hope) increases support to Homes with Hope

through the help of a company’s support. You can also organize a food drive at you office.
Brooks Roberts

5th Period

Holt

12/6/11


       Preventing homelessness in America is important to do. Permanent housing projects

provide a foundation for people to get off of the streets. Many organizations that dealt with the

issue of homeless and the homeless population have started to focus from emergency shelter to

prevention. In part this change is a result of the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, the

federal law that provides money for programs that help homeless victims. The law emphasizes

“continuums of care”—regional systems that offer services and housing for an entire range of

needs, from medical needs to employment. Research shows that organizations that want to direct

their resources on preventative efforts should get involved with local governments. Because the

homeless usually are able to get various kinds of public help, public agencies need to be caught

up in coordinating services and referring the victims to homeless programs. They think about

forming a local interagency coordinating body to get all of the employment players who might

be included in one big group. They should also perform a “gap analysis” to see if the character of

the homeless and potentially homeless people in the community can have services that would

help the most, and how best to provide those services in a coordinated manner. They can hire

staff that is good at coordinating various funding streams, especially federal grants. They can

train people who advertize mainstream services such as health clinics, public assistance offices,

and food pantries, how to address homeless alertness into their usual dealings. This takes a lot of

outreach by homeless programs to service providers that may not be used to addressing the issue.

One last thing people can do is provide rural homeless families with temporary shelter and rental

help money, because homeless people who live in rural areas are often homeless for only short
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amounts of time. Rural shelters, however, must take on tougher outreach tactics to find these

families and provide for them.




       Homeless veterans need help, and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs helps them.

Their prevention plans include the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, the Veteran

Justice Outreach Program, and the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program. Their

Housing Support services deals with information and resources to aid permanent or temporary

shelters and ongoing case management and treatment services for homeless Veterans. Their

treatment helps with healthcare for homeless Veterans. Healthcare and other services for

Veterans who are leaving prison get information on Veteran Stand Downs, Drop-In Centers, and

VA’s Homeless Veteran Dental Assistance Program. They also need employment and job

training. This includes information on VA’s Compensated Work Therapy program where

homeless Veterans get money while learning how to job skills, getting re-educated on successful

work habits, and getting back their sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Benefits come with the

help for the homeless veterans. Veterans gain knowledge about being homeless and programs

such as the Veteran Benefit Assistance which provide necessary services to homeless Veterans.


       In conclusion, people should appreciate the many organizations, such as Homes with

Hope, etc, for aiding the homeless. They allow them to live normal lives and carry out their daily

routines. They provide everyday essentials such as food, water, and shelter for them. They also
Brooks Roberts

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Holt

12/6/11


help the homeless function like the average, everyday citizen. Homelessness is definitely a major

problem, but there are many organizations and people who are helping those on the streets one

step at a time.

				
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