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                              Prevention

                             Amy Brewer

                              HSM/210

                           February 20, 2011

                             Dr. Mancuso
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                                            Prevention

       For most people the luxury of a stable, warm, and dry place to sleep with luxuries like

pillows, blankets, as well as central air and heat are amenities they are so used to and do not give

a passing thought of appreciation to. However, every year for millions of people across

America, they cannot say they have these comforts of home; these people are homeless (National

Coalition for the Homeless, 2009). While putting an exact statistical number on exactly how

many Americans are homeless can be difficult, on any given night, hundreds of thousands of

people can be found in homeless shelters or sleeping on the streets.


       Homelessness is an issue that is often unnoticed and easily disregarded. Nonetheless, the

problem is real, and prevention plans must be evaluated to see what can be changed in existing

programs, and what can be started that is not being implemented already. Through programs like

the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, funds have been allocated to alleviate the issue of

homelessness (HUD HRE, n.d.). Through this Act President Obama awarded billions of dollars

to help efforts to end homelessness across the nation to a program called Homeless Prevention

and Rapid Re-Housing (HUD HRE, n.d.). The cities who are receiving aid for the program, they

have been asked to agree to plans to end the issue of homeless through a ten year plan. This plan

is called Housing First, and is intended to gradually help everyone affected by homelessness to

have a long term housing situation within ten years (HUD HRE, n.d.). The formula this program

follows is to remove homeless people from the streets or inadequate shelter to temporary

homeless shelters, and eventually help them move to a permanent housing accommodation.


       There are also programs established locally, predominantly in metropolitan areas, through

non-profit agencies like Volunteers of America, offer services to help create inexpensive and low

income housing (Volunteers of America, 2011). Through Volunteers of America, several
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services are offered to low income families like money management courses, first time home

buying help, and more.


        It would seem that more services can and should be implemented to alleviate the growing

rates of homelessness. Even though programs like the ones through Volunteers of America and

Housing First have good intention with their services, they do not have enough funding to

completely eliminate homelessness. Dealing with homelessness should be deemed a societal

responsibility and local and national governments should lobby the general public to establish a

plan and addressing and gathering funds, means, and workers and volunteers to come to a

resolution to effectively address the issue. The resolution should quickly produce positive results,

especially considering the federal programs like Housing First wants to bring homelessness to an

end in the areas it is providing assistance within ten years. It would seem that privately funded

programs may even be able to shorten the ten year plan by merging with federally funded

programs.


        While I do not have the legal knowledge or expertise to legitimately iron out the legalities

of a privately funded program, if the right people were to lobby and advocate for homelessness,

in addition to the already set in place local and government programs, so much could be done to

alleviate homelessness.


        Large and corporate companies could contract with Housing First and Volunteers of

America and similar homeless assistance organizations in which homeless people would be hired

for a flat salary, minimum wage, as well as provided housing and other basic necessities such as

utilities and transportation.
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       This may even obliterate the need to outsource to foreign companies and this is

advantageous to every citizen in the United States. May individuals experiencing homeless are

educated and possess the skills to perform many kinds of jobs, and those with little or no

education or past job experience can still adequately perform may low skill and entry level jobs.


       The advantages of such a program would not end on the surface. The escalated volume of

finances would generate revenue for America by means of taxed financial exchange and would

tackle the concerns the existing programs have which have caused a recession for this country.

The nation would have the capability to reduce the funds it is appropriating from other nations

which in response would bring about a more stable market.


       Through a program like this the homeless would be have clothing, food, and

adequate housing as well as a small salary. The businesses would be expected to provide

housing, clothes and food, and in return they have unlimited supply to a selection of potential

employees who are ready to work for low wages. Federal organizations would advantage by not

being the sole responsible party expected to allocate funds or plans which may or may not work

and there is more financial benefit for everyone. The income federal programs would save,

which is billions of dollars, can be used to apply to other social issues in need like education.
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                                            References


HUD HRE. (n.d.). Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. Retrieved from

       http://www.hudhre.info/HPRP/

National Coalition for the Homeless. (2009, July). How Many People Experience Homelessness?

       Retrieved from http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/How_Many.html

Volunteers of America. (2011). Homelessness. Retrieved from http://www.voa.org/Get-

       Help/National-Network-of-Services/Homelessness/default.aspx

				
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