Running head: PREVENTION 1
February 20, 2011
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
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
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
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.
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.
HUD HRE. (n.d.). Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. Retrieved from
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-