24 October 2014
Homelessness is a problem around the world. It affects millions of people each day.
Some people may fall victim to a job loss or inability to secure a job, leading to loss of house, while others are mentally ill and identified as chronically homeless. It has often been an issue that has been swept under the rug, but with the increased homeless population and more vast media coverage, the issue has come to light. The homeless lifestyle is in no way beneficial to anyone. Homelessness has the stigma that the person is not trying hard enough and wants to be homeless, or is addicted to a substance and needs help. Homelessness is a deeper problem than just what the public sees. Lack of affordable housing, low salary, and loss of family member(s) are other common factors that devastate a person’s life, and they can easily become homeless.
Many of these people feel lost and helpless.
This problem is important because it affects everyone. Children make up a vast majority of the homeless population, and that is not fair to them to start out their life in poverty and without access to basic needs. As a service member, I also know how vulnerable veterans can be to homelessness. In a survey done by the VA, 33% of veterans were screened to be at imminent risk of homelessness (Montgomery, Fargo, Kane, & Culhane, 2014, p. 434). If anyone in this country should have a shelter over their heads, it should be the people who fought valiantly for this country.
As this is not a black and white issue, there are various solutions in the world to the problem of homelessness. One solution is to support tent cities. They are a viable temporary solution that is cheap and selfaiding in many aspects. Another solution is the Global Marshall
Plan. This involves the 20 richest firstworld countries donating a portion of their GDP to end homelessness around the world. As homelessness is a complicated problem, it will likely have complicated solutions. Solutions to helping the homeless with housing, employment, social benefits, social services, health, training agencies, and privatesector agencies is what the UK has done. My final solution would be to provide the homeless with better nutrition. Poor nutrition contributes to many of the mental and physical problems they face every day.
Tent cities are a great idea because they are lowcost, selfsustaining communities. They have been popping up around the country in the midst of economic disparity. According to
LoftusFarren (2011), “An average tent city might cost approximately $30 to $60 per person to operate, for example, while the average monthly cost of housing an individual in a homeless shelter, transitional housing, or permanent supportive housing is $1,634 to $2,308” ( p.
10391040). The National Alliance to End Homelessness (2010) released,
A Plan, Not a Dream:
How to End Homelessness in Ten Years
, which was endorsed by Bill Clinton during his second term and gave key strategies and innovative programs to communities across the country (para.
5). Tent cities are an innovative idea and could be efficiently implemented in this plan. Tent cities are a great housing solution, but does not fix the longterm problem and should only be seen as a temporary solution. Although tent cities are innovative ideas, many government are not acceptant or tolerant of them being in their municipality. In Providence, Rhode Island, officials
cited an ordinance that prohibits anyone from staying in a public park between 9:00 p.m and 7:00
a.m in a successful attempt to disband local tent cities (LoftusFarren, 2011, p. 1065). In
Colorado Springs, Colorado, an ordinance was passed to combat individuals living in encampments on public land (LoftusFarren 1066). It would be highly beneficial for the governments to work with and accommodate the people in these tent