July 6, 2014
The contemporary issue I chose is the growing population of the homeless. Every day in the United States, families and single adults who have never been homeless lose their housing and enter a shelter or find themselves on the streets (Strategies for Preventing Homelessness, n.d.). No matter how effective services are to help people leave homelessness, reducing homelessness or ending it completely, requires stopping families and individuals from becoming homeless.
Most communities, including here in Fresno, California, offer a range of activies to prevent homelessness. The ones that have been reported to be most effective are those that provide assistance to avert housing loss for household facing eviction (Strategies for Preventing Homelessness, n.d.). If we are able to target those households and help them before they lose their homes, then we are helping to prevent them from ending up on the streets.
In 2008, the conuty of Fresno proposed a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness (Bohn, 2008). With this their goal is to lead to adequate housing for the homeless which could in return provide the opportunity for the homeless to seek permante employment. They will also have access to resources and support services necessary to prevent and help those who are already homeless. This 10-year plan is based on four foundation principles that lay the framework for our beliefs under the H.O.P.E acronym: Housing, Opportunity, Prevention, and Establishing Collaboration (Bohn, 2008). Several non-profit housing agencies, shelters, and charaties in the County of Fresno provide a number of rental assistance programs and services to the low income.
I feel very strongly about wanting to get the homeless the help they need. Sometimes they can’t help but to live that way. However, there are many people who would disagree with me. My goal is to try to change these individual’s minds to show them that the homeless are people just the same as anyone else because without the communties help, ending and preventing the homeless epidmic would be nearly impossible. There are many prorams already in place, but there are still a few things I would want to try to do as well.
I already like the fact that there are programs that offer food and cash assitnace, along with housing asstiance, like helping pay some of an individual’s bills. However, I think these progarms are a little linant on who they help. There are many people who take advantage of these programs which is taking away from those who really need and deserve it. If I had the opportunity to talk with someone on how to come up with a proposal that would make the screening process go more in depth and detail before giving someone these benefits, that would be my first step.
Another thing I have always wanted to do is buy a few big homes which wuold allow me to house families who are needing somewhere to go until they could get back on their feet. I would provide transportation to the county offices so that they could apply for the assitance that the state offers for those with little to no income. I would try to get help through the county as