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What Are Some Ways to Reduce Homelessness?

Question by Emma: what are some ways to reduce homelessness?
i am writing a proposal on homelessness in richmond va. I am looking for some ways in which we could reduce or eliminate the homeless.

So far i can only think of 2 which are affordable housing and increase in employment rate.

i need two more ways of which we could potentially reduce the amount of homeless or eliminate it altogether

any suggestions would be helpful

Best answer:

Answer by rec4lms
I think that the first issue for you to tackle is to determine why they are homeless.

The issues that I deal with find that a significant percent of the homeless have mental health issues. The second issue (not as large as mental health issues in my experience) is that many people have issues with alcohol or drug abuse. (Many people can function while abusing alcohol/drugs but many can not.) The third issue is that people have no jobs, no money, no credit, and no resources to turn to when they are down and out.

The USA does a horrible job in dealing with mental health issues, with most of the mental health hospitals being defunded or closed. Unfortunately the response the government has taken is to wait for them to commit a crime and then incarcerate them. Thus, determine how many mental health facilities are in the Richmond area that help those who can not afford treatment. (The only place we use is Central State in Petersburg.) Also note that those with mental illness can not be compelled to take their medications without a court order. And I’ve never seen the court order someone to take medication unless they are incarcerated and need to be up for trial.

Alchohol and drug abuse is a completely different problem to deal with. It may be recreational, it may be escapist, or it may be addiction. Some will respond to treatment, especially if they want treatment. However, they have to want to improve. To paraphrase one person that I worked with, when they were taking drugs they felt that everything was perfect.

Lack of job/money/resources is both one of the worst situations but also one of the easiest one’s to directly handle. Note that I listed “resources.” A resource is anything that one person can use. This can include friends and family. Religion is also important in this because even though it is often bad mouthed in TV and movies however in reality church members stick together. Affordable housing is a good idea but often politics gets involved in a situation. Several years ago I was earning $ 19,000 a year, which is not very much. My roommates and I got kicked out of an apartment because a new company bought it and made it Section 8. The reasoning we were given was that we earned too much money. A lot of the rules and laws are kind of idiotic and often geared to the lowest common denominator. Try to improve yourself and you don’t get help, but don’t try and you get supported. (There are many who truly do need help because they have hit rock bottom but unfortunately a lot of people take advantage of that safety net.) My neighbor is a great example of this. Her husband passed away and she works three jobs to keep her kids and house. However, she could quit all three jobs and get federal money. There is no tapering off of assistance, either you get assistance or you get nothing and this makes it difficult because the money for assistance is often more than the money you can earn on your own.

So, I give you the following: 1) Improve Psychiatric Care for those who need it.
2) Increase alcohol and drug treatment options.
3) Rework the Section 8, Unemployment Benefits, and the Food Stamp/WIC programs. We can probably go for Medicaid also but I don’t deal with that all that much.

I know, Too Long Didn’t Read. I used to be positive and felt that I could help those that are less fortunate than I am, and that lead to a career into such. However, a lot of troubles have been brought on by their own problems. Sadly, trying to save the world may have made me jaded but I also feel that it has made me realistic: Some people can only help themselves and the current system works against those who are trying to improve their lot in life.

I hope that this helped.

Good luck.

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