Do you ever wonder how many people experience homelessness in the U.S?
Homelessness has always been a huge problem in the U.S., especially in California. Early last year, the homelessness increased by 7% before the pandemic even started. More than 580,000 individuals did not have a place to go for the entirety of January 2020. Homelessness has been getting progressively worse and worse, and something needs to be done about it.
Affect on communities
In many communities homelessness negatively impacts health care resources, safety, and the use of tax dollars. It affects families too. Most parents, for safety, keep their children close if they see a homeless person because of society's stereotype of homeless people. Homelessness can also affect the state of the community. Most times, if people see homeless people in a community they tend to stray away from that area. Homelessness can compromise public security if there are high ratings of homelessness in a community, since they are more likely to have higher crime rates due to illnesses such as mental illness.
Reasons people experience homelessness
The major reason someone experiences homelessness is due to poverty. Unemployment, high housing, and healthcare costs play into poverty. Other reasons people experience homelessness are mental illness, disabilities, abuse, substance abuse, and personal hardships. Many homeless people are veterans that, after serving in the war, have no place to go or can’t get back up on their feet.
How to help
There are quite a few ways you can help the homeless. A few are volunteering, making meal packs, filling food pantries, and donating clothes. There are various volunteering locations you can go to. I recommend Union Station. They have limited locations although it’s a great service. It’s easy to join and there are different things you can volunteer to do. Another effective way is doing meal packs, whether on your own time or with a service. It is not very time consuming and you can just drive around and pass them out. Food pantries are a really great way to go, if you want to help. Lastly is donating clothes. Everyone outgrows their clothes or their style. Instead of donating them to Goodwill you can donate them to shelters, but ask them to see if they’re accepting donations first.
Gavin Newsom California come back plan
You may not have known but this year in July 2021 our governor Gavin Newsom planned and signed a housing and homelessness funding package as part of a $100 billion california comeback plan.This package will go towards building 42,000 housing units and expanding the homekey program. As well as cleaning up the streets with local governments. This plan will take about 5 years to see progress. Hopefully within those 5 years homelessness decreases and economic systems can improve.
This is our world and you can make a choice to make a difference in it. Help clean the streets and our economic system.
https://www.npr.org/2021/03/18/978244891/hud-growth-of-homelessness-during-2020-was-devastating-even-before-the-pandemic (580,000 single night in January)
https://www.caringworksinc.org/our-impact/community-impact/ (how it impacts communities)