Homelessness is a serious social issue affecting the society globally.
In the US, homelessness is on the increase because of economic melt- down and foreclosures. Homelessness affects young adults, people dismissed from prisons and people without health insurance. In addition, these groups have severe problems such as physical disabilities; suffer from alcoholism and mental illnesses and poor health besides having family issues. National Alliance to End Homelessness cites that people staying with friends because of economic conditions increased from 6 million to 6.8 million in 2009 and 2010 respectively (National Alliance to End Homelessness). Moreover, young people released from foster care system experiences 1 out of 194 chances of being rendered homeless.
This is similar to those people recently released from prisons. National Alliance to End Homelessness also notes the odds of an individual living doubled up are 1 out of12; those released from prison are 1 out of 13, and for young adult the chances are 1 out of 11 (National Alliance to End Homelessness). In 2010, individuals without proper health insurance cover increased from about 47.2 million to 48.8 million in 2009 and 2010 respectively (National Alliance to End Homelessness). Poor parenting is cited as a contributory cause to homelessness in the US. Poor parenting creates rebellious children’s who are difficult to control; hence, many parents place them in foster facility as the solution.
Besides, parent-child conflict has caused many children to abandon their homes and resort streets for shelter (National Alliance to End Homelessness). Similarly, children of homelessness parents grow knowing ‘street ‘is home. Hence, even when they mature to adulthood, the only place they call home is the street (Karger et al.
, 56). Psychological reasons have also contributed to the high rate of homelessness in the US. National Alliance to End Homelessness shows that about 30 percent of homeless people were brought up by parents with psychological problem connection (National Alliance to End Homelessness).
The psychological problem cited include; dependence on drugs, alcohol addiction and criminal backgrounds among others. Moreover, differences in perception of homelessness by liberal and conservative on homeless have increased homelessness in the US. The liberals note that homelessness occurs as a result of weak and poor organizational policies (Karger et al., 56). Thus, people experiencing homelessness are not provided with support in terms of good healthcare and housing.
On the other hand, the conservation demonstrates that homelessness is a creation of the society (National Alliance to End Homelessness). They view that majority of people do not like working so as to uplift their standards of living. When a person does this, then, there is no need in supporting him/her. Rather than being connected to deviance or poverty, homelessness is perceived as a component of social exclusion, that is, something that is viewed as a process by which people are secluded from key societal mechanisms providing social resources. The policies developed to address this issue thus, need to factor welfare of homeless people and social circumstances. As elements of social integration policies, they need to support effective reintegration and involve issues of personal security, empowerment, control and social participation.
This is because; homelessness groups are prone to social exclusion by the society. The US has moved with pace to contain the issue. This is demonstrated through various policies already in place. Acts such as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvement Act of 2000 have played a significant role in protecting and educating rights of youth and children. Besides, the government has fixed a wide range of private and public initiatives tailored towards reducing homelessness. They include National Center on Family Homelessness and National Health care for the Homeless Council (National Alliance to End Homelessness).
Karger, Howard Jacob and David Stoesz. American Social welfare policy: Apluralist approach, Boston: Allyn and Bancon, 2010. Print National Alliance to End Homelessness. The State of Homelessness in America. 2012. Web. 15. June 2012