Homelessnessin The United States
Despitethat the United States has one of the greatest economies in theworld, the problem of homelessness continues to draw attention amongthe first world nations. A Recent survey indicated that 564,708individuals are homeless with the majority being children. As aresult, this study aims at evaluating the problem of homeliness anddesign strategies to help combat the problem. As such, the studyidentified five objectives to be accomplished so as to find asolution. A review of the current homelessness status was reviewed togive a clear picture of homelessness in the U.S. The study alsoreviewed relevant literature on homelessness took shape in the U.S.until the current status and determine some of the causes ofhomelessness situations as well as the effects of homelessness.Similarly, this research also reviewed the media impacts ofhomelessness and the current interventions out in place to deal withthe problem of homelessness. The review indicated that the majorityof the rising rates of unemployment and inadequate housing facilitiesare the major factors that contribute to homelessness among the poorand low-income individuals. The review also indicated that the numberof homeless individuals has changed over time. In this study, theresearcher designed the methodology to help in the collection of dataconcerning homelessness. A descriptive research design will be usedcoupled with both quantitative and qualitative research designs. Asample of 100 homeless individuals will be interviewed to give moreinformation on the current status of homelessness. Also, theresearcher will also collect data from Census Bureau for furtheranalysis. SPSS and content analysis will be used as tools for dateanalysis. Lastly, this research will consider several ethicalstandards while collecting data to ensure that the process is in linewith the recognized norms.
Homelessnessin The United States
Theproblem of homelessness in the United States continues to drawattention among the first world nations, considering that the U.S.has one of the greatest economies in the world. A Recent surveyshowed that approximately 564,708 people, the majority being childrenare experiencing homelessness in the U.S (Sermons & Witte, 2016).This number of homelessness people translates to 18 homelessindividuals per every 10,000 persons in the entire population of U.Sin just a single night (Sermons & Witte, 2016). This number isanticipated to increase if the government does nothing about it.Despite the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)reporting that this number has slightly declined as compared to 2014,the majority of these homeless individuals still live in patheticconditions in cars, on the streets, and in homeless shelters, thusexposing them to chronic diseases (Sermons & Witte, 2016). As itstands out, the country still needs to do more to improve the livingstandards and provide houses to all its citizens withoutdiscrimination regarding religion, color, gender, or race (Schwartz,2014). Given the current situation concerning homelessness, thisessay aims at evaluating the status of homelessness and recommendstrategies the central government can use to combat the problem ofhomelessness in the entire United States of America.
Currently,many poor individuals are at risk of homelessness since they canhardly afford to pay rent for their houses. Of this homelessnesspopulation, 1.4 million are veterans who are subjected to poverty dueto overcrowding in government houses and inadequate support network.Recent research also shows that those who served in the Vietnam andpost-Vietnam era are at greater risk of homelessness than any otherveteran (Schwartz, 2014). Of the majority of the homelessnessveterans, war-associated disabilities or disorders in most casecontribute to the greater extent of homelessness of the veterans.Similarly, recent surveys show that approximately 550, 0000unoccupied, single and younger adults who are below the age of 24also experience an episode of homelessness that is more than one week(Sermons & Witte, 2016). However, it is hard to determine exactlyhow many children are homeless. Some youths are homeless due to someother reasons such as family rejection, abuse, and neglect byparents, forcing them to roam around the streets it is also notedthat homeless youth rarely spend time at one place as compared to theolder homeless individuals (Schwartz, 2014). Similarly, sometimes itis hard to identify all homeless individuals because some do not evenidentify themselves as homeless or do not disclose their homelessnessstatus (Schwartz, 2014). Even though the longitudinal trends and thetransformations from 2014 to 2015 show that the population at risk ofbeing homeless may start to decline as the homelessness arebenefiting from the economic recovery. However, nothing has yet beendone to ensure that no more people are rendered homeless. As aresult, this research intends to fill this gap by designingtechniques and strategies that can be used to control and minimizethe homelessness situation in the U.S. This study has the followingobjectives.
To assess the state of homelessness in the United States.
To investigate the cause of homelessness in the U.S.
To evaluate the effects of homelessness in the U.S.
To determine suitable interventions to reduce the homelessness in the U.S.
To determine the impacts of the media on homelessness
What is the state of homelessness in the United States?
What are the causes of homelessness in the U.S?
What are the effects of homelessness in the U.S?
What are some of the interventions that can be put in place to reduce the homelessness in the U.S?
What are the impacts of the media on homelessness?
SeasonsSuch as These
Inthe book titled “SeasonsSuch as These,”the author sought to explain how homelessness took shape in theUnited States of America. The source can be read for two purposes.The first one serves readers that are only interested on thenarrative of the people without a roof over their heads. Second,individuals who want to understand the concept of homelessness as asocial problem will be informed fully of the situations that lead tothis issue. The writer, Conroy, has based the findings on researchthat was done in the 1980s and 1990s. According to the studies, theproblem of homelessness was caused by traditional politics that bredconservative policies. Besides, lack of jobs is a major contributorto the many street families that are in the cities of America (Conroy2006). The author argued that the issue homeless could end if propershelter policies were established.
LifeShocks and Homelessness
Inan article titled, “LifeShocks and Homelessness,”the authors sought to investigate the effects of homelessness on thehuman health. The writers believe that having no shelter is a greatcontributor to shock. Factors such as poor accommodation policies areassociated with the distress that the people undergo. In theirresearch, the investigators considered two measures, which werehousing instability to be precursors to the hobos, and a combinedmeasure that approximates the stereotyping of the people with noshelter under the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transitionto Housing Policy that was enacted in the year 2009. Theinvestigation concluded that shock increases the likelihood of familyhomelessness significantly, especially the people who live in themajor cities in America. Moreover, they found out that lack ofresidence is consistent with the economic theory that suggests thathomelessness comes from a combination of adverse circumstances inwhich housing markets and personal conditions collide (Curtis et al.2013).
ChristopherJencks, in his book called “TheHomeless,”endeavored to address the issue of lack of shelter in the UnitedStates of America. Jencks evaluates the standard explanations thatare cited to be the cause of lack of a shelter. They found that therehabilitation of the mentally ill, declining marriage rates, cuts inwelfare benefits, rising joblessness among men, the destruction ofskid row, and the discovery of crack cocaine have all had a role inenhancing the problem. Changes in the housing sector have had lessimpact than many think (Garfinkel and Christopher 1994). Realnational housing subsidies, in fact, doubled throughout the 1980s.
Twenty-fiveYears of Child and Family Homelessness
Inan article called “Twenty-five years of Child and FamilyHomelessness,’ the writers sought to determine the current statusof the lack of shelter problem. They argue that lack of residence forfamilies became a big social and public health issue in the US duringthe 1990s. The authors reviewed literature that includes articles,government reports, and news stories, which talked about theconditions associated with the street families. They concluded thatdescriptions of the financial conditions and civic policies linkedwith family homelessness are still pertinent. However, the number ofdestitute families has changed over time. Lack of shelter has becomemore common and persistent among poor and low-income citizens (Grantet al. 2013). The writers offer public health recommendations forthese street families because the major problem that faces themnormally comes from pitiable sanitation.
Morethan 500000 People Homeless in the United States of America
Ina report titled “More than 500000 People Homeless in the UnitedStates of America”, the author sought to inform the extent to whichhomelessness has become a problem. The writer, Eric M. Johnson,reports that in 2015, more than 500,000 people in the United Stateslived in the streets due to scarce and affordable housing in thecountry. According to this report from the US department of housingand urban development, the number went down slightly from theprevious year. Further, the report claims that many American citiesare experiencing a sluggish economy and decreasing revenue, mostly,amongst the low-income earners. Additionally, there are budgetconstraints for the social welfare programs. Seattle, Los Angeles,Oregon, Portland, and Hawaii have of late declared emergencies overthe increase of the street families. New York City also recordedsignificant numbers of people living down-and-out, mostly in theircars (Johnson 2015).
TheFaces of Homeless
Thebook titled “TheFaces of Homeless,”by Marjorie Hope and James Young tries to determine the root causesof homelessness. They argue that street families in the United Statesof America started during the 80s. The book narrates the misfortunesof the dispossessed people using the story of a needy old man livingnext to the headquarters of the United Nations in the New York City.The authors recall the frustrations in their attempt to obtainservices for him. They also illustrate the situations that they haveobserved in their travel across the country. According to theirfindings, homelessness is spread all over the country. They furtherargue that low-income and expensive housing costs are to be blamedfor the predicament. Moreover, it is hard to obtain justice for theevicted due to bad government welfare policies (Keigher 1988).
WhatGovernment Can Do
Thebook, “What Government Can Do,” tries to offer solutions that canbe taken when dealing with inequality and poverty. The source informsthat the American federal government cannot or should not try toattend to America`s problems of poverty and unfairness because itssystem of government is extravagant or its programs are unproductive.According to the writers of the book, the government is to blame forthis problem entirely. The research examines some government andlocal programs. It records government achievement and assesses howcompetent it is in dealing with the problems that it seeks to tackle.Their conclusion, astonishingly, is contradictory to the currentrhetoric that the government is doing nothing to solve the issue. Thegovernment has attempted to put in place policies that are aimed atending the homelessness issue in America (Misra and James 2002).
Americawe have a problem
Thearticle, “AmericaWe Have a Problem,”sought to illustrate that lack of shelter is out of control. Theauthor, Cynthia McKinney, tries to draw the attention of the Americanpeople and government to this pertinent issue. She argues that whenthere are presidential campaigns, no politician talks about thepredicament. Besides, she points out many other indicators, whichshow that the dispossessed people have been ignored. According toCynthia, it is hard to determine the exact number of turned outfamilies. However, the high number of children in the elementaryschool that has no residential addresses is an indication that thereare families out there with no abode (Munos 2016). In the article,she calls upon the relevant authorities to deal with the problem.
HomelessnessCoverage, Social Reality, and Media Ownership
Inthe editorial, “HomelessnessCoverage, Social Reality, and Media Ownership,”the writers endeavored to study how the media outlets cover the issueof lack of a dwelling place. They did this by contrasting nationalnewspaper with two regional news publications in Canada. Duringpurposive sampling method, 449 articles from 1987 to 2007 were chosenfor analysis, as well as 128 news articles from the Edmonton Journal,169 from the Globe and Mail and 152 from the Calgary Herald. Acontent study revealed that these newspapers have unlike agendasettings for street family related issues (Richter 2012). The writersargue that the variance among the newspapers’ reporting onhomelessness are related openly to the media possession.
TheState of Homelessness in America 2012
Areport titled, “TheState of Homelessness in America 2012”,examines the level at which the problem has manifested in the US. Itevaluates homelessness between 2009 and 2011, which was a time offinancial meltdown in the United States. The statement shows thatregardless of the bad economy, the families without a roof over theirhead have gone down by one percent throughout the period. The declinewas possibly due to a major investment of federal resources to avoidhomelessness, and rapidly re-housing citizens who become destitute.The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program is funded bythe American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was passed in 2009.It was a $1.5 billion government attempt to stop the increase in thehomelessness. It was built upon recommendable effort at the federalstage and in jurisdictions all over the country to improve thehomelessness coordination by adopting cost-effective interventions.In 2010, its first year of functioning, it helped almost 700,000individuals who were vulnerable to eviction, as well as the homelesspeople (Witte 2015). The report gives evidence that it was victoriousin attaining its goal of stopping a significant rise in homelessness.
Homelessnessin the United States
Homelessnessis a complex social matter caused by a wide array of factors such asfamily relationships, drug abuse, mental illness, economic issues,alcoholism, and the lack of affordable housing just to mention a few.Often, homeless people lack a permanent night residence, eithersleeping at a welfare hotel, a friend’s place, public or privateshelter designed for accommodation or to the worst sheltering in thestreets due to neglect or conflicts (Curtiset al., 2013).Homelessness is an issue that has affected the United States for along time now, and it would be best to understand its causes,effects, severity, and interventions in place to avert the tragedy.Besides, the impact of the media on how the public perceive thesituation is far reaching as much as it offers a fertile platform forscrutinizing the challenges of homelessness. This paper delves toexplain the scenario of homelessness in the U.S it provides abackground of the topic of study as well as the impact of the mediaon public perception on homelessness.
Thereare many causes of homelessness in the United States with the leadingfoundation being the lack of affordable housing and insufficienthousehold income thus the inability to acquire a shelter at personaland or family level. Approximately 10.3 million renters had very lowincomes in 2012 as established by the Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment while only 5.8 million rental units were available forthe 10 million individuals who could afford unfortunately, only 31out of 100 of the then affordable houses were available for thelow-income earners (Grantet al., 2013).Secondly, foreclosure crisis also contributes to the problem ofhomelessness and a majority of those who face eviction are rentingfamilies renters are becoming the majority population of the U.Sand, thus, many people are predicted to become homeless in the futureif the issue of foreclosure is not addressed. Besides, domesticviolence is another factor that has significantly contributed tohomelessness especially among the women who encounter family warswhich lead to breakups or divorces together with the persistentlyhigh rates of unemployment, poverty, immigration, the problem ispredicted to worsen over time among families. Similarly, people whoare unaccompanied experience homelessness as a result of mentalillness, drug abuse, alcoholism, unemployment, poverty, and theinsufficient affordable housing (Curtiset al., 2013).
Theeffects of homelessness on the victims cannot be overwritten as thesegroup o individuals are seen to isolate themselves from others, andtheir health is never in good shape due to the frustrations resultingfrom the lack of a home. Regarding health, homeless people worsenover time because they are accorded limited attention by the peoplearound including the family members, doctors, and even thegovernment being attended to is a necessity for a comfortable lifeand the homeless are naturally discriminated upon by the deprivationof these necessities. Consequently, the U.S has recorded risingtrends of cold injury, cardio-respiratory illness, skin disease,mental illness, drug dependency, physical and or sexual abuse,nutritional deficiency, mortality, HIV/AIDS, and lack of sleep amongthe homeless subjects (Grantet al., 2013).In terms of personality, the homeless, under the frustration ofmissing shelter, have been reported to lose self-esteem, becomeinstitutionalized, invest in substance use, and develop behavioralproblems. Furthermore, such individuals lose the ability and will toself-care and are likely to engage in abuse and violence as well asbecoming part of other social crimes like stealing and burglary lifehas nothing substantial to offer and, therefore, they see no value tokeep to the norms and societal expectations (Curtiset al., 2013).
Severityof Homelessness in the United States
ByJanuary 2014, about 578,424 residents of the U.S experiencedhomelessness, either sleeping outside, in emergency accommodation ora transitional housing program this was, however, a small reductionfrom the previous years as a result of the economic recovery from theearlier great recession. Statistically, the decrease was by 2.3%among each subpopulation with the overall homeless percentages forthe unsheltered individuals, families, chronically homeless, andveterans marked at 10, 2.7, 2.5, and 10.5% in that order. 34 statesof the country registered decreasing homelessness trend while 17recorded the reverse trend the national rate of homelessness reducedto 18.3% homeless per 10,000 subjects in the overall population, withthe rate in individual states ranging from 120 in Washington to 7 inMississippi area. Although the trend seems to be falling, the period2015 to 2016 has reflected a steady rise in the incidences ofhomelessness due to increased levels of poverty reflected in theinability to afford to the house strategies must, therefore, be putin place to address the problem.
Eachyear, U.S communities carry out a housing inventory count inconcurrently with the point-in-time count to itemize emergingshelter, fixed supporting housing, temporary housing, and re-housingof beds as from 2013. In January 2015, they reported about 805,791beds availed for homeless individuals, with permanent supportinghousing harboring a majority of the beds (39.6%) while emergencyshelter and temporary shelter had 32.8% and 20.0% of the bedsrespectively and re-housing beds constituted 7.5%(Witte, 2012).In addition to the initiatives of the communities, the federalgovernment budget considers the homeless, and in 2015, $ 4.5 was setaside for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),Health and Human Resource Department, and Department of Education tohelp the homeless in creating affordable shelters. Furthermore, theNational Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) formulated a federalpolicy to support the victims and spread awareness of the conditionthis body works to enhance the effectiveness of the relevant programssuch that low-income families and unaccompanied youth are saved theburden of homelessness (Witte,2012).Although the attempts are helping to alleviate the challenge, moregovernment interventions are required to completely solve theconundrum and save the U.S populations the risks related to healthand personality that follow the homelessness.
Impactsof the Media on Homelessness
Thissection analyzes how the media represents homelessness in the UnitedStates because as it is mostly argued, the media is the most criticalplayer in the construction of the problem how homelessness is viewedand what it causes are essential ingredients to policy formulation.When viewed positively, media can be said to be very instrumental incovering the social problems that encounter the society, in thiscase, those who are homeless and in need of serious attention and itis such stories in the magazines, newspapers, television, and othersocial media that compel the government to act fast (Richter,2012).For example, the news article by Johnson(2015) inReuters provides in-depth coverage of homelessness in the U.S, layingout a hurting fact that America houses more than 500, 000 homelesspeople with a quarter of the number being children due to thescarcity of affordable housing. It proceeds to clarify that HUDreported a reduction in that population in comparison to the previousyears but persisted because the country still suffered from the sloweconomic recovery and a large number of lowest-income earners. Itfurther reports that about 565,000 people lived in the streets incars, subsidized transitional housing, and homeless shelters andthat the majority of this population was children under the age of 18years above all, the news specifies that the statistics provided bythe HUD is inaccurate. If this newspaper is critically assessed witha positive mind, it can be a great pillar in the formulation ofstrategies that can help control homelessness in one way, mediaworks as a tool for solving a social problem.
However,not everybody will interpret the assertions in Reuters as ethicalbecause people were not evaluated in terms of their views but rather,in numbers that is discriminating for some who don’t wish to beturned into numbers. Although the numerical may have beeninformative, readers often desist from concentrating on mattersrelated to homelessness, affordable housing, and poverty numbers arenot considered impactful as no human aspect is attached to numericalto make them relatable (Richter,2012).When media posts that the poor has been with us since time memorialand people ought to be cared for to solve the problem of homelessnessas seen in RT International news article by Munos(2016),the reader is likely to feel being viewed as a financially challengedfellow and that results in the negative personality development.
Inother words, the media presents excellent stories that can inspiresomebody, but that is diluted by the moments in which individuals arenegatively portrayed as living on the streets and lost in drugspeople thus assume the presence of such people stereotyped already.
Entertainmentmedia has also presented impracticable view of what to expect fromthe otherwise struggling homeless individuals here, they are relayedas crazy or on drugs these depictions corrupt the minds of peoplewho only focus on an individual who is homeless and forget the factthat this is an extension of a population that needs seriousinterventions. However, the worst damage is seen in the use of socialmedia in which the homeless people are scenically and ironicallytreated as comics and their pictures, the stereotyping ones included,are shared in the media (Richter,2012).Indeed, the media may be an excellent site for utilization by thesociologists who wish to comprehend the concepts of homelessnesshowever, the general public is more likely to misinterpret thecontents, and that would end up in stereotype behavior.
Thisdiscusses the methods and techniques that are used to collect data,analyze and present the finding for further actions andrecommendations. Methodology refers to the process used to gatherdata and information to help solve business problems and make viablebusiness decisions (Creswell, 2012). This chapter includes researchdesign, the target population, the sample and sampling techniques,the procedures for collecting data, and the data analysis process.
Aresearch design refers to the plan that is set to help in carryingout the research and the collection of information for furtheranalysis. This study uses descriptive quantitative research design.According to Creswell (2012), research design implies the wholeprocess of conducting a study, starting from conceptualization of theproblem of concern, coming up with research questions, and proceedingto collect data, analyzing, and interpreting, and reporting theresults of the study. The research design also implies the logicalsequence, which joins the empirical data to original researchquestions and finally, to the conclusion and recommendations.
Further,this research will also use qualitative research design because itaims at gathering an in-depth comprehension of the currenthomelessness situation which involves determining the reasons whichmade people homeless and to enable them to recount their homelessnessexperience. Qualitative research design, in this case, will studyelements in their natural setting, trying to make sense of theexperiences of the homeless individuals. The quantitative approachwill measure the numerical data collected from the Housing Censuswebsite of the United States of America. It will generate dataconcerning the number of housing units available, and the number ofoccupied housing units as well as the current population (Creswell,2012).
Populationof the study
Sincethis study aims at assessing the homelessness situation in the UnitedStates, the target population are the homeless individuals across themajor cities in the U.S. The data concerning this population will beextracted from the United States Census Bureau. The study populationwill exclude any person those youths who ran away from their homes bychoice and their families are not aware of where they are living.
Sampleand the sampling techniques
Asample of 100 homeless individuals will be selected randomly acrossthe street to help the researcher collect more information on theexperiences of homelessness, which can only come from the homelesspeople themselves. The recounts from the homeless persons will bereviewed with the current housing data to help in designingstrategies to deal with the issue of homelessness. The researcherwill interview this sample on a face-to-face basis, so as to havefirst-hand information on the impact of homelessness, the causes andhelp in designing strategies to tackle the issue.
Inthis study, the researcher will gather multiple forms of data, whichincluded interviews, observations, and searching through documents asopposed to relying on a few data sources. The housing data will begathered from the United States Census Bureau’s housing website.The data from the Census Bureau presents a comprehensive status ofhousing in the United States. There is a wide range of dataconcerning the size, age, and the types of homes in the U.S., plustheir values, rental rates, and mortgages, as well as moreinformation on housing and construction industry that will be helpfulin this study. All the information will be reviewed to make sense ofthem, organize into categories and themes, which cut across allsources of information. While collecting the information, the planfor collecting data is subject changes. These included changing thequestions and the participants under the study where the need arose,especially when the researcher has learned that the participant isnot homeless but has decided to participate in the survey.
Duringdata collection, the main idea is to understand the homelessnessproblem from the respondents so as to address the issue for furtherrecommendations. The researcher also collected the required datathrough interpretive inquiry by making the interpretation of what heobserved, hear, and perceived of the homelessness situation. Theresearcher will as well design leading questions that will be used tocollect data from the participants. The questions will enable theresearcher to remember all the issues of concern and try to relatethem to the research questions.
Inthis study, the researcher will utilize both quantitative andqualitative tools to analyze the data gathered from the participantsas well as those collected from the Census Bureau. The quantitativedata will be analyzed using SPSS, while the qualitative informationwill be analyzed using content analysis. Content analysis refers tothe qualitative method used in making replicable and valid referencesthrough interpretation and coding of textual materials. Through thismethod of analysis, the collected data from the respondents, thequalitative data will be converted into quantitative data for furtheranalysis. The analyzed data will be presented in the form of tables,frequency distribution tables, and pie charts.
Theethical considerations in this study refer to the actions of anindividual that might be illustrated in general terms as those thatare performed with the criteria of what is considered as good. Itconcerns what society perceives as good or bad about actions ofhumans. The homeless individuals will be given an opportunity toexpress their concerns without being victimized by anyone. Privacy ofthe information collected was taken serious, and the researcherassured the respondents that the information they give was only goingto be used for research purposes and improvement of their welfare.The researcher will interview the respondents only after gettingtheir consent. Similarly, the researcher will also ensure that theinformation collected from the field were accurate and representationof the views of the participants.
Homelessnessis a complex social matter caused by a wide array of factors such asfamily relationships, drug abuse, mental illness, economic issues,alcoholism, and the lack of affordable housing and with adversehealth and personality effects. Although its severity has slightlyfallen in the United States, the levels are still high and must becorrected through such strategies like community engagement andgovernment policies such as setting aside some amount of money fromthe national budget to fund all programs aimed at solving theproblem. As much as the media serves a crucial role in speedycommunication, it can be an annoying platform for discrimination inwhich the homeless are referred to as crazy or on drugs the onlypeople likely to benefit considerably with the media reports are,therefore, the social scientists who are out for data to establishreliable claims.
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