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The Major Social Problem of Homelessness in America
Even though the dilemma of homelessness may look of low analytical value among the researchers, this challenge has been regarded catastrophic in America. With about 60, 000 veterans, two.5 million youngsters and two.five% of the homeless adults respectively, it is indisputable that homelessness is a grand challenge in America (Henwood, 2015). As a result of this challenge, there has been basic shift that is, ending the problem as an alternative of managing it. More than the previous decades, the government has failed even in managing this challenge, basically simply because the interventions of assisting this population are tied up to responding to individual requirements. At other times, it is because the homeless have been inappropriately defined as criminals, uneducated and these who voluntarily pick to keep on streets creating it difficult to locate amicable resolution. It is since of the above reasons that the profession social perform has been found critical and compelling. The paper will consequently concentrate on exploring the historical and current trends of social welfares and political legislatives to locate out how they have responded to the above challenge. In this way, the study will be in a position to justify the require for social welfare method more specially the social workers in ending the challenge.
The history of homelessness in America can be traced can be traced as far the as history can tell. Nevertheless, folks typically make reference of 18th century, the time when this problem became nicely recognized. Throughout this period, the issue of homelessness was attributed to industrial revolution. Americans would migrate to urban regions to seek the newly developed employment opportunities in the established manufacturing and production industries. Conversely, industrialization contributed to displacement. Other variables that facilitated the displacement contain civil wars, all-natural calamities, racial inequalities and disenfranchised policies. For instance, in the year 1920, massive flooding at Mississippi displaced about 1.3 million men and women (Gonyea, 2010).
Throughout the American history, as opposed to the social organizations the policy makers have focused much more on homeless “unworthy poor” individuals neglecting the worthy poor. Worthy poor refers to the people who poor simply due to the fact of perversity, willfulness and laziness. On the other hand, unworthy poor refers to individuals whose poverty occurs out of their manage. Though these categories are considered as a biased thing of the past, they have been utilized to define the most needy homeless who ought to be given priority of aid. For instance, in 20th century the government adopted a practice recognized as “passing on” (at the moment known as bus therapy) as an aid for the widows, immigrants and orphans. Later, the practice was criticized for being unfavorable and biased (Toro, 2007). Soon after the trumpet sounded louder, there was intervention of Charity Organization Society (COS) who demanded moral therapy of the worthy poor.
Remarkably, they year 1930 to 1950 have been characterized by several polices of addressing the concern of homelessness. One particular of the key policies was to establish the “skid row” in places of downtown. An example is Los Angeles skid row which accommodated about 17, 7000 homeless adults. The policy makers also introduced the loan applications to assist the population settled in these locations to develop small houses and single rooms hotels. Nonetheless, the population of homeless in urban regions continued to escalate, far more specially from the policy makers’ selection to renovate the cities which would see several modest homes demolished to pave a way for construction of the modern buildings. This was not just a housing policy, merely simply because the policy makers would force all the homeless to be re-relocated from cities and only couple of would be temporally be settled in organizations such as salvations army.
Even with above the above described settlement, urban and housing policies, the social welfare seemed discontented with the reality that, the government assumed the situation of homelessness had substantially diminished. Still, the government did not well define its technique of cost-effective housing. In addition to, the period between finish of 1960s and mid 1970s was characterized by difficult financial times also referred to “Great Depression” instances. This implies due to the fact majority of homeless could not afford the price of housing, they moved to the public areas, that is, in other cities and skid rows. By the year 1976, even the built shelter accommodations could not manage settle the homeless population. Bachman, (2010), estimates that, by the year 1977 the quantity of beds had improved from 275, 000 to 609,000 in the same sheltered accommodations (Leginski, 2007).
In the 1978, a sharp contrast in between homelessness and possibilities for all expounded. At this time, the problem of homelessness was redefined as a challenge that calls an immediate focus of social welfares. This was first noticed when several social forces referred to as upon the government to respond to homeless veterans who had been largely neglected and to address the challenge of more than rising quantity of folks glowing in sheltered accommodation. It is during the exact same period that the discipline of social operate started to study and document the scope of the dilemma. More importantly, the social analysis organizations made considerable efforts to define the nature of the difficulty. Example of such organizations consists of the Robert Johnson Foundation. Far from carrying out homelessness associated researches, the foundation also focused on establishing media to raise awareness of the nature of the difficulty. These consist of characteristics, causal elements, and consequences of the issue (nature). Equally important, the foundation would advocate the government to “bury” the old myth of unworthy and worthy poor men and women.
Following the powerful “wind” from the social welfare groups, the government amended the Homeless Help Act of 1987. The act was to see that emergency shelters and delivery housing had been established much more specially among with disabilities. Nonetheless, the act facilitated the establishment of supportive programs such standard abilities coaching for homelessness, generating far more job opportunities. These initiatives had been later replaced by Short-term Assistance for Needy Households (TANF) program. One particular of the key step taken by TANF was to reduce the housing expenditures from $ 90 billion to 30$ billion in the year 2000. Nonetheless, the homelessness dilemma continued to intensify according to the study carried out by scholars from a variety of disciplines. Examples of such researchers include Spellman (2007) who reveled that, the quantity of homeless had rose from six.two million in the year 1970 to 8.6 million in the year 2000. The Economic Policy Institute attributed such a challenge to lower in minimum wages. The institute developed a statistical report indicating that, since the year 1979 the wage had decreased with about 26% regardless of the truth that manufacture industries had maintained the operating hours. Nonetheless, the social groups and unions were limited in quantity and did not reflect considerably energy to influence the political method (Wilkins, & Anderson, 2007).
At the end of 1900s, the social institutions had been nearly convinced that the federal and local governments have been unable to give amicable resolution. The social welfares started accusing the policy makers over lack of long-term structural troubles. These social began to brand government as failure basic simply because it offered short-term and recurring options. The government had also failed to create an affirmative action to assist homeless in other interrelated areas of healthcare, nutrition and education.
As noted from the above study, the social workers little influenced the political system. This is simply because there only existed restricted quantity of social unions with insignificant compelling power to the government. But in the beginning of the 21st century, the government tends to make a important shift by established sturdy hyperlink and supporting the social workers to leverage and eradicate homelessness (Henwood, 2015). Example of such techniques is contracting social workers either as an person or an organization to offer Assessment record of Homeless Men and women. Contrary, the homelessness is nevertheless a continuing social difficulty even at present time. For instance, in January 2016 the Economic Policy Institute released 1 of the most debatable final results indicating that, on a provided night there are about 549, 928 homeless people in the United States. The study also revealed that, amongst the above number only 68% are sheltered. Nevertheless controversial, the study indicates that, out of the above quantity, there are 22% kids, 69% adults, 10% veterans, 35% chronically ill people. But then once more, the participation of the social workers has significantly reduced the homelessness nationally. For instance, the quantity of homeless has declined almost by 15% considering that the year 2015 (Leginski, 2007) (see figure 1).
Source: U.S Department of Housing and Urban Improvement
Most important is how the social workers have intervened on guaranteeing there is affordable housing and sufficient earnings, provision of social services, prohibiting discrimination and advocating reforms in the current policies that have been underlying structural causes of homelessness. For instance, since the year 2008 the time when federal government began counting of homeless, the social workers in American Bar Association (ABA) have been hitting the street corners to support the government have a clear image of the homelessness. Related situations have been witnessed amongst the voluntary person social workers. Example of such men and women includes Van Cooten. Equally crucial, the social workers have moved a milestone step in coercing the government to implement the Proper to Adequate Housing. Notably, the social workers do not mean the government to go building for every single homeless individual. Instead, the social workers are advocating for government to reduce the taxes, offer job opportunities and eliminate all types of discrimination as permanent options of the tide of homelessness.
Whether or not by means of the public, government and private participation the social workers have been calling for implementation of adequate housing policy for all. That is, the policy need to have the capacity to influence on all homeless such as the veterans, older households, street youngsters, mental ill, chronically ill, disabled and single individuals. The social workers additional recommends the above policy to be aligned along the line of habitability, affordability, access to services, provision of tenure as security and infrastructures. In contrast to the final decades, the social workers have sought the sources of their energy to influence the law makers. This can be reflected from their approach of collaborating with lawyers and public well being agencies to influence the legislative bodies to enforce the existing laws and housing policies. Nevertheless, at most instances the government have been discovered corporative and supporting much more particularly when requested to set priorities of the housing polices and funding the initiative applications. In reality, only few circumstances related to lack of corporation are knowledgeable, a lot more especially when legal technicalities are experienced (Henwood, 2015).
For the case of social services the area that numerous individuals believe is the crucial function of social workers, several efforts are seen to be undertaken to help the homeless. Most of these solutions take the trajectory path of addressing the private troubles associated to the concern of homelessness. For instance, the skilled social workers have been struggling to support the victims recover from trauma, depression, household conflicts and post-traumatic situations. These solutions have proved quite helpful more especially when serving the homeless households. In much more complex situations, expert social workers have volunteered to support healthful parenting. For instance, in the year 2014 the United way collaborated with Seimer Institute of family members to determine and mitigate the risks associated to homelessness. In what is referred to as multigenerational approach, the social workers in the above social organizations have been operating with stakeholders and schools to avoid homelessness and loved ones stability.
Though at present a lot more demands continues being placed on provision of emergency solutions, charity perform, threat management applications, provision of healthcare and reforming the housing policies, lack of adequate funding remains the main challenge of establishing the extended-term structured remedy. This explains why the challenge of homelessness nonetheless remains a significant social issue in 21st century. Still, there is a query of worthy poor, a term which can nonetheless be considered relevant in 21st century. In relations to this, the social workers have not defined attainable methods of helping this category of homeless folks taking into consideration that it is their choice to stay in such circumstances. Nevertheless, the social workers much more specifically the skilled psychologist believes addressing the psychological needs of an individual can be one way of ending this catastrophe.
Conclusively, the issue of homelessness has been a significant social issue in American history. This is in a way that, despite lacking of shelters the homeless are also presented with other interrelated problems such as poor healthcare, nutrition, insecurities, drug addiction and education. The issue has been intensified by the truth that, the political program and social workers had remained disjointed considering that 1880s to the beginning of 20th century. The only current social workers throughout this period were also limited in number and had insignificant compelling power to the government. As the challenge continued to escalate, the government produced important shift in 21st century that is, to establish a strong hyperlink social workers to leverage and eradicate homelessness. Even though a lengthy-lasting options has not but being established, it is outstanding that the social workers have been if the forefront to mitigate the challenge. This has been possible much more particularly by way of their interventions on guaranteeing there is inexpensive housing and adequate income, provision of social solutions, prohibiting discrimination and advocating reforms in the current policies that have been underlying structural causes of homelessness. The government, neighborhood community and private sectors must therefore contemplate assistance the applications and initiatives put forward by social workers. This will be only roadmap to accomplishment on the situation of homelessness.
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