Homelessness

Emily Larson

Causes

The reasons for homelessness depend on the person and the situation they are in. Homelessness can be caused by a loss of jobs, medical reasons, by family decisions, or sexuality.


Personal Stories

Micheal is an Army veteran who came home just to be homeless. He became addicted to drugs and alcohol and lost all of his money. A Catholic church is providing him shelter at night, but during the day he flies a sign hoping to get a few dollars to help him out.



Donna is an older homeless woman who also did not choose to be in this situation. She and her boyfriend were traveling in their RV when it broke down. She has serious health issues, but continues to walk 7 km everyday with her boyfriend to collect cans so they can raise money to eat and fix the RV. Because of the caring hearts at Invisible People Donna is now home taking care of her mother's grave. They were able to raise enough money and a little extra to fix her RV, put gas in it, and retrieve it from the lot where they were charged daily.



Jaleel is a homeless teen, who is in the situation because of some choices he made. He came out to his family about his sexuality and they kicked him out. He doesn't look like the typical homeless person, he is well dressed and has a good vocabulary. This is because he has found different churches and organizations that helped him find a job and a place to live.



What can be done?

What can the government do?

I think the government should start more programs to help the homeless, and offer programs just for them to get something like food share or food stamps. I also think that there should be more and larger shelters built to house more people. Not 24-7 shelters, but specifically for a large amount of people when it is dangerously cold.


What can the people themselves do?

Homeless people don't really have much of an option when it comes to getting out. You have to have an address and a phone number for a job, and most homeless people don't know where they are going to sleep at night. I think they just need to try harder to get a job, even if its very simple and they don't make very much. If they are able to save just a little money each week, or month, they might be able to some day have a home of their own again.


What can I do?

I think the main thing that I can do is try to donate to the Salvation Army as often as I can, and donate blankets, hats, clothes, and food to various shelters when I have the chance. I also think it is very important to help homeless people directly when I see them.

What can the community do?

The main thing that I feel that communities can do is to start more food pantries, and warming shelters during the winter. I also think that we can take more time to help them out, even if its by giving them a blanket that you don't use anymore, or a pair of gloves and a hat.