of a homeless person in the United States is 7… The Average Age
The final rule on the Definition of Homeless establishes four categories under which an individual or family may qualify as homeless. The categories are: Literally homeless – An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, meaning the individual or family has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not meant for human habitation or is living in a publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living arrangements. This category also includes individuals who are exiting an institution where he or she resided for 90 days or less who resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately prior to entry into the institution. Imminent Risk of Homelessness – an individual or family who will imminently lose (within 14 days) their primary nighttime residence provided that no subsequent residence has been identified and the individual or family lacks the resources or support networks needed to obtain other permanent housing. Homeless under other Federal Statutes – unaccompanied youth ( under 25 ) or families with children and youth who do not otherwise qualify as homeless under this definition and are defined as homeless under another federal statute, have not had permanent housing during the past 60 days, have experience persistent instability, and can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time. Fleeing/Attempting to Flee DV – any individual or family who is fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing ( HEARTH ) HEARTH Rule – Homelessness Defined
Poverty Lack of Affordable Housing Unemployment/Underemployment Lack of Affordable Healthcare Domestic Violence Mental Illness Addiction Disorders Active Military Service – (Returning to Civilian Life) Causes of homelessness…generally speaking
A typical sheltered homeless family is comprised of a mother in her late twenties with two children. 79.6% of homeless adult women are in a family, compared to just 20.4% of homeless adult men. Most single-parent families are female-headed (71%). Single-parent families are among the poorest in the nation and, as such, are extremely vulnerable to homelessness. Many family shelters do not accept men into their programs, causing families to separate when they become homeless. Families experiencing homelessness usually have limited education. 53% of homeless mothers do not have a high school diploma. 29% of adults in homeless families are working. 42% of children in homeless families are under age six. *Information taken from the National Center on Family Homelessness – December 2011 http://www.familyhomelessness.org/media/306.pdf Nationally, who are our homeless families?
More than half of all homeless mothers do not have a high school diploma. Nationally, 29% of adults in homeless families are working. In Minnehaha County, according to our Homeless Count Survey, 55% list full-time employment as their primary source of income. Over 92% of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse during their lifetime. For 63%, this abuse was perpetrated by an intimate partner. *Information taken from the National Center on Family Homelessness – December 2011 http://www.familyhomelessness.org/media/306.pdf Insight into Homeless Families
1,155 men, women, and children In Minnehaha County, 618 people were identified as homeless including 218 kids In Pennington County - 304 people In Davison County - 38 people In Brown County - 33 people In Hughes County – 28 people (Housing for the Homeless Consortium Survey, September 2013) 2013 Statewide Homeless Count Results
In the homeless population. Locally: 54% are White 29% are Native American 11% are African American 2% are Hispanic Families of color are frequently overrepresented…
22% Single Parent Families 2% Married Couple (No children) 3% Married 72% Singles 18% are veterans 1% have income under $100 per month 16% $101 - $600 per month 15% $601 - $1,000 per month 19% over $1,000 per month in Income What Homelessness Looks Like Here
Chaos – loss of routine, safety and security Constant mobility Extreme and chronic poverty Lack of privacy and space Substandard living conditions Loss of pets, friends and possessions Feelings of powerlessness and shame What’s it like to be homeless?
Have withdrawn or aggressive behaviors Excessive worrying Assume adult responsibilities Anxiety Depression Shallow attachments No “stranger danger” Emotional Effects on Children
Within a single year: 97% of homeless families move at least once More than 30% are evicted from their homes 22% of children are then in foster care or living with relatives Shinn, M & Bassuk EL. (2004) Families. In S. Barrow et al. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Homelessness. Sage. Homelessness creates trauma…
Another rent increase. Another new neighborhood. Another year behind in school. Falling Behind
Homeless children have more mental health needs than other children. 20% of preschoolers have emotional problems that require professional care. 47% of school-age children have problems with anxiety, depression and withdrawal. The National Center on Family Homelessness. Homeless Children: America’s New Outcasts (Newton, MA: 1999) Mental Health Needs
Lack of sleep Excessive stress – brain function Hunger/lack of good nutrition Inadequate clothing Poor hygiene Health problems in general Diabetes Respiratory problems Inadequate medical care Adults experience higher rates of depression Physical Effects
Two things we need to be able to best help those in poverty – flexible and comprehensive services People need “help and opportunity” Help with both hands… Author, Lisbeth Schorr: “Within our Reach” Are There Best Practices?
Do not ignore the reality of poverty Use a variety of communication methods and multiple strategies to address the complexity of poverty Provide continuous opportunities for families to shine Surround people with success Tell them what they are doing well BUILD RELATIONSHIPS THAT MATTER Believe in those you serve Find out their knowledge and skills Have poverty competency – suspend judgment and understand the structural causes of poverty Introduce isolated families to a personal network of resources and friends – create a circle of influence Keys to Breaking Barriers And Working with Those in Poverty
Learn and then pass it on! (share the knowledge) Volunteer your time Donate necessities (diapers, hygiene items, food) As a community…YES WE CAN!
“A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit.” Greek Proverb A civilization flourishes…
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