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Facts and Myths Presented By Group A Productions.

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1 Facts and Myths Presented By Group A Productions

2 What is Homelessness? It is an age old struggle that dates back to the beginning of mankind and our need to shelter ourselves from the elements. According to Gelberg; “homelessness is a social problem that has been on the rise since the early 1980’s” (Gelberg et al., 2002). According to Nooe and Patterson (2010) “Homelessness manifests itself as situational episodic or chronic.” These manifestations can be as simple as “living on the street to emergency shelters, hospitalization and even incarceration. “(Node and Patterson, 2010, p. 105).

3 What is Homelessness?... continued As of January 7, 2011 the United States code title 42 chapter 119 subchapter 1§ defined a homeless person as: “(1) an individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. (2) an individual or family with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground. (3) an individual or family living in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements. (4) an individual who resided in a shelter or place not meant for human habitation and who is exiting an institution where he or she temporarily resided” (42 USC, 2011).

4 Causes of Homelessness. As noted by B.F. Dykeman,“The two most frequently referenced pathways to homelessness include economics and mental status” (Dykeman, 2011, p. 33). Lack of economic funding to purchase or rent a dwelling is an obvious contributing factor to homelessness, and the decaying economy perpetuates the cycle. According to Nooe and Patterson, some of the factors contributing to poverty and homelessness include “unemployment, declining value of the minimum wage, housing costs, and healthcare.” (Nooe and Patterson, 2010, p 108).

5 Who Are The Homeless ? They can be anyone, even small children.

6 Where Are The Homeless ? They are anywhere and everywhere, maybe even living on your street.

7 Debunking the Myths of Homelessness H OMELESS PEOPLE ARE OLD ! Fiction! A study by Zima, Wells & Freeman, (1994) indicate “the mean age of a homeless person is 34 years; one third (34%) are married; and their average education is 11 years.”

8 Debunking the Myths of Homelessness… continued F AMILIES A RE N OT H OMELESS Fiction! The truth, according to a report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2009, is that over a third of the 1.6 million people living in transitional housing were families. “Families with children are the fastest growing homeless population, making up possibly as much as 40% of homeless”, (Zima, Wells & Freeman, 1994). According to a study completed in 1994, the statistical averages of parents in homeless families are young and under educated

9 Debunking the Myths of Homelessness… continued “All homeless people are crazy”. Fiction! According to Dykeman, “many myths of homelessness prevail, despite much evidence to the contrary: Homeless people with mental illnesses are often looked upon as treatment resistant, yet the mentally ill homeless often seek treatment when offered” (Dykeman, 2011, p. 33).

10 Debunking the Myths of Homelessness… continued The current homeless population total is more than 3,000,000 people in the United States. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless“Two methods of estimation are frequently used: point-in-time estimates will count the number of homeless persons on a given date, and period-of-time estimates will make a count of persons experiencing homelessness over an extended period of time” (Dykeman, 2011, p.32). However Dykeman points out, Point-in-time estimates can misrepresent the true number of homeless people, by only counting who are temporarily homeless on a given night (Dykeman, 2011). “Most currently, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (2009) estimates each year, more than 3 million people experience homelessness, including 1.3 million children” (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2011).

11 Medical Care and the Homeless In select areas, grants from the Pew Charitable Trust and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation helped to establish Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) program sites. Currently these facilities are supported by ongoing public and private donations. According to the National Health Care for the Homeless; “Without homes, people experience illness and injury 3 to 6 times more than housed individuals”. Leading to the next statistic, “People experiencing homelessness die an average of 30 years earlier than housed individuals.” (NHCHC, 2012).

12 Education and the Homeless Homeless people are uneducated. True for one third of the homeless population: “ According to scholars who examine the issue, homeless children are disproportionately absent from school compared to housed peers” (Rouse & Fantuzzo, 2009). This perpetuates a cycle that translates directly into the statistic published about homeless adults in1994 “the mean age is 34 years; one third (34%) are married; and their average education is 11 years”, which shows one third never graduate from high school (Zima, Wells & Freeman, 1994).

13 Sources Dykeman, B. F. (2011). Intervention Strategies with the Homeless Population. Journal Of Instructional Psychology, 38(1), National Coalition for the Homeless. (2011, March). How many people experience homelessness? Retrieved from less.org/factsheets/index.html Nooe, R. M., & Patterson, D. A. (2010). The Ecology of Homelessness. Journal Of Human Behavior In The Social Environment, 20(2), doi: / Zima, MD, MPH, B., Wells, MD, MPH, K., Freeman, PhD, H., (1994). Emotional and Behavioral Problems and Severe Academic Delays among Sheltered Homeless Children ​ in Los Angeles County. American Journal of Public Health. Retrieved on March 15, ​ 2012 from :http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/ /A JPH

14 Sources… continued Shi, Leiyu & Stevens, Gregory D. (2010). Vulnerable Populations in the United States. Second Edition, Jossy Bass, San Francisco, CA. Gelberg, L., Leake, B., Lu, M. C., Andersen, R., Nyamathi, A. M., Morgenstern, H., & Browner, C. (2002). Chronically Homeless Women's Perceived Deterrents to Contraception. Perspectives On Sexual & Reproductive Health, 34(6), 278. NHCHC. (2012, january 17). National health care for the homeless council. Retrieved from Images from various sources on the World Wide Web


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