According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) website, “633,782 people experience homelessness on any given night in the United States”(naeh.org).Homelessness has been a national problem in the United States for years, but due to other domestic issues, as a nation we tend to overlook it and go about our daily lives. This could be a potential White Paper, because I would evaluate the social aspects of this domestic issue, and analyze how extensive the issue is, as well as the means to alleviate it.
In this paper, I hope to look into the reasons why people are homeless. Some of the topics I would research would be the lack of attention given to mental illnesses, alcohol and drug addictions, and dysfunctional families. By analyzing how those factors correlate to the homelessness I could come up with possible solutions to improve our system. The National Coalition for the Homeless is another group hoping to advocate for the rights of homeless individuals, as well as find ways to bring about changes within the system. They concentrate in areas involving housing justice, health care justice, economic justice, and civil rights. This organization could be a useful resource to me in determining the legal implications behind homelessness in relation with the government and social aspects. The Coalition addresses that poverty, eroding work opportunities, decline in public assistance, lack of affordable housing, lack of affordable health care, domestic violence, mental illness, and addiction disorders. It seems that all of these other social problems fall under the umbrella of homelessness.
I would also like my paper to evaluate the reasoning why Americans initiate movements to alleviate poverty in other countries, namely underdeveloped nations like India and countries in Africa, yet we do not focus on homelessness domestically. It is no question that the economic crisis in 2008 was a large contributing factor to the homeless rates in the US, along with an ongoing recession, and the recession could have prompted some of those who are homeless now to get to that point. What we need to realize is that almost everyone was affected by the recession. I would like my paper to address how much money we are spending on foreign aid vs. domestic aid. If the numbers are heavily geared toward foreign aid, I plan to analyze the reasoning behind the government’s choice to do so.
Homelessness results from a complex set of circumstances that require people to choose between food, shelter, and other basic needs. Only a concerted effort to ensure jobs that pay a living wage, adequate support for those who cannot work, affordable housing, and access to health care will bring an end to homelessness. My White Paper will discuss both the problems and possible solutions that will go into alleviating the social issue of homelessness in the US.