Housing the Homeless Essay.

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What is the efficacy of supportive housing for adults experiencing homelessness?

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Homelessness can be described as a state where people are unable maintain and get a regular, secure adequate and safe housing. A homeless person is an individual lacking fixed address, safe, healthy and stable housing for more than 60 days, with a very low income, discriminated negatively against services access, not belonging to any steady social group and with problems of drug and alcohol abuse and mental health (McDonald, 2009).  In America, homelessness is generally seen as a big social problem. It is estimated that persons exceeding 660,000 were homeless in the year 2008. Adults who are homeless have higher chances of suffering from cognitive impairment, and considerably higher chances of drug abuse and mental illness than the overall population. The occurrence of chronic and infectious diseases among the homeless is significantly higher; this leads to higher death rates. Suicide rates among the homeless are also higher than that of the general population (Hawk & Davis, 2010). As a result of their vulnerability, the homeless tend to be frequent or common users of crisis response, systems of public safety and emergency services.


During the past decade, various communities have worked together in order to eliminate homelessness with the help of federal policies. Due to this, the number of adult individuals suffering from homelessness has gone down significantly. According to study, for homeless people, successful recovery requires stable housing especially for individuals with disability. The best remedy for homelessness is supportive housing, this is housing combined with supportive services.  In the US, the main purpose of the program for supportive housing is to establish or develop services and housing that will enable homeless individuals to live an independent life. Under supportive housing, the homeless can access affordable housing and any assistance that they require in order to remain healthy and housed. They are required to part with a third of their earnings, which ensures payment of rent and access to an onsite support by professionals who assist them in overcoming or defeating the challenges that led to their homelessness. Supportive housing started in the 1980s, since then, it has emerged as an effective intervention towards solving the problem of homelessness especially among the vulnerable (Levitt & Jost, 2012). Families and persons coping with addiction, mental diseases, chronic illnesses and trauma tend to benefit greatly from this intervention.


Non-profit organizations own and operate the residencies of supportive housing. The housing they provide is attractive and of high quality, it is designed to improve the self-esteem of the former homeless tenants. The residencies are also equipped with staff that provide support or help in terms of sickness management, acquiring a job, appointment by a doctor, education and dairy routines or tasks. As the most logical intervention, supportive housing provides a solution to an apparently stubborn social difficulty or problem. Though initially designed to help homeless individuals coping with mental disorders or illnesses, today, supportive housing changes the lives of youth maturing out of foster homes, veterans, grandparents taking care of their grandchildren, families under high risks and veterans who are homeless (Levitt & Jost, 2012).


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