Enlightening the Community on how to help the Homeless

Enlightening the Community on how to help the Homeless

Which individual living on the street is a Chronicle? If we want to turn our dreams into reality and live life to the fullest, New York is the place to do it. Indeed, there is a fantastic quality that comes with living in the city. However, there is a side of town that people were trying to avoid, and the city’s beautiful light concealed it; this side of town is where the homeless people are. Homelessness is an issue in most of the country’s main metropolitan areas since the cost of living is high and there is competition for available employment. Unpredicted events, such as job loss and the resulting inability to cover basic requirements like shelter and food, will often only cause a person to experience homelessness once in their lifetime. In most situations, a person will never experience homelessness again. Most individuals, however, can triumph over this obstacle and resume living on their own when they have the assistance of close friends and family members. The condition of those homeless on a long-term basis is heartbreaking since it is not only a moment captured in time but rather the narrative of people whose mental illness or addiction has caused them to be permanently excluded from society. If the community does not intervene to assist, they will be compelled to spend the rest of their lives on the streets. As a consequence of this, the majority of people who are now homeless will most likely develop persistent problems if they do not get the appropriate therapy.

The number of people living in New York City has reached its greatest level since the 1930s. Second, according to a study by the “Coalition for the Homeless” in 2020, 56,849 people lived on the streets in December. Among them were 18,099 children. This percentage is shockingly high, considering that just 30 percent of people have access to adequate shelter every night. Most of them are forced to spend the night in uncomfortable places like the subway, parks, and even on the sidewalk. The initiative to construct enough Housing that is both inexpensive and provides shelter by the year 2024 has been initiated by the city of New York. This initiative will provide a solution for people looking for a place to live. Nevertheless, the majority of those who are homeless have problems with addiction as well as health problems. These problems require more care than just providing a place to eat and sleep and greater concentration on a one-to-one basis.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, in 2020, people of color will continue to be disproportionately represented among New York City’s homeless population due to mental illness and financial hardship. 57% of the population is black, 32% is Hispanic or Latinx, 7% is white, less than 1% is Asian-American or Native American, and 3% is of an unknown race or ethnicity.

Homeless people with chronic diseases have a high risk of returning to their old status if they do not get essential assistance. The Community continuously provides this assistance. “Volunteers of America” (VOA), a foundation that does not want to generate a profit, assists individuals in a secure and healthy atmosphere. VOA illustrates that assisting people in changing their behaviors and gaining confidence may assist them in making a better future for themselves. A better example of this comes from the Voice of America, which tells the story of a young man named Warren. Warren’s family had issues, which compelled him to relocate to a shelter for homeless families. Since then, Warren has had issues with substance misuse, legal issues, and the law. With the assistance of the one-of-a-kind program Synergy for adolescents who are at risk, offered by the Voice of America, Warren will have the opportunity to get back on his feet in one year. He will be able to secure a full-time job with benefits and begin attending college.

According to an article that can be retrieved from the New York Post (2015), in 2020, begging for money in New York was to become a legitimate job, which would not improve the situation for those in need of assistance. The article further says, “After being without a home for three years, Andersen can now rent a room in wood because he makes much money from panhandling. He said that the sole reason he was on the street was to receive charity.” Giving money out “at random” is not the answer to the problem of homelessness in the Manhattan area, as this should be the eye opener make to the Community.

We all have probably worked or gone to school with someone who has experienced homelessness. Many individuals today struggle to afford necessities like food and shelter. Reading Eighner, L.’s (homeless) blog will give you a new perspective on how someone who normally works in an apartment might find themselves eating trash to live. According to the author, “there are three rules to eating safely from dumpsters: utilizing your senses and common sense to judge the state of the discovered items; knowing the dumpsters of a specific location, and checking them periodically” (Eighner, 2013).

In order to have a better understanding of how to aid someone who is struggling and is forced to live on the street, we need to know what to say to a homeless person and what not to say to a homeless person. The majority of people’s response is apathy, and they continue walking. Despite this, the problem will not be solved by doing so. An article written by Winston Ross for the Nations Well makes an effort to explain what should be said and what should not be said. For instance, rather than giving cash, one could say, “I do not have money, but how can I help you?” This approach will enable us to assist in a more meaningful way. A person’s outlook on life may be improved by something as basic as greeting them with a “hello” and “good morning.” Anyhow, there is a statement that should be avoided in order to assist, such as “Get a Job.” Many homeless people have a mental condition that makes it difficult or impossible to have a normal job. Even if someone else has a job, it is not enough to support them.

As was said in the preceding paragraph, homeless people need more than simply the occasional donation of spare change from a well-meaning passerby. Additionally, there are situations when one could make a mistake. In an editorial titled “Should, we give money to the homeless people?,” which can be accessed on the internet and was written by Derek Thomson; the author argues that donating money directly to homeless people is ineffective for an organization that helps people get off the street. Derek Thompson also made the startling assertion that “alcohol and drug abuse, rather than a lack of funds, is the primary cause of homelessness in six out of 10 cases.”

Perpetual homelessness is a public health risk and financial burden until we can find a way to end it and begin implementing these programs in communities. Some estimates place the annual cost to taxpayers of not helping a chronically homeless person to find Housing at $30,000 to $50,000, as stated in the report “Ending Chronic Homelessness in 2017.” (Perkins, 2016). By ending chronic homelessness, we can assist these folks to turn their lives around and become contributing members of society, which will benefit everyone. Many people who are chronically homeless might benefit from monetary or material donations. To have the greatest effect on the chronically homeless population, however, it is necessary to work to pass legislation and implement established support programs such as Housing first.

Each Community and city need to take a unique strategy and provide the required assistance. The first line of defense against this issue is information and education. There is no short-term fix; the first stage, which requires the Community’s dedication and the backing of the state, is to commit. The city of New York continues its work despite the pandemic, which did not contribute to the resolution of the issue but did make it worse. Nevertheless, at the beginning of 2021, a new light was on the horizon. The city is better prepared than ever to achieve results and provide the assistance the homeless population needs.

Table of Contents


Eighner, L. (2013). On dumpster diving. New England Journal of Public Policy,24(1), 87–95. Retrieved 24th October 2018, from. http://search.ebscohost.com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login.aspx? direct=true&db=bth&AN=91568239&site=eds-live

Finding Stability after Foster Care: Volunteers of America. https://www.voa-gny.org/stories/two-brothers-find-stability

5 Ways Schools and Communities Can Support Homeless and…. https://educationpost.org/5-ways-schools-and-communities-can-support-homeless-andfoster-care-youth/

National Coalition for the Homeless. http://nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/minorities.html

Perkins, M. C. (2016). Ending chronic homelessness: Federal strategy and the role of   permanent supportive Housing. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Retrieved from. http://search.ebscohost.com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1258704&site=eds-live

This bum boasts he makes $200 an hour panhandling. https://nypost.com/2015/11/11/this-bum-boasts-he-makes-200-an-hour-panhandling/


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