Homelessness in America

Course Name and Number
Homelessness in America is an issue of concern since it has affected a
vast population. Military veterans, children, individuals fleeing
domestic violence, mentally ill and families with children constitute
the homeless in America. This implies that homelessness is an issue that
affects different individuals (Bringle, 2011). Different factors have
contributed to homelessness in America, which include political factors,
social and medical factors, and economic factors. Economic factors
contribute immensely to the situation of homelessness in America such
factors include low incomes, lack of affordable medical care and lack of
affordable housing (Hill & Stamey, 1990). Different interventions from
the state and private entities have been formulated in an attempt to
respond to the issue of homelessness. For instance, different laws and
programs have been formulated and implemented in order to provide a
solution to the homelessness issue. These programs and laws has made the
number of homeless individuals to decline. An increase in the number of
such laws and programs will help in mitigating the number of homeless
individuals further. Thirty years from now, America’s next generation
will view today’s responses to homelessness as just.
There are various responsive programs that tend to alleviate the problem
of homelessness in America. One of the programs is the Homeless Veterans
Reintegration Program (HVRP). This program assists veterans that
experience homelessness in gaining meaningful employment and increasing
the efficiency of cooperation across all programs that serve veterans
experiencing homelessness (Dreier & Appelbaum, 1991). This program is
the only program, which works specifically on issues relating to
employment of veterans that experience the problem of homelessness while
utilizing a client-focused case management model in connecting veterans
with the other social benefits and services (Bringle, 2011). The service
providers implement the following grant funded activities: career
counseling, job placement, workshops and job training among others.
Different case managers work with veterans in ensuring that they access
the full spectrum of majority benefits and education opportunities
available to the veterans from state, federal and local sources.
This program follows virtue ethics since it considers doing rightful
things to the veterans it concentrates more on the welfare of homeless
veterans in obtaining employment, which is considered as one of the ways
through which homeless individuals can get income that can assist them
in becoming independent in obtaining basic wants, thus helps in
mitigating the number of homeless veterans. Besides, this program
follows retributive justice since it focuses on providing what homeless
individuals deserve. Funds are usually distributed to eligible veterans
by the Veterans Employment and Training Services office (McNamara,
2008). This program has led to a reduction in the number of homeless
individuals in America through helping homeless veterans to acquire
employment the acquisition of employment by the homeless veterans
contributes a lot to the financial strength of the homeless veterans. As
a result of the homeless veterans becoming employed, they become
capacitated to afford accommodation. Therefore, the HVRP has led to the
reduction of the homeless individuals (Dreier & Appelbaum, 1991). The
HVRP is a just program since it provides employment services to homeless
veterans that deserve assistance. The distribution of education and
benefit opportunities is available to all the homeless veterans facing
employment issues.
Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) is another program
that responds to the problem of homelessness in America. The FVPSA
provides the chief federal funding stream, which is dedicated to the
support of urgent shelter and supportive services to victims of family
violence, domestic violence, and dating violence. Apart from providing
support to these victims, FVPSA also offers support to dependents of
these victims. Domestic violence is deemed to create vulnerability to
homelessness for children and women having limited economic resources.
Amid mothers having children that experience homelessness, above 80%
have experienced domestic violence previously. Domestic violence entails
the exertion of financial control that leaves victims with few resources
and poor credit. Finding affordable, safe housing is an immense obstacle
that women who experience domestic violence face. However, with the
intervention of FVPSA, domestic violence women with their children are
able to have safe and affordable housing. FVPSA support grants to
territories, states, domestic violence coalitions and tribes.
Through the state and territorial grants, domestic violence coalition
grants, and tribal grants, the FVPSA make it feasible to reach the
target groups. The three grants have varied appropriations, which make
it effective in distributing resources to the target groups. The target
groups of the FVPSA are former and current domestic victims together
with their dependents, victims in need of technical assistance, and the
entire community that deserve education and awareness regarding domestic
violence and the related issues (Quigley et al, 2001). The FVPSA follows
virtue ethics and retributive justice since it focuses on the needs of
individuals and concentrate on doing the rightful thing rather than
doing wrong. Through providing education on awareness of domestic
violence and providing support to the domestic violence victims and
their dependents is a rightful action, which FVPSA provides. The
services provided by the FVPSA are just since it does not concentrate on
providing its services to one area or region, but it is diverse.
Besides, the target group does not only comprise of the current domestic
violence victims, but also provides support to former victims and
dependents of domestic violence victims. In addition, the FVPSA is just
because it focuses on benefiting the entire community rather than a
given region or tribe. One of the consequences of this response is the
creation of a well educated community regarding domestic violence and
associated issues through the response’s action of creating domestic
violence awareness. Another consequence of this response is the
mitigation of homeless domestic violence victims and their dependents
through the support services that the response provides.
Another response to the homelessness problem is Grants for the Benefit
of Homeless Individuals (GBHI) program. This program enables communities
to achieve the expansion and strengthening their treatment services for
individuals experiencing homelessness and who also have mental illness,
substance abuse disorders, or both. This response supports programs such
as mental health services, substance abuse treatment, wraparound
services, outreach services, staff training, screening services,
educational services, job training, and relevant housing services.
Affordable, permanent housing that is associated with health,
employment, mental health and other supportive services provide
consumers with a long term community based housing option. Such housing
approach combines housing support and intensive personalized support
services to the chronically homeless victims having substance use
disorders and mental disorders. The grants provided by this response
fund programs, which assist in addressing the complex health
requirements of the chronically homeless population. From the inception
of this response program, approximately 43,819 individuals have obtained
grant-supported services. Thus, reducing the number of homeless
individuals. Under this response program, supportive housing has been
defined to be a housing which is permanent, affordable and associated
with health, employment, mental health and other supportive services,
which provide a consumer with a long term community based housing
option. This program targets homeless individuals having substance abuse
and mental health disorders. The GBHI program follows virtue ethics
since it concentrates on the needs of the individuals with chronic
homelessness issues with mental and substance abuse disorders. The
response also follows retributive justice because chronically homeless
individuals receive support services that they deserve.
This response program is just since it does not only consider providing
housing services, but focuses on providing supportive housing that
combines the services of employment, health, housing and other relevant
issues, which when combined gives a person a long lasting solution to
homelessness. Besides, this response program is just because it does not
consider giving a temporary solution to the problem of chronic
homelessness, but offers a permanent solution to the problem. In
addition, the distribution of resources is through nonprofit entities,
which presents a fair way of distributing funds. The GBHI program leads
to a reduction in the number of individuals facing the problem of
chronic homelessness. In addition, this response program leads to
strengthening of individuals through employment, training, housing, and
health support through the different programs that it offers.
Furthermore, this response program leads to a reduction of the number of
individuals engaging in substance abuse due to its education and
awareness program to individuals abusing or intending to abuse
Other than the above responses to the problem of homelessness, there is
also another response which is Services in Supportive Housing (SSH).
This program was developed in order to assist in preventing or
mitigating chronic homelessness through funding services for persons and
families that experience homelessness and living with substance or
mental disorder. The program addresses the need of having treatment and
provision of services to families and individuals. This program focuses
its attention on service provision in a participant’s housing
facility this is different to different community-level settings.
Because of this, special attention is paid on the quality and quantity
of service provided, which seek in enhancing the functioning level and
extended housing stability for participants. Evidence based practices
are required by this program so as to ensure effectiveness. Besides, the
program’s grantees are also required to have permanent housing
components and funded by other resources. Services, which are supported
under this program entails intensive case management, substance abuse
and mental health treatment, outreach and engagement, and help in
obtaining benefits. However, the program is not limited to the above
The chief target group of this response program entails individuals
experiencing chronic homelessness problems and substance abuse and
mental disorders. The funding of this program is through the Department
of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA). This program concentrates on doing the
rightful thing to the homeless individuals, who have a mental or
substance abuse disorder. Therefore, the response program follows virtue
ethics. The provision of services is not in regard to a certain region
or individual, which indicates that the response program is just.
Besides, the response program is just because it involves nonprofit
entities in the distribution of resources. Furthermore, the program
focuses on offering chronic homeless individuals what they require most
therefore, it follows retributive justice. This response program leads
to a reduction in the number of individuals that have chronic
homelessness. Also, this response program leads to mitigation in the
number of persons engaging in substance abuse.
In addition, responses to the problem of homelessness have been through
development of laws. For example, the development of Homeless Education
Assistance Improvement Act aimed at ensuring that homeless children and
the youths become protected and educated. According to this Act, every
school district should have a liaison officer that looks at the needs of
the homeless students. This Act follows retributive justice since
homeless children and youths are offered support to education and
housing, which is a requirement that they deserve to have. Besides, the
law follows virtue ethics since it concentrates on dealing with
individual problems of homeless children and youths. In distributing the
resources, the law provides an effective guide, which depicts that the
law is just. In addition, the law is just since it ensures that homeless
youths and children get an opportunity to learn and have proper housing.
These are basic wants, which homeless children and youths may not get
however, because of this law, children and youths have an access to
proper housing and education. This response has led to a decline in the
number of homeless children and youths in America. The response has also
increased the number of homeless children and youths that receive
education and become independent.
Furthermore, another response entails Homelessness Prevention and Rapid
Rehousing Program (HPRP). This program offers homelessness prevention
help to households that could become homeless, and offers rapid
re-housing help to individuals that are homeless as defined under the
Homeless Assistance Act. By the conclusion of 30th September 2012, the
program had prevented approximately 1.3 million individuals from
becoming categorized as homeless through the programs funding. The
grantees for this program are usually eligible in different activities,
which include administrative costs, data collection and evaluation,
housing relocation and stabilization services, and financial assistance.
This response program follows virtue ethics since it concentrates on
doing the rightful thing of supporting the homeless individuals
therefore, it concentrates on solving problems affecting homeless
individuals. Besides, this response follows retributive justice since it
focuses on providing support to homeless individuals based on what they
deserve. The response is just because it does not seek to favor a
certain group or certain individuals, but seeks to cater for the
homeless individuals without regard to what makes individuals become
homeless. This response program has led to a reduction in the homeless
individuals. Besides, this response program has led to preventing
individuals from becoming homeless.
Homelessness is a major problem facing Americans. Poverty emerges as the
dominating factor in leading to homelessness. In order to alleviate the
number of individuals experiencing homelessness, different state and
private actors must recognize that homelessness is an issue that
requires different interventions which can be through the creation of
laws, policies and programs that focus on alleviating the problem
(Dreier & Appelbaum, 1991). The existing interventions have made an
attempt to mitigate the problem, but there is a need to come up with
other responses that will help in alleviating the problem further.
Thirty years from now, the American generation that will follow will
view the current responses as just since they involve the guidance of
laws in their implementation and are not skewed.
Bringle, J. (2011). Homelessness in America today. New York, NY: Rosen
Dreier, P. & Appelbaum, R. (1991). American Nightmare: Homelessness.
Vol. 34 (2), pp. 46-52.
Hill, P. R. & Stamey, M. (1990). Journal of Consumer Research: The
Homeless in America: An Examination of Possessions and Consumption
Behaviors. Vol. 17 (3), pp. 303-321.
Kryder-Coe, J. H., Salamon, L. M., Molnar, J. M., & Johns Hopkins
Institute for Policy Studies. (1991). Homeless children and youth: A new
American dilemma. New Brunswick, N.J., U.S.A: Transaction Publishers.
McNamara, R. H. (2008). Homelessness in America. Westport, Conn:
National Alliance to End Homelessness (n.d). Retrieved from HYPERLINK
“http://www.endhomelessness.org/” http://www.endhomelessness.org/ .
National Healthcare for the Homeless Council. (2011). Criminal justice,
homelessness & health.
Quigley, M.J., Raphael, S. & Smolensky, E. (2001). Homeless in America,
Homeless in California. Vol. 83 (1), pp. 37-51.

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