Homelessness In Nevada. How We Can Improve Their Living Situation? Essay Sample
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The following paper discusses the problem of homelessness in Nevada and possible solutions to improve this situation. There is no particular term for homelessness. The most popular definition is that homelessness is the state when an individual posses no regular home or dwelling. They lack an adequate, regular and fixed night-time residence. The definition varies among different jurisdictions and different countries. There are several places where homeless people can stay, mostly developed, raised and organized by charity companies. These residences usually are a domestic violence shelter, a homeless shelter, a warming center but there are also other spots not that comfortable and appropriate for staying which are cardboard boxes, squatting, a vehicle, tarpaulins or a tent. There is a wide variety of organizations that provide provisions for the homeless for instance The Salvation Army. Such organizations usually provide homeless with shelter, food and clothing. They usually run by either government departments or community organizations with the aid of volunteers. Such organization can be supported by churches, government, charities and finally individual donors.
“Las Vegas has fourth highest rate of homelessness in U.S.” (Kanigher, 2012). It was estimated that 9,432 homeless individuals live in Las Vegas. It also left behind Honolulu, Hawaii with 50 homeless people for 10,000 population (Kanigher, 2012). It was also reported that this crisis should be solved. The best solution is to continue investment into permanent supportive organizations for veteran with disabilities and homeless individuals.
It was estimated “record number of homeless students reported in Nevada schools” (Elkodaily, 2014). Children that are homeless encounter health, safety and education consequences from their absence of housing. The article makes the following statements: “20-40 percent of homeless students were abused sexually and 40-60 percent of them were abused physically in their homes” in addition it was estimated those students with no permanent residence have lower test scores and transfer schools more frequently. It was also found out that homeless youth are more susceptible to sexual trafficking.
Therefore according to the horrible statistic given above the possible solutions to improve homeless students’ situation are the following. Because this particular group is the most vulnerable to human and thus sexual trafficking it is important to provide and spread the information about the possible outcome. If they were aware of being trafficked it would reduce the frequency of such situations. Also due to many students being abused at home local authorities should check this kind of families very often in order to make sure children are not being abused neither sexually nor physically. It is a desperate statistic; therefore the first step to solve this problem should be taken. For instance, to provide Nevada’s homeless youth with the housing assistance they require by passing the Youth and Homeless Children Act.
Accordingly in order to impact the situation of homelessness a community of tiny houses called Opportunity Village was created. It is “ a collaboration between the unhoused and the housed providing safe and stable spots to be through human scales and cost-effective approaches for moving a homeless individual to permanent living conditions” (211Nevada County, 2014). In order to improve the living situation of homeless people a range of services that would assist them should appear.
Not only is it important to help a homeless individual to find a place to sleep or a job but also to assist them psychologically. It is obvious that many of homeless people need psychological help as far as a person becomes damaged, broken and vulnerable due to present absence of normal living conditions. Although there are plenty of temporary shelters for such individuals many of them have been at capacity for months because there are no places available at the moment thus homeless have no choice and sleep outdoors day by day. Therefore it is of vital importance to expand such shelters all over the state so more homeless people were able to stay in at least for a night.
The other solution is to transmit information and awareness of the problem all over the country by for instance creating blogs. It is obvious that nowadays barely everyone uses social networks for everyday interaction thus it would be a good idea to create communities there. Shalin (2004) states “policies aimed to criminalize and stigmatize homelessness are likely to back fire. The state would be wise to search for approaches to make social investments that can decrease the plight of the homeless and face the increasing cost of residence for service workers”.
It is also important to improve availability of substance abuse treatment programs. At the moment there are 330 in-patient beds assigned for treatment of substance abuse in Southern Nevada. For homeless individuals it is problematic to benefit from treatment services. Most of them after being discharged should return outside or to shelters. Different steps should be followed. For instance services between housing providers and treatment programs should be widely supported and availability for homeless should be increased.
And another strategy for improving the living situation of homeless individuals is to enhance their access to dental, vision and medical care services. Very often they experience poor vision and loss of teeth because of lack of access to both vision and dental services. These problems usually lead to reduced employability. Therefore funding and partnership for vision and dental services should be pursued as well as medically frail homeless individuals should be provided with support services.
And the last but not the least the coordination between government and non-profit organizations needs to be enhanced. The available system of service delivery has been criticized as ineffective, duplicative, fragmented and slow to respond. Therefore this issue should be addressed to the regional partners, city planning team and service providers. Strategies of coordination should include a wide range of steps. They are: enhancing education regarding homeless problems, improving cooperation between non-profit and governmental entities, promoting increased collaborations and creating partnerships that are intergovernmental.
In conclusion I would like to add that homelessness is a significant problem we are facing nowadays in Nevada State. Undoubtedly there are no easy solutions to this issue at the moment because one jurisdiction or agency cannot solve it alone. It is a complex process. Faith-based organizations, civic leaders, consumers and businesses, neighborhoods and service providers should work together to facilitate those who need assistance. The aforementioned plans will reduce incidences of homelessness so those individuals with no permanent residence can finally regain self-sufficiency and sense of normalcy. Continuous, comprehensive, and coordinated efforts should be applied in order to lower homelessness. Only by continuing working together, this community and the state itself will significantly lower homelessness in the foreseeable future.
Kanigher S. “Las Vegas has Fourth Highest Rate of Homelessness in U.S”. 08 Feb. 2012. 06 Apr 2015. < http://www.8newsnow.com/story/16698328/las-vegas-has-fourth-highest-rate-of-homelessness>
Elkodaily “Record number of homeless students reported in Nevada schools”. 08 Oct. 2014. 06 Apr. 2015. < http://elkodaily.com/lifestyles/record-number-of-homeless-students-reported-in-nevada-schools/article_6879229a-8bb6-5674-8590-e3c7bafe0d65.html>
211nevadacounty “An ‘Opportunity’ to Impact Homelessness in Nevada City?” 10 Nov 2014. 06 Apr 2015 < http://211nevadacounty.org/category/homelessness-matters/>
Shalin D. “Housing Availability and Homelessness in Nevada”. 5 Nov. 2004. 06 Apr.2015 < http://cdclv.unlv.edu/healthnv/homeless.html>
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