The Public Needs to Know
By: Drea Johnson
February 24, 2013
The homeless population in America, as well as the metro Atlanta region is not what it used to be 20 years ago. The Giving to Live organization is working hard and often to see that the rate continues to decrease as well as offer up as much help as they can to take care of those who are still in need. The Giving to Live organization feeds about 50,000 homeless people per year. 40%-60% of those homeless people are employed but cannot afford meals. This organization not only provides food assistance to the homeless but also to others with varying circumstances on a daily basis. This is not an easy task. Several ...view middle of the document...
S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2011)
According to the U.S. economic census reports, 65% of the children in the U.S. are living in poverty with their families, sleeping two or three siblings to one bed and not enough food to eat in their home. (U.S. Census statistics report, Sept 12, 2011). 21% of children in the U.S. are living in homeless shelters, 7% are living unsheltered and unable to access any helpful resources for their situation. (U.S. Census statistics report, Sept 12, 2011) Another 7% are living in hotels and motels because their family cannot afford housing. (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2011)
Poverty Rate of All Persons: 2000 to 2011
Poverty Rate of All Persons
(Table, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2011)
In the article, “Housing Needs in Georgia: How Many and Who?” written by Larry Keating, a director of the City and Regional Planning Program at Georgia Institute of Technology, he states: “Homelessness has a profound impact on the individuals and families it affects including increased health problems, increased mental health problems, difficulty with maintaining employment, separation of families, and so on”.
In this article, he also states that, “Although we can sympathize with people who are in difficult straits, it is fair to ask why homelessness matters to the community at large. Homelessness affects more than just an individual or family. It affects the whole community in a number of ways.”
The facts have been researched and reported that the costs of homelessness include:
* poor educational attainment and development among homeless children
* uninsured medical costs for a population with a high rate of disability
* public safety costs including police and jail costs for offenses such as panhandling, loitering, or vagrancy
* sanitation and litter control in parks and public spaces where homeless people congregate
* high cost of emergency shelters, transitional housing, and supportive services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness
* high cost of crisis services such as emergency room and ambulance services and inpatient hospitalization for acute and chronic health conditions as well as mental health crises
* lost wages and revenue from individuals that would otherwise be able to work if they had a permanent address (Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Homeless in Georgia 2008 brochure.)
Every child needs and deserves a proper balance of food, water, clothing, shelter, education, school supplies and medical necessities to live and when hard working families find themselves in financial crisis there must be someone there to help them, and support them in their efforts to regain a stable life for their dependents. (Hosea Feed the Hungry, 2013)
Our organization helps in the process of providing financial assistance to hard working families and individuals that find themselves in an...