The Homelessness Crisis

Image: Los Angeles Times

Image: Los Angeles Times

Homeless people are on the street in every state and city. You might pass someone on your way to work or the grocery store and not think anything of it, or maybe you do you question their story, why they’re out here and is there anything you can do to help? According to HomeAid America, as many as 3.5 million people are homeless every year and as many as 1 million of those are children. There is truly a homelessness crisis in America. But, what is being done to help these people? And what can you do?

If this crisis is so large and is costing the livelihood of many Americans, is anything being done to help? Well sadly, on a federal legislative level not much is being done in the way of combating the homelessness crisis. However, in Los Angeles, a city with one of the highest homeless rates has started to implement Measure HHH. This plan is to build 10,000 affordable housing units with social services such as counseling, clinics, drug and alcohol treatment, and job training included. In addition to some state programs, many non-profit organizations are popping up all over the country but especially in places like California and New York City to help people affected by this crisis and to help end the crisis altogether. One of these organizations includes the Robin Hood Foundation. Their main goal is to combat poverty in New York City. 100% of their donations go to running projects to address community needs which leads to them saving and changing lives every day. 

Even though there are organizations and foundations doing amazing work to help, you can help as an individual. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter near you, even if it's just for an hour, it still can make a difference. You can also give to the homeless, you don't have to give them money or anything big, it could just be giving them a bottle of water that could help them and make their day. Lastly, you can respect them. The homeless are people just like you and me, just because they are in a bad situation doesn't mean they are bad people. They are still people and they deserve to be treated with respect. I encourage every person reading this to do one of these actions the next time they see a homeless person, you never know how much a simple action could make someone's day or change someone’s life.

Natalie Bronchetti