Homelessness is one of the most significant challenges facing the American society (Baumohl, 16). The problem has been so much worse over the decades. The US governments have not done enough to eradicate the problem in the country. There are several causes of homelessness condition in the country. For example lack of affordable housing system, drug abuse among the people as well as mental problem features prominently as one of the causes of homelessness in America. According to Todd, to ascertain the exact number of homeless people is quite difficult due to their nomadic behavior (2).
Factors making people to be homeless
Global economic crisis
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In America, it has become a great challenge to own a house despite being one of the American dream. This is because the economic crisis has made houses to be very expensive thereby blocking many people from owning homes (Todd, 28). According to The National Coalition for the Homeless, 2006 as cited by Donley, “the two main causes of homelessness in America are the increasing lack of affordable rental housing coupled with an increasing poverty” (9). Towards this, many people have cannot afford to satisfy other urgent needs like food and still save to buy a house. It is also evidence that banking systems have also set a high requirement for most middle class segment to acquire a mortgage. The global economic crisis has resulted in inflation which in turn has made home expensive for many people. The end result is that most people become homeless. This is because they sell their houses to cater for other immediate needs. The unemployment rate in the country has increased thereby making it difficult to own homes. The crisis has been fueled by the recent global economic recession.
There is a heated debate on whether there is a correlation between poverty and homelessness. While it can be argued otherwise, it is prudent to note that poverty is responsible in causing homelessness since poor people cannot afford to pay for housing (Gray-Garcia, 10). The global economic crisis has made many people in America to find it difficult to own a home. There has been a failing mortgage market which made most people lose their homes. Despite the fact that America is one of the richest country in the world, there are people who are still poor (Robinson, 31). In this case it becomes quite difficult for this group of people to rise above the odds and buy homes. Therefore they are homeless and ignored by the society.
Decline in public assistance
The reduction in the value and availability of government assistance is another factor that leads to increasing poverty and homelessness. The economic crisis has made it difficult for the government to come up with policies and programs geared towards helping the homeless people (Pardeck, & Rollinson, 71; Bringle, 11). Therefore, people who are challenged economically in the society find it difficult to find affordable housing.
Mental Illness: Mental illness is also a factor which contributes to homelessness in the US (Gray-Garcia, 12). Mental illness makes an individual to lose the capacity to engage in meaningful work. Towards this, most mentally challenged individuals are more likely to be homeless in the community. Mental illness makes most affected people not like home environment. Therefore, most of them move out of the city anywhere apart from home. Consequently they become homeless. Furthermore, people with mental disorders are majorly isolated in special treatment facilities for a long time. This isolation in itself renders them homeless in the society. There are also special conditions of individuals who develop certain types of mental disorder, which changes their perception about the real world.These types of mental disorder can sometimes be treatable at the start, but sometime the affected people never realize the magnitude and seriousness of the problem. Moreover, there are other cases in which the victims of mental illness may have been resulted by a shock in his or her life. For instance,loss of a close relative, a lover and so on. This shock kind of shock can make an individual to start isolating himself or herself from the rest hence become homeless.
Drug addiction and disorders
The correlation between addiction and homelessness is sophisticated and controversial. Available research study depicts that several people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs never become homeless, but individuals who are poor and addicted are on the increase and are at risk of being homeless. Drug abuse is one a leading factor responsible for homelessness in America.The is an increasing number of people using drugs in the society. The use of drugs such cocain and many others is a costly lifestyle to maintain. Therefore, most drug addicts are liable to be broke after a long time of addiction. In fact, the negative effects that the drugs have on the addicts are what causes most of them to become homeless. The drug menace has become a grave concern among most governmental authorities. Therefore, in many affected societies, since drug addicts tend to have misplaced priorities when it comes to planning for their money, governments have come up with initiatives to cater for them.
Poor management of veteran affairs
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have emphasized the focus on the needs of veterans, especially the homeless veterans. A number of factors such as the recent economic downturn have exacerbated the problem of the rising number of the homeless population, including veterans. One of the main objectives of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to end the problem of veteran homelessness by 2015. The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to “fulfill President Lincoln's promise to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans” (VA, 11). The Department therefore seeks to offer a variety of services such as health services, a range of benefits and related social services and burial and memorials to its eligible members. The realization of the broad objectives of the department calls for efficient management and coordination of the diverse department of the organization.
Failures of Department of Veteran in the US
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one of the biggest departments in the US. It is government-managed military veteran welfare system with the rank of Cabinet status. Department of Veterans Affairs is the United States government’s second biggest department, after the Department of Defense. The department commands a considerable large amount of budget. For instance in 1999 its budget allocation was about $87.6 billion. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employs many people who are working in several of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, clinics, and benefits offices. The department is responsible for implementing programs which are geared towards enhancing the welfare of veterans and their families, as well as survivors.
It is prudent to note that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began in 1636 by the Plymouth colony who first cared for veterans. The department has over the period grown to accommodate several programs which are meant not only to benefit veteran and their families, but also appreciate their efforts in standing strong to defend the nation. Currently the department is headed by retired army General Eric Shinseki. He is the seventh Secretary of Veterans Affairs having been unanimously confirmed by the Senate. The Department of Veterans Affairs is mandated to provide benefits and health care services to the veterans of the United States military. The department’s main aim includes restoring the capabilities of disabled veterans and helping the veterans to cope with civilian life. The department like many other organizations face financial problem to enable it cope with the rising needs of the ever increasing number of veterans in the country. It is an interesting thing this research found is that Despite the fact that this department is one of the oldest, veterans still face many problems which not a health problem but also housing.
Indeed, the effective management and coordination of diverse departments within large institutions has become a major priority for all organizations of all sizes in the different industries and markets. The reasons for this are certainly clear; effective coordination of various functional departments of an organization is positively correlated with the capacity of an organization to achieve higher levels of performance. However, the efficient management and coordination of diverse units and sub departments of a large organization can present challenges, especially in the case where managers are unable to develop an effective communication culture. One major limitation that has been presented in both academic and empirical literature is on how to deal with the multifaceted issue of organizational communication, especially where organizations under consideration are large and service oriented.
Prevention of Homelessness
The government is working hard to ensure that employment opportunity is available to all to ensure that homelessness is prevented and controlled (McNamara, 41). In this regard, the government has strengthened strategies which are geared towards reducing the rate of of homelessness in the country. The government has been working hard to ensure that unemployment level is reduced. Policies are have also been designed to address the issues of Veterans so that they do not become homeless. The federal government should look into ways of reducing the problem of drug abuse in the country. This will go a long way in solving the problem of homelessness caused as a result of drug addiction among the people.
Homelessness is a complex problem caused by several factors for instance, unemployment, lack of affordable homes, illicit drug abuse, mental illness among others. Lack of affordable homes has made it difficult for several middle class to own homes. It is prudent to note that, the condition of homelessness has been made worse by the prevailing economic crisis. The recent financial problem showed that many people are on the verge of becoming homeless due to economic condition. Illicit Drug addiction on the other hand is basically a behavioral challenge that affects people regardless of the victims’ social class.
Homelessness is a very serious problem not only in the US, but also in a cross the globe. This paper takes a critical and succinct analysis and the argument behind the cause of homeless in America. A number of factors have been pointed out as the main cause of the problem. The most important aspect is to join hands and eradicate the situation. It is prudent to note that all the stakeholder should work hard. This will ensure that homeless people are not only given shelter, but their welfare is also looking into. In addition, it is noted that unemployment features prominently as the main cause of homelessness, in this regard, the government should strive to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.