Communities Are Taking the Wrong Approach to Homelessness

In America today, homelessness is indeed a very real problem. This is something that is getting more and more attention as the problems of homelessness and crime begin to overlap.

There are multiple communities across the United States in which Americans have found themselves being victimized by criminals committed by homeless individuals.

With more attention being directed toward the homeless, some leaders are taking various measures to fix this problem. These measures include cracking down on tent encampments and barring homeless people from camping out in subways.

Similarly, communities have called for more homeless shelters to be built, along with various programs to get homeless people off the streets.

Still, despite the good intentions of these strategies, they fail to get to the root causes of homelessness, as explained by The Federalist.

The Root Causes of Homelessness in the United States

In today’s world, mental health problems, along with the abuse of various substances, are the underlying reasons for homelessness.

Millions of dollars are going to waste in communities like Seattle and Los Angeles because these root reasons have yet to be addressed.

If America’s leaders are serious about taking on homelessness in America, what needs to go into effect are programs designed to tackle issues like drug abuse, alcohol abuse, mental health struggle and more.

The cause of the problem has to be fixed in order for real change to occur. Thus far, leaders across the nation have been focusing on trying to make the symptoms go away. This doesn’t heal sickness, but only ensures that it continues to get worse and create even more issues.

A Step in the Right Direction?

In Maryland and California, there are various programs, like the Orange County Rescue Mission and Helping Up Mission, that focus on mental health support services.

There is a direct correlation between mental health and employment. Needless to say, both of these things go hand in hand with people being able to support themselves and avoid situations that lead to them living on the streets.

If other communities want to seriously end homelessness, then mental health needs to be the focus of their leaders. This is not something that can occur with federal funding for legal reasons. It can be done with funding from private agencies, though.

Fixing homelessness isn’t something that will take place overnight. However, communities moving from the wrong approach to the right approach is certainly going to be a positive step forward.