20 نوفمبر

Federal definition of homeless:

  1. an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and
  2. an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is –

A. a supervised publicly or privately operated sheter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill)

B. an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or

C. a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings

Problems with homeless shelters:

-incompatible with working hours

*rigidness: waiting in line, checking in too time consuming

*if 9-5, waiting in line would begin before work ends

*often require AA/drug abuse rehab classes that are during work, regardless of

whether people have drug/alcohol problems or not

-handicap incompatible

*many shelters in old, refurbished buildings

-attract predators; volunteers can’t deal with real violent behavior

-many homeless sick, can’t risk getting sick (tuberculosis)

-check in process often “humiliating and dehumanizing”

-separate families

*women can bring male pre-teens into women’s shelters, but not those 13+

*women and men can’t be in same shelter; husband and wife

*children can’t stay in men’s homeless shelters, leaving single fathers in difficulty

-fear of parasites

*budgets don’t allow for cleanliness; beds seldom changed

*leads to parasites: head lice, pubic lice, scabies

-feel looked down upon because shelter staff assumes homeless are drug addicts,


-danger of theft

-service dogs not allowed

*mobility dogs (help get into wheelchair, up stairs, etc.) or provide assistance for mental conditions (anxiety, agoraphobia)

*Seeing Eye dogs and hearing assistance dogs not allowed if missing paperwork or official harness

-religious differences

“The average length of stay in emergency shelter was 69 days for single men, 51 days for single women, and 70 days for families.  For those staying in transitional housing, the average stay for single men was 175 days, 196 days for single women, and 223 days for families.  Permanent supportive housing had the longest average stay, with 556 days for single men, 571 days for single women, and 604 days for women (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2008).  The homeless population is estimated to be 42 percent African-American, 39 percent white, 13 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Native American and 2 percent Asian, although it varies widely depending on the part of the country. An average of 26 percent of homeless people are considered mentally ill, while 13 percent of homeless individuals were physically disabled (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2008). Nineteen percent of single homeless people are victims of domestic violence while 13 percent are veterans and 2 percent are HIV positive.  Nineteen percent of homeless people are employed.

“In addition, a study of homelessness in 50 cities found that in virtually every city, the city’s official estimated number of homeless people greatly exceeded the number of emergency shelter and transitional housing spaces…

“In a recent approximation USA Today estimated 1.6 million people unduplicated persons used transitional housing or emergency shelters.  Of these people, approximately 1/3 are members of households with children, a nine percent increase since 2007.  Another approximation is from a study done by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty which states that approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year”

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