There are so many children who are homeless each year with their families. Lucy Smith is one such child. She lives in a car with her mother after they lost their home. This past August, when the back to school lists came out, her mother couldn’t even afford to get her all the supplies she needs. Children at school make fun of her for being homeless and Lucy’s teacher kept asking her where her supplies were. Every morning, they go into a store to use the bathroom to get ready for the day. At least three nights a week, they try and go to a friend’s house to take a shower and wash their clothes. Her mother is looking for a job, ...view middle of the document...
An article called “Dehumanization: What causes homelessness” found that many homeless families have no support system, or a very limited support system. If something happens to most of us, there are family and friends around to help. We take that for granted. But a lot of homeless families are far away from their families and can get no help. Some people will say that isn’t true. Let me tell phrase it differently. Most homeless families may have a support system around, but they, generally, aren’t in a position to help others. Go talk to any homeless person and, most likely, they’ll tell you the same thing. For example, my mother and I were homeless last year. We have no family around other than my brother in Rantoul. He only has a GED and works as a Burger King GM. That income is the only thing supporting himself, his wife, and his child. He couldn’t give us any help when he was struggling too.
There is also a lack of programs for homeless families. There are only two shelters to help the homeless in Bloomington-Normal. The shelters are often overcrowded; therefore, many families in need get turned away. In addition, the Home Sweet Home Mission website says that you are required to have a valid photo ID to gain admittance. If you have no home then it is almost impossible to get a valid ID. In short, the causes of homelessness build on each other and make the situation worse.
In Bloomington-Normal, we have two major shelters to help the homeless. One is the Salvation Army shelter, which is called Safe Harbor. According to the Salvation Army website, they primarily serve single men and women, although, they do accept some families. They recently opened a new shelter that enables them to serve women and families because they were unable to before. Most people at Safe Harbor work with a case manager to help move them towards self-sufficiency. They also try and help residents overcome the barriers that caused them to be homeless in the first place.
Another shelter that we have in Bloomington-Normal is Home Sweet Home. According to the Home Sweet Home website, they try and have private rooms for families with children. They also have dormitory style rooms for single men and women with some beds reserved for veterans. The only problem is that they only have around 90 beds available and the number of people needing them is usually much greater. People also have to leave their rooms during the day because they limit the amount of time you can be in them. The need for both of those shelters is far greater than what they can provide.
A third program that exists is Project Oz. According to their website, their aim is to serve teens in the community with many programs for homeless teens. They have host families that provide temporary, emergency shelter for homeless/runaway teens. They also have a transitional housing program for homeless teens that seeks to reunite them with their families or get them into permanent housing. Then they have a...