When you consider the homeless, what do you think they are like? (You do think of people who have no homes, right?)
Here is a statistical profile of the homeless in my local area:
- 32% of the adults are employed
- 37% are children
- 27% of the households are headed by single parents (implying that 63% are two parent households)
- 30% have education beyond high school
- 24% experience chronic homelessness (implying that 76% are short-term and correctable)
- 11% of homeless adults were homeless as children
No one can fix the problem of homelessness alone, but together we can make a difference. Click To TweetThe first four stats are surprising, not fitting most people’s stereotypical views of homeless demographics.
The last two figures are also appalling, showing that for some, homelessness is pervasive and even generational. Of course, the flipside of that is that for most, homelessness is a temporary condition that can be overcome. The more help that is available, the quicker they are able to get back on their feet, again providing for themselves.
Those of us with homes can express gratitude for our own shelter by helping those without homes to get turned around. This can easily be done by supporting and volunteering at churches, para-church organizations, non-profits, and government agencies that help feed, house, transport, train, and support the homeless as they work towards reversing their situation.
From a practical standpoint, what can we do? We can volunteer our time, we can donate money to worthy causes, and when can lend our voice for advocacy.
No one can fix this problem alone, but by working together we can make a difference.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.