Since 2013, Veterans Project & The Family Assistance Campaign has provided free food assistance to more than 20,000 Veterans and their family members, distributing 445,000 lbs. of food. Feed Our Vets mission is to help Veterans in the United States, their spouses and children, whose circumstances have left them on the battlefield of hunger, and to involve the public in fighting Veteran hunger, through: (1) Community food pantries that provide regular, free food to Veterans and their families, (2) Distribution of related goods and services, (3) Public education and outreach.
Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment
and the other by acts of love. Power based on love
is a thousand times more effective and permanent
then the one derived from fear of punishment.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi
INTRODUCTION TO VETERANS PROJECT & The Family Assistants Campaign.
Monday, February 29, 2016
Why Do People Remain Homeless?
The reasons people become homeless are often quite easy to see but what is a bit less obvious are the things which trap people in chronic homelessness. Even if the root cause is remedied sometimes that person may remain on the street, sometimes for many years.
An unemployed person might find a job, an addict might kick the habit, a disabled person might qualify for Social Security Disability, or a mentally ill person might get successful treatment yet still remain homeless. The purpose of this page is to expose some of those reasons that people may become trapped in deep poverty and live without homes for long periods of time. In it, I try to answer the question of, "Why do people stay homeless?"
Homelessness often worsens mental illnesses to the point that formerly functional people become severely mentally ill. Many who start out mentally sound develop PTSD or other mental illnesses as a result of physical assaults, sexual assaults, sleep deprivation, and exposure to trauma.
Some types of mental illness prevent a person from being employed or in some cases prevent a person from being able to care for himself or even unable to seek help from others.
Some homeless people gain a disability from severe injuries that they cannot get proper treatment for. Assault is often a cause of injury. Head injuries due to beatings or fights are very common. Exposure to the elements can also cause injuries such as frostbite which, if left untreated can lead to the loss of digits, dexterity, or mobility.
Once someone becomes disabled, getting out of homelessness will become extremely difficult.
Many homeless people have an inability to work due to physical or mental disability. Some are so mentally ill that they are not even able to apply for what meager assistance is available to select individuals. Additionally, the Social Security Disability application process is not easy to navigate even if one is emotionally and mentally stable. Without a contact phone and address, it might be impossible.
Additionally, the process of applying for Disability is lengthy. The first rejection usually takes about six months and appeals can take up to a year to get the next rejection. Over two thirds of disabled people who apply for Social Security Disability (and eventually qualify) are rejected the first time they apply. Also, most people wait until they are out of money and have been disabled for some time so they don't have enough savings to live on for the typical one to three year wait for approval. Most Americans don't have enough saved up to survive without new income for even six months, much less three years.
Once they lose their home, people have extreme difficulty jumping through the bureaucratic hoops; they can't be available to wait for a call and don't have a dependable address to get the appointment letters mailed to them. And when SSA makes an appointment for them a hundred miles away, they have no way to get there. People who are already homeless who then become disabled are in an extremely difficult situation.
When I filed for Social Security Disability, there was so much paperwork mailed to me to mail back with more information, each piece extremely time-sensitive. Even having a home, I missed one return by date because the piece of mail requesting the information arrived the day it was due. I was able to call and fax the information the same day but it was a very near thing. A homeless person probably wouldn't have gotten the piece of mail (using a friend's address, general delivery, or a PO Box doesn't lend itself to frequent mail checking) in time and probably wouldn't have access to a fax machine. They also often lose all of their ID and vital paperwork and can't slip a copy in the mail on short notice.
How hard is it to escape homelessness?
The Family Assistants Campaign is nonprofit organization, public partnership dedicated to enhancing services for economically disadvantaged individuals and families , including the homeless, veterans, and at risk youth. In 2013 veterans project was founded and has taken the leadership role to provide services to help families move from poverty to economic mobility. Our hope is that through our program and services those who are impoverished will find sufficient resources for education, health and wellness, spiritual direction, and ultimately economic mobility and self-sufficiency.Knowledge, Education for Your Success