Homeless veterans are more likely to die on the streets than non-veterans
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

to meet the challenges of our times

to meet the challenges of our times
You have a right to live. You have a right to be. You have these rights regardless of money, health, social status, or class. You have these rights, man, woman, or child. These rights can never be taken away from you, they can only be infringed. When someone violates your rights, remember, it is not your fault.,I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for one self, one's own family or one's nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace


Monday, February 29, 2016

Why Don't Homeless People Just Get Jobs?

Why Don't Homeless People Just Get Jobs?

Find out why ending homelessness isn't as simple as just getting a job.
Find out why ending homelessness isn't as simple as just getting a job.

It seems like any homeless person could easily get a job and get a home, right? So why don't they just get jobs and get apartments?

There are many assumptions about homeless people. Perhaps the most common is that they are too lazy to work. Having been there myself and having worked with many others in the same situation, I have to say that for the vast majority the assumption that they are all lazy is dead wrong.
Many homed people look at the horrible lives of people living on the streets and ask why on earth a person wouldn't do something to help themselves in that situation. They ask the question, "Why don't homeless people just get jobs?" Oddly enough, they don't usually seem to also wonder if jobs are available and if there are any barriers to getting a job without having a home or an address.
I built this page to answer that question, to dispel a few more myths, and to drive home the reality that it is something that happens which no one deserves or asks for.

Men at work
Men at work

Many Homeless People Have Jobs Already

Despite having a job, people still can still lose their homes or be unable to afford housing

One reason someone without housing may not be looking for a job is that he may already have one or more already. Normally, from one third to one half of the homeless population is employed. During the current economic situation (and due most likely to many recently un-housed due to mortgage foreclosures), in some cities well over half of their homeless population has jobs. Nationwide, employment rate is about 44% for people without homes. Keeping in mind how many are elderly, children, disabled, or mentally ill that's a pretty high percentage.
This might lead you to ask why these people are without housing if they have jobs. Many are working at minimum wage jobs, jobs which don't provide enough to pay for basic living expenses in many parts of the country. Also, many of them are underemployed; they don't get enough hours of work to pay the bills. In fact, some people who work for low wages lose their homes when company cutbacks cut their hours. There are working people all around you who are living in cars, in shelters, or in no housing at all.
So why don't they just get more work, work two or three jobs at a time? Many of them do. But a cluster of minimum wage jobs at a few hours a week doesn't generally get them very far. Getting enough hours with multiple jobs can be very difficult as well. To make multiple jobs work, employers have to be willing to work with a schedule which accommodates their employee's other jobs.Finding two (much less more) employers willing to work around other work schedules is difficult enough, but each added job makes finding and keeping a balance even more difficult. It is an extremely rare employer who is willing to schedule an employee around that employee's schedule at another job.
I've worked as many as five part time jobs at a time, which averaged me around a 65-70 hour work week. I had a home and a phone and it was still difficult to keep up the schedule juggling. Eventually, I was forced to cut back to three jobs because of employers unwilling to work around other work schedules. I only worked one full time position plus odd jobs when I was without housing, though not from lack of looking for additional work, which brings me to my next point. It's hard for homeless people to get hired, for multiple reasons.

Jobs Provide Money But Money Alone Isn't Enough To Rent An Apartment

What?!? That's right, money alone is not enough to rent most apartments. To get into most apartment complexes, applicants must have a good credit historyand have a job at which they earn at least three times as much as the monthly rent.
So while a person might be able to afford to rent an apartment working a minimum wage job by sticking to a very strict budget, most apartment complexes will not rent to him. A very modest one bedroom apartment might only cost $650 a month in budget housing but those who rent it must earn at least $1950 a month in most cases.
I recently helped friends fill out paperwork to move into a budget apartment complex and the requirement on their paperwork read that the rent must not exceed 30% of the applicants' combined income. So their $700 a month apartment requires them to earn at least $2,333 per month.
Co-signers could be of help, unfortunately, the combined income of the renter and the cosigner usually have to equal at least five times the monthly rent.

Yep, You Read That Last Bit Correctly.

That's right, money alone is not enough to rent most apartments.

Working Does Not Guarantee Housing

The Working Poor: Invisible in America
The Working Poor: Invisible in America
Millions of Americans are working but still very poor or living on the street. This book examines the effect of wages that are too low to pay for even minimal living expenses.

photo by Horton Group
photo by Horton Group

They Don't Have Regular Addresses

This is pretty much the definition

A large number of things make homeless people less likely to get hired. Lack of an address can be a huge factor. Many do not have a mailing address they can use on job applications or have the address to a PO Box, Church, or mission to use. Employers are put off by irregular addresses on job applications. Don't kid yourself; many employers would never consider a homeless person for a job opening. They have the same misconceptions about them that everyone else does.
To get past this problem, some people lie on applications or find a homed friend to provide an address for them. But this presents its own problems. Once caught in this lie, some employers are less than understanding.

Some Employers Will Not Consider Unemployed Job Applicants - ...not even those with homes

If your company downsizes and you become unemployed, you may be unable to find a job that accepts applications from people not currently working. Obviously, don't assume this is the case.
photo by Ilker
photo by Ilker

The Poor Economy Affects Everyone

And creates tougher competition for jobs

With America's unemployment rate still pretty high while coming out of a recession, this should come as no surprise. .
With job openings being rare (and often requiring advanced degrees for even general labor jobs) and many people being available to fill them, employers will understandably be choosier than during better times. Homeless applicants will go to the bottom of the application pile for numerous reasons.
Not only that, but many businesses have become less flexible in scheduling because they can get away with it when people are desperate for employment. A business can require employees to have unlimited availability even if those employees are not full time. That means employees of such businesses cannot get another job to work in addition to the one they already have.
photo by Eric Ortner, freeimages.com
photo by Eric Ortner, freeimages.com

Many Don't Have Reliable Phones

It's hard to even have a charged mobile phone without somewhere to plug it in

When choosing between applicants that can be contacted by phone and those who can't, most employers won't even bother to contact those who can't for an interview. This makes having a $25 pay-as-you-go phone a life saver for many.
I've seen a number of people on the Internet "loudly" complaining about homeless people with cell phones. Perhaps if they knew that a cell phone is often a their only way to get a job, they might stop the complaining. Then again, maybe not.
photo by Shan Dun, freeimages.com
photo by Shan Dun, freeimages.com

It's Hard to Stay Clean and Neat

The standard of cleanliness required of job applicants can be unattainable for some

I can almost hear the objections now. I've seen the suggestion that people just don't try hard enough to stay clean and well groomed. But ponder this - do you honestly think that you could show up to a job interview with a tidy haircut, a pressed suit and tie, shined shoes, a shower fresh smell and a clean shave without a barber, a bathroom, an iron and a closet? For women it's also complicated by social requirements to wear make-up to an interview.
image by Billy Alexander
image by Billy Alexander

Many Homeless People Have Gaps in Their Employment History

This is pretty unsurprising considering that gaps in employment are often the cause of their situation

Many applications require an explanation for all gaps in employment. So the homeless person can either lie or tell the truth. If he or she tells the truth, the cat is out of the bag and the prospective employer will know the applicant is homeless with all of the baggage and potential for discrimination that entails. If the job applicant lies, he will eventually get caught in the lie and have to face the consequences.
Even if the period of unemployment was caused by corporate downsizing few employers care to hear explanations.
photo by Sanja Gjenero, SXC
photo by Sanja Gjenero, SXC

Homeless People Have Lousy Credit Ratings

Maintaining a great debt to income ratio is not easy when you live in a tent

In many states, it's perfectly legal for employers to run a credit check on job applicants and disqualify those with poor credit ratings. As you can imagine, not having an address nor recent income, and probably past evictions and medical bankruptcies or past due bills on your record destroys your credit rating.
I doubt there are many, if any, homeless people with sterling credit ratings.

No One Can Get What Doesn't Exist

There are more people than jobs. Where are all these jobs for homeless people supposed to come from?
photo by Agata Urbaniak
photo by Agata Urbaniak

Many Homeless People Don't Have Cars

For some, it's a home on wheels but many don't have even that

Many job applications state up front that applicants must have their own, dependable transportation. Sometimes this can be the bus but if work hours are irregular and begin before buses start running or after they have stopped, it means owning your own vehicle.
And even for those public transportation such as the bus would work for, they may not have the money to pay for the fare.

Are All Homeless People Just Lazy?

Do you believe that homeless people choose to be without housing by not being employed and that they could all have homes if they just got jobs?
Giving the Gift of a Warm Meal
Option PayPal
Option 2
Mail your Donation to 3952 willow ave,Bemus Point NY,14712
Care of Suzanne D Button Project manager

No comments:

Post a Comment