March 28, 2013

ImageI am often asked “why do families become homeless?” Family homelessness is caused by a combination of lack of affordable housing, the changing demographics of families, domestic violence, and or  fractured social supports.  Housing costs often outpace wages. Actually, a full time employee earning minimum wage cannot afford even a one bedroom at the Fair Market Rent anywhere in the United States! Nationally, a full time employee must earn 18.32 dollars an hour to afford a two bedroom. Many head of households do not have a high school diploma or GED, therefore their earning potential is very limited. The vast majority of homeless parents what to work but barriers such as transportation, education or life skills prevent them from successfully achieving gainful employement.  Many homeless adults were homless as children.

The second question people ask is “how can I help?” The most important way that you can help is by understanding and getting to know families who are experiencing homelessness. The second most important thing you can do is volunteer to mentor families and support them to achieve their goals and dreams. The last thing is to support a homeless shelter with your money. Emergency Shelters are on the front lines in breaking the cycle of homelessness.

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