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GEN499 Homelessness Final






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Running Head: HOMELESSNESS 1
General Education Capstone GEN499

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The actual numbers of homeless people in the United States are nearly
impossible to calculate. Unless a person that is experiencing homelessness reaches
out to ask for assistance from the numerous agencies that have been developed to
provide aid there is no accurate method to count the homeless. Many homeless
people live on the streets, under freeway overpasses, in parks, virtually anywhere
he or she can find shelter and hope that he or she is able to stay safe for the night.
While many people believe the homeless are homeless by choice, most are not, or
at least he or she did not start out choosing to be. All people live in America have
the constitutional right to have his or her basic and healthcare needs met. Because
homelessness is considered to be a temporary situation, more resources and funding
are needed to help alleviate the issue. A good majority of the public believes that
most homeless people are homeless by choice.
There are many definitions to describe homelessness. One definition
according Einspar (2010), is that homelessness is described as a lack of permanent
housing that usually results either from an extreme poverty problem or the inability
to have instant access to a living environment which is suitable and ideal for people
to live in. The National Health Care for the Homeless Council (2013) describes
homelessness as follows: “A homeless individual is define in section 330(h)(4)(A)
as an individual who lacks housing (without regard to whiter the individual is a
member of a family), including an individual whose primary residence during the
night is a supervised public or private facility (e.g., shelters) that provide temporary
living accommodations, and an individual who is a resident in transitional
housing.” A homeless person is an individual without permanent housing who may

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live on the streets; stay in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities,
abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situation.
[Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C., 254b].
Literature Reviews
1. Healthcare Treatment Outcomes Among Chronically Homeless Adults
Alvin S. Mares and Robert A. Rosenheck conducted a two-year comparison
study on the treatment outcomes among chronically homelessness adults that
received comprehensive housing and health care services versus usual local care.
Mares and Rosenheck state that more than 600,000 people in the U.S. experience
homelessness in one week, and more than 2 million in any given year. Those
suffering from drug use top out at 26 percent, alcohol abuse is 38 percent, mental
health issues 39 percent, any substance abuse or mental health problems is 66
percent, and those suffering chronic medical problems measured at 46 percent. All
these populations have shown that the challenges of working toward not being
homeless are mainly unable to do so without assistance. The estimated amount of
chronic homelessness is at 10 percent. Mares and Rosenbeck define “chronic
homelessness” as “an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling
condition who has either been continuously homeless for 1 year or more or has had
at least four episodes of homelessness in the past 3 years.”
The Federal Interagency Council on homelessness developed a program
called the Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness (CICH).
There were 11 communities that were chosen to receive monies from a fund to
supply services to the chronic homeless. Through this program the homeless were

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Excellent resource! Really helped me get the gist of things.