The month of November has been proclaimed by Governor Nathan Deal as Georgia Homelessness Awareness Month. During this month homeless service providers throughout the state will be promoting a better understanding of what it means to be in situations of homelessness.
The Georgia Alliance to End Homeless works statewide with many of these services to improve the assistance given to clients.
We would like to encourage you in your support of ending homelessness to consider donating to us during our Georgia Gives Day campaign to raise $5,000 to fund programs aimed to assist homeless and low-income youth.
Food security for a families and individuals means access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food security includes at a minimum:
Food insecurity is limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.
Veterans often become homeless as they face challenges in re-adjusting to civilian life. Post-traumatic stress and other mental and emotional conditions are common in veterans returning from combat, but many are not identified and treated. The inability to cope with these conditions, coupled with the difficulties in re-assimilation, often lead to a downward spiral that can result in homelessness.
Many homeless people have problems with drug and alcohol use.
In a 1996 survey, 46 percent of the homeless respondents had an alcohol use problem during the past year, and 62 percent had an alcohol use problem at some point in their lifetime.
About 600,000 families and 1.35 million children experience homelessness in the United States. Family homelessness is more widespread than many think, but it is not an unsolvable problem.
Across the country, hundreds of communities are planning to end homelessness, and a handful of communities and many local programs are making progress in ending family homelessness
Research studies reveal that domestic violence is one of the most frequently stated causes of homelessness for families, with 13 percent of homeless families saying that they had left their last place of residence because of abuse or violence in the household.
Domestic violence victims have both short- and long-term housing needs that must be met so that they do not need to choose between staying with their abuser and sleeping on the street. Immediately, domestic violence victims need a safe place to stay. Ultimately, domestic violence victims need safe, stable, affordable housing. A general supply of affordable housing is crucial to this population so that they can afford to leave the shelter system as quickly as possible without returning to their abuser.
Many chronically homeless people have a serious mental illness like schizophrenia and/or alcohol or drug addiction. Most chronically homeless individuals have been in treatment programs, sometimes on dozens of occasions. The federal government’s definition of chronic homelessness includes homeless individuals with a disabling condition (substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, or chronic physical illness or disability) who have been homeless either 1) continuously for one whole year, or 2) four or more times in the past three years. Research reveals that between 10 to 20 percent of homeless single adults are chronically homeless. This translates into between 150,000 to 200,000 people who experience chronic homelessness. Permanent supportive housing—housing linked with supportive services—is an effective strategy for ending chronic homelessness and it is cost effective.
Although the prevalence of youth homelessness is difficult to measure, researchers estimate that about 5 to 7.7 percent of youth experience homelessness. With at least one million youth on the streets and in shelter—and thousands more leaving juvenile justice, mental health facilities, and leaving foster care systems—the problem of youth homelessness continues to grow.Everyone finds transitioning to adulthood difficult, but homeless adolescents have even greater obstacles to overcome. Stable housing linked with services are critical to helping homeless youth transition to adulthood.