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Using Effective Measures To Combat The Occurrence Of Homelessness In The City

1082 words - 4 pages

Using Effective Measures to Combat the Occurrence of Homelessness in the City

The Urban Institute, a policy research organization, estimates that each year over two million people will experience homelessness in the United States. On any given night, approximately 750,000 individuals will be forced to sleep on the streets, in shelters, at campsites, and in cars ("Homelessness"). While the occurrence of homelessness in Tempe seems less severe when compared to the national statistics, it remains a significant problem for the city. During the winter of 1999, the Tempe Community Council noted that between two and three hundred individuals comprised Tempe's homeless population (Navarro).
With the homeless population ever on the rise, the question remains how Tempe can effectively combat homelessnessHomeless individuals find themselves on the streets for many interrelated reasons; the lack of sufficient income, affordable housing and adequate support services are key factors contributing to the rising occurrence of homelessness within the US ("Solutions"). Thus, it is essential to address these factors when considering a permanent solution. The National Alliance to End Homeless has established criteria that compr permanent solutions must:
1) Make support services, providing food, shelter, and healthcare, accessible to individuals who are already homeless. Support services are of invaluable assistance to individuals seeking long-term stability.
2) Help already homeless people into permanent housing. By offering financial assistance and creating additional housing through the rehabilitation of older neighborhoods and the construction of new low-income neighborhoods, the government can make existing housing more affordable.
3) Help homeless people into self-sufficiency through ensuring adequate income. This involves making certain that individuals earn enough money to meet his or her basic needs by providing access to job training for those persons who are able to work and financial assistance to those persons who are unable to work.
4) Develop better public policies and social services to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. This entails guaranteeing access to local support services in order to prevent "at-risk" families and individuals from becoming homelessness.
5) Prevent discrimination by prohibiting laws that discriminate against homeless people, including laws that specifically target homeless individuals or the activities they must engage in because they are homeless ("Homelessness" and "Solutions").

Although the city recognizes that the occurrence of homelessness in Tempe is a growing problem, it has failed to provide ordinances
In 1999, the Tempe Community Council, a partnership between the City of Tempe and the United Way that serves to identify and plan for needed social service programs in the community, recognized that current. Per request of Mayor Neil G. Giuliano, a citizen task force was established...

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