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  • Larissa Martin

How We Can Help Solve The Homelessness Crisis In America

Homelessness has been an issue for decades — but in America, it seems to only be getting worse. We’ve made progress in trying to combat the issue, but we still don’t have our homelessness crisis solved, and the current issues that the homeless face impact countless people.  

In America, 23,582,462 individuals experience homelessness, and sadly, that number is increasing daily. Since the 2020 census, an additional 2,000 people lost their homes.

This means that now, for every 10,000 Americans, 18 are homeless. 

Homelessness is difficult to solve, but fighting this issue begins with no longer stigmatizing people experiencing homelessness. Many people ignore the unhoused people they encounter instead of taking small steps to help them, perhaps because of the stereotype that most homeless people have substance use disorders. It’s important to remember that not everyone is lost for the same reasons, and people who struggle with addiction need support and love, too. Giving the homeless meals or snacks may not solve the homelessness problem as a whole.

Still, it may encourage others to work on this issue and support people experiencing homelessness as well.

Part of the reason that we have so many homeless people in this country is that the issue has multiple causes, which makes it complex and challenging to solve. Financial struggles, rising living costs due to inflation, addiction, and mental health challenges all contribute to the amount of people living on the streets or in their cars. Our country needs to set aside funding to build homeless shelters, affordable housing units, and public places where people experiencing homelessness can clean up for job interviews.

Hosting job fairs on the streets could also help homeless people connect with potential employers without having to spend on transportation, and those fairs could offer hotel vouchers to give homeless people a place to shower and rest before their interviews. And, of course, we also need to pass laws that decrease mental health and addiction treatment costs so that people experiencing homelessness who struggle with mental illness or substance use have access to resources that can help them heal. Setting unhoused people up with affordable or accessible doctors, therapists, and caseworkers could help get them back on their feet.

These solutions will take time to implement, and they likely won’t solve everything, but they would be a necessary start for reducing homelessness. If people experiencing homelessness had access to affordable housing, plentiful employment opportunities, and free medical care, many of them might be able to leave life on the streets behind them. Homelessness is so prevalent in America that those of us with homes and adequate employment don’t give it a second thought — but we need to because it could end up happening to any of us.

Photo by Ev on Unsplash


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