Unlike any time in America’s history, today’s homeless are primarily women, children, and families. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of today’s homeless are not the people seen on the street. Today’s homeless are the “Invisible Homeless” who are without a place to live due to unforeseen life circumstances. They are parents who had to choose between paying the rent or paying for a daughter’s medicine. They are mothers who removed their children from abusive fathers. They are parents who lost their job because a manufacturer closed a plant. They are pregnant teens who were thrown out by angry parents. They are emancipated foster youth without a place to live or a means of support. They are senior citizens and veterans who no longer have a family to care for them. They are abused children removed from their homes for their safety. They are victims of natural disasters and other catastrophes.
This population of homeless people needs a temporary home to regroup, catch their breath, and rebuild their lives.
HomeAid San Diego partners with local and national builders, and local homeless service agencies to create a seamless approach to building housing facilities for today’s homeless.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), between 700,000 and 800,000 people are homeless on any night in the U.S., with between 2.5 and 3.5 million people experiencing homelessness during the course of a year.
Research indicates that – of the total population of homeless – 81 percent will enter and exit a shelter quickly, and not return for a prolonged period of time or never return. This population of temporary, or transitional, homeless individuals and families experience a life-altering event (e.g. job loss, natural disaster, divorce, abuse, or medical condition) that drives them to homelessness.
Typically, these temporary homeless individuals and families merely need a second chance to get their feet back on the ground, attain self-sufficiency, and move quickly toward acquiring some sort of permanent housing.
Of the remaining 19 percent of the homeless population, nine percent enter and exit shelters repeatedly, and are referred to as “episodically homeless,” and 10 percent remain in shelters and are part of the chronic homeless population, also referred to as the “hopeless” or “street” homeless.
In a broad sense, today’s homeless refers to all of these populations. While HomeAid serves each of these populations with housing projects across the U.S., the organization’s primary emphasis is the 81-percent of temporary homeless, who are homeless today, but – if we are successful with service providers and community leaders – not tomorrow.
The U.S. Council of Mayors cites a number of diverse and complex factors that contribute to the problems of homelessness. Many of these factors are interrelated. Listed in order of frequency, the following causes were identified by cities surveyed in the Council of Mayors’ 2006 Report on Hunger and Homelessness: mental illness and the lack of needed services, lack of affordable housing, substance abuse and the lack of needed services, low-paying jobs, domestic violence, prisoner re-entry, unemployment, and poverty.
Narrowing the scope to the temporary or transitional homelessness, HomeAid serves a wide range of families and individuals who are in need of a dignified place to call home while they rebuild their lives. The following is a list of the top constituencies served by HomeAid:
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