Are you aware that the number of families that have found themselves without a home is now at record levels in the western world? Sadly this is a problem that can have serious long term traumatic effects on children as they may not understand the situation which has led to their parents being out of work and unable to meet essential payments on time. It is important to understand that homeless families are likely to have ended up on the street through no fault of their own, it can happen that the state fails those most in need.
Of course there are families that have lost their homes due to the incapacity of the adult members of the household to deal with specific problems such as alcohol and drug abuse but you may be surprised to learn that these cases are actually in the minority. There can be various causes such as psychological problems and spousal abuse that have forced a family out on to the streets. Then there is the recession; in North America unemployment rates are still at record levels even though the economy has bounced back to a small degree from the worst of the recession. Without gainful employment it is all too easy to lose our most precious possessions such as our homes.
If you have an interest in helping homeless families then there are two options worth exploring. There are stop gap fixes and long term solutions. The latter would include finding a way to assist adults to find affordable housing and long term employment. Such an approach should also address the reason why the family have found themselves homeless, for example an addiction or psychological issue. Counseling is an important aspect of reintegrating a family back into society. Both economic and psychological help should go hand in hand if you want to ensure that the family concerned does not end up in the same predicament at a future date.
Unfortunately very few of us can afford to devote enough time and effort to bring about a long term solution to the problems that face a homeless family. For this reason a short term solution or fix is often implemented, this would not necessarily help them to find a way off of the street, rather it would teach the family how to cope with their present conditions and make the most out of the circumstances.
If you think that simply by giving money to a homeless family you will be helping out you may be mistaken. Giving money directly to a poor family may not bring about the desired results. It is far better to donate cash to a homeless shelter that takes care of the underprivileged and homeless. If you were to give money directly then this may end up being spent on alcohol and drugs and only worsen the situation. Of course this is not to say you should turn a blind eye to a needy hand. Giving food and drink can be a great way to ensure that you are making a real difference to their well-being.
Even by spending time befriending various members of a homeless family you can have a dramatic impact on the situation. Often homeless people are given very little respect by the rest of society. This creates a negative feeling which may lengthen the detrimental circumstances as self respect and self worth are essential for anybody to be able to thrive and sustain themselves and their offspring. Depression, isolation, and paranoia are as poisonous as any illegal substance. Giving respect to an individual no matter what their circumstances can give the boost that is required for a homeless person to take steps to improve their situation.
It is important to realize that any family can end up on the streets. We should not take our prosperity for granted. Eventualities can occur that take our feet from under us before we even know what is happening. One of the best ways in which you can help out is to give some of your time to a homeless shelter that cares specifically for families.
You may be surprised to discover just how many families are in need of assistance in your town or neighborhood. All homeless shelters would only be too happy to take onboard volunteers that have a passion to make a difference. Even simply by helping to prepare meals a couple of times a week or ensuring that homeless kids receive an adequate education can mean the difference between happiness and despair.
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