To Be Homeless In Kansas City Or Portland

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To be homeless in Kansas City or Portland


Underlying the remarks made by the homeless shelter providers in the 2001 census is their idealism to serve, refusal to accept the dire condition of the homeless people, and frustration at the scarcity of government policy and resources. Shelter providers know faces and stories. They struggle with complex and often unresponsive systems, issues and emotions. While there are solutions for many whom they serve, they nonetheless may not be able to provide them because of scarce resources. In cases where there no solutions, basic services—shelter, food, etc.—and compassion are the best that can be offered. Absent similar idealism and commitment by government, frustration grows with the growth of homeless populations.

Homeless families typically include a single young mother with young children (often under age five). These families end up homeless for a variety of reasons, including extreme poverty, loss of benefits, eviction, domestic violence, or their own personal problems (e.g., substance abuse). Homeless families often encompass multiple siblings. Unlike single homeless mature persons and, to some span, homeless adolescents, homeless families are seldom discovered on the streets. Rather, they tend to be found in homeless shelters, often ones specially designed for families. Many can also be found for the time being increase two-fold up with friends or family or in domestic aggression shelters (these families are sometimes referred to as the “precariously housed”). Few customary families made up of couples with their children are discovered amidst the homeless. African-Americans and some other ethnic minorities (e.g., Native Americans) are found disproportionately. (Abbott, 197)

Homelessness at Kansas City Missouri

Down-and-out” in Kansas City Missouri includes several categories of impoverished persons whose misfortunes, bad choices or bad friends condemn them to living on the streets. These include past alcohol or drug addictions, bad credit histories, prison histories, HIV/AIDS diagnoses, and evictees from dwellings where suspicious behaviors were observed. It is not clear how these individuals are to become productive members of society, especially when they are left with few housing options. As one provider noted, some of the “rules make it feel like we are punishing people trying to restart their lives, who need housing” (Ramona Quinn, Salvation Army, Kansas City).

Homeless shelter provider remarks vividly testify to barriers that the human beings they serve are too often unable to overcome:

“Discrimination in housing based on HIV/AIDS diagnosis continues to exist” (Lynne Meyerkord, AIDS Project, Greene County). “Medical problems cause other problems including a bad credit rating if they owe on a medical bill” (Polly Watson, Jefferson/Franklin counties CAC).

Actions taken by Local and Federal Government

Some ex-offenders are “unfairly prevented from participating in vocational rehabilitation programs” which they need to get jobs (Jim Snell, Salvation Army, Greene County). “Felony records and poor rent histories—especially for victims of domestic violence— have been major barriers” (Kathie Miller, Center for Family Resources, Dunklin County), “Many of our residents have prior criminal records, making it nearly impossible to obtain subsidized housing” (LeAnn Wittman, Sheffield Place, Kansas City), for a homeless inmate to ...
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