There are so many reasons why a person becomes homeless and every person’s story is different. Homeless people often face insurmountable barriers to obtaining housing once they become homeless including lack of income, transportation, and family support. At Matthew 25 we are working to aid people who are homeless with the first steps out by providing safe, supportive emergency housing coupled with strong supports for employment.
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Homelessness is most visible in downtown urban settings, where individuals can be seen sleeping in public places and transporting their belongings in the stereotypical shopping cart. In reality, though, homelessness entraps many more people and families than those readily visible in typical urban environments. “Homelessness” implies that an individual or family does not have a permanent housing situation. According to this definition, individuals living in emergency shelters, transitional housing facilities, domestic violence shelters, or those traveling from couch to couch are all suffering from homelessness.
An estimated 9,113 homeless persons lived in the state of Tennessee in 2011. Twenty-six percent of those homeless persons resided in the Middle Tennessee region...
With global competition, technological changes and the growth of knowledge- and service-based economies, even entry-level jobs require more advanced skills than they did several decades ago. There is great demand for workers with education, skills training or both, but jobs that require only a high school diploma are disappearing, or the wages they pay are dropping. Schools offer limited vocational training, and graduates often lack the practical job skills employers need.
“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” In the United States, it is a typical expectation that everyone will have the opportunity to live in a decent and affordable home, in a community that promotes opportunity and a better quality of life in a secure and attractive environment.
Families in poverty often do not achieve this expectation. Instead, many live in distressed neighborhoods, which often lack grocery stores, banks, and health resources. These neighborhoods typically have relatively high rates of crime and unemployment, as well as under-performing schools. Climbing out of poverty is even more difficult because of the lack of entry-level jobs in or near distressed neighborhoods, in combination with the lack of affordable housing in suburban communities where personal vehicles are often necessary to get to places of employment...
Parents dropping their kids off at school may not realize their child sits next to a young person in the foster care system. Students may not realize their classmate is not going home to his or her own parents, but to a group home or foster care placement. No sign on this child would alert anyone that he or she has likely suffered abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Nashville, TN 37215