Some countries like Finland have managed to overcome homelessness. Finland is one of the coldest countries during winter. If you were homeless in Finland during winter, you would freeze to death. So, during autumn, homeless people would commit serious crimes so that they would be imprisoned. The prison would then shelter them against cold.
As a result, the government took the initiative to end homelessness in the country. Homeless people are provided with rental homes in Finland and then they are treated for mental illnesses and substance abuse.
Causes of Homelessness and Solutions
To overcome homelessness, it would be best to first understand what are the causes of homelessness. Once we understand that and address these issues, then we can overcome homelessness.
1. Resolve Unemployment Problem
Unemployment is one of the major causes of homelessness in many countries. As such, by addressing the unemployment problem, we would have addressed homelessness to a certain extent. One of the ways to end homelessness is to encourage innovative ideas and support small and medium enterprises.
Promoting self-employment would also create jobs for other people. As such, if you have a business idea or an innovative idea, you can put it into action and by so doing, you will have created employment opportunities for yourself and others.
2. Find Ways to Avert Divorce
Divorce is the other cause of homelessness. Among the causes of divorce is marital violence. When a couple of divorces, most times one partner is left homeless. If partners can find amicable solutions to problems in their marriages, they wouldn’t have to fight and the number of divorces would significantly reduce.
Many partners end up homeless while they are fleeing violence. If there was a better way to address the challenges they are facing in their marriage, they wouldn’t have to flee. Consequently, they wouldn’t end up homeless.
3. End Racism
Racism is the other cause of homelessness. Most times, colored people are discriminated against and don’t have employment opportunities and access to affordable housing opportunities. For instance, in the U.S, minority groups face higher rates of homelessness. They do not get a fair share of affordable housing.
It is the high time we address the racial disparity we have in our societies and treats all races equally. If we can ensure that all people regardless of their race have equal rights and opportunities, we can overcome homelessness.
4. Offer Healthcare for Mental Illnesses
A majority of homeless people usually have mental illnesses. And a major cause of homelessness is society not being mindful of the well-being of their mentally challenged relatives. One way to address this challenge is to connect homeless people to health facilities so that they are treated. Instead of letting the loiter in the streets, it would be more kind to help them access healthcare.
4. Avail Affordable Housing
If governments can create more affordable housing, homelessness would be a thing of the past. Many people can’t afford high rental prices which results to live on the streets. If the cost of living is significantly lowered, people can afford to pay rent, food, and clothing.
Alternatively, the creation of more shelters and lowering barriers to entry would also help reduce the number of street families. It wouldn’t cost so much taxpayers' money to end homelessness, yet it is a philanthropic project.
Summary of How to Overcome Homelessness
To overcome homelessness, citizens and the government have a role to play. There also needs to be a change of attitude toward homeless people. Ending homelessness is a collective responsibility amongst all stakeholders. By ending homelessness, we will have solved mental illnesses and drug and substance abuse menace in society.