HOMELESSNESS: Myths Vs. Facts
PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS DON’T WANT TO GET A JOB.
The Fact is…
Experts at the National Coalition for the Homeless estimated that between 40 and 60 % of the homeless population in the United States have jobs.
However, most of those jobs are entry level, minimum wage positions. In Denver, if a person is making minimum wage, he or she would have to work 74 hours a week to afford a modest, one bedroom rental home at fair market rent. Even if a person did “roll up their sleeves” and work 74 hours a week, other obstacles still remain—groceries, utilities, transportation, insurance, child care, etc. Many people in our city simply do not make enough income to afford a rental apartment or home without some form of longterm assistance. This is why we offer a program called Family Rescue Ministry, which provides first month’s rent and deposit along with a mentor team. So, although research continuously shows that people experiencing homelessness have jobs, unfortunately, just getting a job isn’t the end-all solution.
HOMELESS PEOPLE ARE ADDICTS, SO IT’S THEIR FAULT THEY’RE HOMELESS
The Fact is…
Of the people enrolled in our programs, the number one reason they give for becoming homeless is job loss.
Other common reasons people become homeless are lowered wages, a health care crisis, increased rent, or a family emergency. For those who do struggle with addictions, mental illness is often at the root of their challenges. People living with mental health disorders are particularly vulnerable to drug and alcohol use. Rather than addiction causing homelessness, it’s more accurate to know mental illness can cause addictive behaviors and unhealthy coping mechanisms, which can lead to homelessness. Many of the people we serve tell us they grew up in homes with abuse, neglect and trauma. In critical development years, they never learned healthy coping skills or how to develop supportive relationships.
HOMELESS SHELTERS ARE JUST ENABLING HOMELESSNESS
The Fact is…
Our shelter system is designed to empower people Who are experiencing homelessness to pursue a path off the street.
Without shelters, people experiencing homelessness would not have basic resources for survival. Emergency services provide safety, dignity and hope. Places like our Lawrence Street Shelter and Lawrence Street Community Center provide these basic resources—meals, showers, laundry, drinking water, restrooms, electrical outlets, and safe places off the street and out of the elements. All of our emergency services facilities are staffed with employees who engage with guests, fostering relationships and offering information about our programs and services like Next Step, which is designed to guide people to find permanent and sustainable housing.
HOMELESSNESS IS SUCH A BIG CHALLENGE. THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO.
THE FACT IS…
You can do something.
Donate today and bring hope and lasting change to the lives of people experiencing homelessness.
Read the Full Newsletter