Nearly 1.49 million people—approximately one in every 200 Americans—will experience homelessness for at least one night (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2013). While there are policies, plans and research to support that we can end homelessness, there are still obstacles, both legislatively and people’s willingness to adapt approaches, in ameliorating this problem.
Ending homelessness, rather than just managing this, is a goal our government and other organizations hope to attain and also one of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW) Grand Challenges for Social Work.
Join us for the #MacroSW chat on Thursday, June 9 at 9 pm EST (6 pm Pacific) co-hosted with AASWSW for a conversation about ending homelessness.
Social workers will play a pivotal role in addressing homelessness which has multiple complexities such as serious mental illness, addiction and poverty and impacts specific vulnerable populations including, but not limited to, veterans and youth. Also, creating the right policies and laws will make a difference.
Last week, The Washington Post reported more cities are passing laws against camping, panhandling and public drinking as a way to push people who are homeless out of city centers while at the same time not offering affordable housing solutions and limited shelter options. This approach perpetuates a cycle of homelessness and hinders one’s ability to maintain employment. To fight back lawsuits have been filed on behalf of those who are homeless and unjustly prosecuted.
For this chat we’ll discuss the following questions.
- How are efforts to end homelessness connected to social work?
- What are the social, economic and other benefits of ending homelessness?
- How does homelessness affect families and children, both in the short- and long-term?
- What are some successful efforts to end homelessness that you can share?
- Where can I learn more about homelessness?
End Homelessness Paper, AASWSW Grand Challenges for Social Work
The Graying of America’s Homeless, New York Times
How Can We End Homelessness in the U.S.?, Atlantic
Sweeps Illustrate Inhuman Treatment of Homeless and Vulnerable (Huffington Post) (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-woodliffstanley-/move-along-to-where-sweep_b_9432928.html)
National Coalition for the Homeless offers factsheets and publications.
Cities v. the Homeless, Washington Post
#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com