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As you read this letter in the comfort of your home or workplace, let me bring your attention to the plight of the homeless and jobless in our society. In Ohio alone, the homeless population ranges from 49,000 to 79,000 annually. Unemployed graduates without a family to support them roam the streets. Small-wage earners who cannot afford rent are driven to the shelters. It must be noted that if the authorities responsible do not take appropriate measure to eradicate the problem, then the situation can only become worse.

As more and more people are graduating and homeless kids are reaching their youth, this problem does not seem to be ending. Psychological disorders, drug use, alcohol abuse and criminal activity are major complications that can arise from lack of employment and shelter. If a homeless person remains jobless and homeless for a long period of time, he/she can become more, dependent, dysfunctional and a burden to a society. It is of utmost importance that steps be taken to alleviate the issue.

The first thing to do is enhance the quality of education, bring awareness about the hazards of drugs and alcohol, bring health awareness and administer activities to become more useful. As concerned citizens, we must contribute to solving this problem in any way we can. One way is to disseminate information to draw focus on this issue. Another is to involve our communities and organizations with actual implementations of a proposed plan of action. If you are intersted to help, please join us in our forum on June 15, 2007, 3pm, at Ohio State University Auditorium. Thank you.

Kate Edison President, Save the homeless Foundation “As they scour the grocery aisles for the best value in luncheon meat, the Cochrans, like many homeless families, are invisible to the rest of the world — invisible not because they provoke people to look away in discomfort or guilt but because they look and act no different from the rest of us. … And in Columbus there are more of them every day… ” -No Place Like Home by Wendy Cole Time Magazine (January 15, 2003) Homelessness defines a situation in which a person or a family is living without a home to have their privacy.

A home is a basic requirement for every individual to live their life comfortably. It is a place where an individual’s basic requirements are fulfilled and a healthful environment is provided. In the USA , it must be a legally owned place and have a safe condition for living. According to the Inter-agency Council on Homelessness and Housing, the number of homeless individuals in Ohio ranges from 49,000 to 79,000 annually. A significant number of the homeless population are graduates and educated people who are unemployed.

They might be individuals with no other support or a family without enough resources to rent or buy a house. The Ohio Poverty Fact Sheet Series estimates that forty to fifty percent of the homeless have high school diplomas and 24% are employed in either full-time or part-time work. Joblessness is the major cause of homeless graduates. This may be due to low grades in school, any kind of disorder or inability to cope with work. There are also those who have jobs but with inadequate pay. Such homeless graduates either live on streets or shelters.

Due to lack of safety health measures and support, they are prone to mental and physical illness. According to one study, around 40% of these homeless graduates suffer from various mental ailments like depression, stress, insomnia, drug abuse and alcohol abuse. Their psychological problems could lead them to participate in criminal activities. A number of studies have shown that suicidal rate is also high in such individuals. Drug abuse and alcohol abuse are the two major problems with homeless graduates.

As they do not have jobs and most of their time is wasted in bars and streets, they easily get addicted with drugs and alcohol. Increasing stress for work and pay drive them to psychological depression. They get into some kind of addiction in order to forget their worries. When these graduates start on drugs and alcohol, they are usually unaware of its damaging outcomes and health hazards. Consequently, excessive health hazards amount to very high expenses for medicine and hospital care. These expenses are usually borne by the shelters where they live or obtained from donations by charity organizations.

A strategy to solve this increasing problem is to give them adequate education to improve their grades and skills. Every graduate must be assured of a job after they complete their education. Graduates can be hired as trainees at first to give them proper training after school to get acquainted with their field of work. Educators must inform the students about the hazards of drug and alcohol abuse. If graduates are already aware of the dangerous effects of drugs and alcohol, they may be less tempted to these addictions at a time of psychological distress.

Schools should also organize activities that would involve their jobless and homeless graduates. This would help the homeless individual to channel their unused energy towards something productive. Engaging in communal activities, sports activities or volunteer work for the benefit of marginalized sectors can help them feel a sense of purpose. If a person can become a useful individual of society in any form, then it will be bring spiritual satisfaction and peace of mind for both the individual and the society.

Homelessness due to joblessness is a pressing problem, but not insurmountable. It only needs a concrete plan of action and total commitment to the cause.

References:

Strle, Andrea M. (Nov. 13, 2006). Justice Stratton: Permanent Supportive Housing Program Benefits Ohio’s Courts. Retrieved on June 5, 2007 from http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030120-407348,00. html Ohio State University. (n. d. ). Poverty Fact Sheet Series – Poverty Among the Homeless, HYG-5711-98. Retrieved on June 5, 2007 from HYPERLINK “http://www. sparesomechange. com/search/engine/read-

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