Community Development 101: How To Help The Homeless Using The 2016 Cleveland Education Statistics

The 2016 Cleveland Education Statistics has always been a useful resource regarding gathering data for the area of Cleveland. However, many people don’t know yet that this piece of information can be a handy tool to help develop educational interventions that can address poverty and homelessness.


The Horrors Of Homelessness

Reportedly, the rate of homelessness in Cleveland decreased by 4% in the past year. However, this piece of information can tell more than just that. Homelessness, as defined by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, are individuals who lack permanent housing regardless if the person is part of a family or not. Homelessness, despite its technical definition, can also give us a general glimpse of the state of healthcare, safety, and most especially education in the area.

Education & Homelessness Go Together

The interrelationship of homelessness and education or literacy rate is an important issue to be aware of. Lack of proper training and schooling can lead to unemployment and poverty, thus, the effect of homelessness. At the same time, being in the state of homelessness can take a toll on a student’s academic performance due to lack of stability and support which is very much necessary for the student to keep up with his or her academic requirements. These cases usually lead to social and emotional problems, which are the primary reasons for getting delayed in schooling or getting dropped out.

“One important issue is the difference between point and period prevalence, and the vastly greater efforts that are needed to house the numbers of people likely to experience homelessness over a decade compared with a single night,” community psychologist Marybeth Shinn, PhD, explains. “A second is in the implications of the fundamental attribution error,” she adds.


Holistic Interventions

According to Marilyn Wedge, PhD, “The increasing level of income inequality and homelessness is no longer only a problem in third-world countries in Africa, Asia, or South America. It is a social, economic, and health problem right here in the United States that must be addressed with well run shelters and low cost housing opportunities.”

Given the situation, many social institutions have stepped up in using the statistics to come up with solutions to address the problem. In New York, Volunteers of America have developed a way for homeless children to continue their education by giving them an enhanced experience in so-called family shelters. In these shelters, volunteers of the organization create academic programs which tackle different lessons commonly taught in traditional schools such as literacy, math, and reading, as well as giving the children an opportunity to experience field trips and other psychosocial activities which provide the homeless students a chance to learn while having supportive social relationships.

Additionally, Josephine Ensign, DrPH, suggests “Support an agency that provides services to the homeless, especially agencies that also work on upstream solutions to preventing homelessness, such as low-income housing or job-training programs.” She also adds that it is important to “Be informed and become an advocate for local community solutions to homelessness and poverty, as well as state, national, and international ones.”

Now, this is just some possible ways to help out homeless people in need. Change is possible if we utilize our resources to give the children of today a better future. What are you waiting for? Let’s act now!


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