The National Alliance to End Homelessness is an organization that is working to end homelessness by attacking the major causes of homelessness and the different types of homelessness such as: Chronic homelessness, family homelessness, and rural homelessness. The causes that they’re mainly focused on are domestic violence, health care, and economic security. NAEH also focuses on veterans, which can be classified as a type and a cause in a way since it is basically a cause and effect relationship. In my lifetime I have always heard people talk of homelessness paired up with health care, war, and economic security, so I’m pretty much familiar with those situations. However, I was not educated on domestic violence being one of the causes of
homelessness. With that being said, I will focus all of my attention on domestic violence and how it can lead to homelessness. I never even thought that it could be a possibility, but it makes a whole bunch of since when you actually that the chance to sit back, research, reflect, and think about it. For those who may not know, domestic violence is any type of assault or physical, mental, or sexual abuse that one partner does to the other to gain power and control over the other. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), “Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexually orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality.” Which means that no matter who you are, domestic violence does not happen within any particular “group” of people, it affects us as a whole. It can affect people so bad that it can lead to people becoming homeless.
When it comes to domestic violence, many people may say “oh, why don’t the person just leave? It’s not that hard to just walk away.” What those uninformed individuals don’t understand is that, it is actually almost close to impossible for a person victim to domestic violence to get away from that kind of relationship. That’s becaus
e the abuser has become very possessive over his partner and does not allow that individual to do anything that involves them being excluded, does not allow them to have access to money (hard for them to run away with no money), and does not allow them to have any type of communication with with the outside world. All of which is done, so that he, the abuser, can still hold control and so that he does not get in trouble. So when the victims finally break free, they won’t have any connections to people in the outside world. Thus, leaving them no choice bu
t to become homeless.
Now you may have noticed that I have said “he” or “his” in the prior paragraph and I assure you that it is not a mistake. According to a Massachusetts study, 92% of the women who participated has confessed to experiencing physical and sexual assault and 63% of the women admitted to being victims of violence caused by their significant others. Those are some pretty high numbers right? Well NAEH is working had to lower those percentages. They plan to do that by using their Ten Essentials plan: Plan, data, emergency prevention, system protection, outreach, shorten homelessness, rapid-rehousing, services, permanent housing, and income.
With the ten year plan they tend to focus on seven steps which are: plan, system protection, outreach, services, permanent housing, and lastly income. They use plan because you can’t start something without having an initial plan to help get you started or to help guide the other person in the right direction. They use system protection to help them out with services. The system keeps track of the victim, so when it comes time for the victim to try and reach out to someone for additional help or services, the program will be able to track them. Now with permanent housing that is very, very important! It is important because most women who are victims of domestic violence has children and if that issue does not get solved then it will add on to the other type of homelessness that this organization is trying to fix as well, which is family homelessness. Now you might be wondering if the Ten Essentials plan actually works, well I’m going to tell you that it does work, however not fast enough. I know that because the amount of sheltered people who are victims of domestic violence is very low, it is at 12% which could be better.
This agency may be working for a great cause, but they do have minor flaws that could be better. For starters, I went through their list of events and found nothing on domestic violence. I found an event for every other aspect of homelessness, but I did not find any events of my specific interest. Now what I find to be very good about their organization is that they are actually working to try and change things by improving the problems and causes of homelessness. Also, the way that they continue to make short term and long term goals to correct the problem is very beautiful. It is always great to see people working on things that they genuinely care about, but it’s even better to see people working on issues that people tend to not pay attention to.