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Social Problem Presentation . A Presentation Submitted To Dr. Gerald Merwin In Partial Fulfillment of PADM 7240 Public Administration & Community-Based Organizations By Justin M. Vollmer Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA July 14, 2005. Social Problem: Homeless Population.

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social problem presentation

Social Problem Presentation

A Presentation Submitted To

Dr. Gerald Merwin

In Partial Fulfillment of

PADM 7240 Public Administration &

Community-Based Organizations


Justin M. Vollmer

Valdosta State University

Valdosta, GA

July 14, 2005

social problem homeless population

Social Problem: Homeless Population

Athens, Georgia

Community Based Organizations and Local Government Take Initiative to Aid the Local Homeless Population

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll Fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll Fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll Fight; while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll Fight, I’ll fight to the very end!”

-William Booth

Salvation Army

homeless definition mckinney act of 1987 title i
Homeless DefinitionMcKinney Act of 1987Title I
  • Homeless may include:
    • Lack a regular, fixed, and adequate nighttime residence (or)
    • Live in a shelter or transitional housing residence for homeless persons (or)
    • Live in a temporary residence for persons waiting for institutionalization (or)
homeless definition cont
Homeless Definition(Cont.)
  • Are sleeping in a place not intended for human beings (or)
  • Will be evicted within one week from their home (or)
  • Will be discharged within one week from institutions where they have lived for more than 30 days in a row.
    • Note: Persons in jail or persons living with friends or relatives are NOT considered homeless.


scope of the problem
Scope of the Problem
  • Nationally
    • Any given night- 700,000 to 2 Million homeless in America
      • Single men make up approximately 44 percent of homeless
        • Single Women: 13 percent
        • Families With Children: 36 percent


scope of the problem7
Scope of the Problem
  • Athens, Ga
    • 246 homeless adults
    • 27 homeless childen

These numbers taken from 2002 survey count. In 1999, the homeless count found just 123 adults that were homeless in Athens, GA. The number has gone up drastically. The amount of people homeless in Athens in 2005 is sure to be much higher.

(Source: Athens Banner Herald 2002)

Photo: Local area homeless (Athens, Ga)

reasons for becoming homeless


Unable to pay rent/mortgage

Argument with family/friends

Family member or personal illness

Drug/Alcohol abuse

Physical or mental disabilities

Family Violence


Welfare time limits


Reasons for Becoming Homeless
where help can be found
Where Help Can Be Found
  • Athens Area Homeless Shelter
    • Provides transitional help and public awareness
  • Salvation Army-Athens Corps
    • Provides a ministry of God and helps to meet human needs
  • The Potter’s House
    • Assists to overcome drug and alcohol addictions
  • Athens Homeless Day Service Center
    • Provides the homeless with a place to do laundry, receive mail, etc.
more help
More Help…
  • The Healing Place of Athens
    • Drug and alcohol treatment center
  • Project Safe
    • Provides shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence
  • Habitat for Humanity
    • Creates affordable housing
department of community affairs press announcement
Department of Community Affairs“Press Announcement”
  • On July 7, 2005 DCA announced $5.5 million to assist homeless Georgians
    • Among the recipients in Athens, GA
      • Advantage Behavioral Health Systems (runs the Athens Homeless Day Service Center - $20,000
      • Athens Area Homeless Shelter - $60,000
      • Food Bank of Northeast Georgia - $7,500
      • The Healing Place of Athens - $26,400

(Source: / Press Release)

athens area homeless shelter
Athens Area Homeless Shelter
  • Main source of help to homeless in Athens
    • Strives to work cooperatively with the community to eliminate homelessness and educate the public on the many complex social reasons to may lead to homelessness.
    • AAHS recieves 40% of their funding from donations alone.
athens area homeless shelter services programs
Athens Area Homeless ShelterServices/Programs
  • Almost Home program
    • Provides Single women and single women with families with a comfortable and safe residence
    • Case managers work with women/families extensively to achieve mutual goals.
  • Nancy Travis House
    • Child care voucher program
athens area homeless shelter services programs cont
Athens Area Homeless ShelterServices/Programs(Cont.)
  • Job Trec (Job Training, Education, Referral)
    • Provides employment and education assistance
    • This program first funded by HUD in 1996 also provides:
      • Case management
      • Transportation to/from work
      • Child care
      • Drug testing
      • Counseling
      • Health Care assistance
food bank of northeast georgia
Food Bank of Northeast Georgia
  • Distributes food from donors
    • Acquires and distributes food that would otherwise be wasted.
run walk for home 5k
Proceeds from race benefit seven local charities.

Including: Athens Area Homeless Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Project Safe, Salvation Army.

Last Year (2004)

Raised $2,500

Run/Walk for Home 5K
the homeless and the government the criminalization of the homeless
The Homeless and the Government“The criminalization of the homeless”
  • Homelessness runs into many conflicts with local governments.
  • Criminalization of Homelessness:
    • “laws and practices that discriminate against homeless people, including laws that specifically target them or activities they must engage in because they are homeless”
criminalization cont
“Criminalization” (cont.)
  • Many communities have enacted ordinances making it illegal to engage in certain activities like:
    • Sleeping in the park/urban camping
    • Sitting or lying on public benches
    • Urinating in public with no public restrooms available
    • Panhandling
    • Eating from trashcans, dumpsters
    • Etc.


conflicts of non profits in the community
Conflicts of Non-profits in the Community
  • Many neighborhoods do not want rehabilitation/crisis centers in their neighborhood.
  • Non-profits must lobby and speak out to the government and media regarding issues which are important for homeless.
    • i.e. Lobby against laws that criminalize some parts of being homeless.
cooperation with government
Cooperation with Government
  • In Athens, most homeless aid and assistance comes from non-profit organizations, though federal and state money is dispersed locally to these organizations.
  • Shelters work with government, especially the police to combat drug and alcohol programs among homeless.
devolution of homeless aid
Devolution of Homeless Aid
  • Federal government is turning over more and more responsibility for social welfare programs to state and local jurisdictions (especially private non-profits).
increase cooperation between government and non profits
….Increase Cooperation between Government and Non-profits
  • Many non-profits that give aid to the homeless must continue to provide a voice for people in need.
  • Support of non-profits must come in large numbers from community.
    • Educating community on the severity and extensiveness of problem is important.
  • Non-profits must continue to search for volunteers and lobby for homeless rights and proper funding to meet the needs of the community.
success of homeless programs
The actual success rates of homeless programs is hard to measure because of the unknown “durability” and length of success.

Athens Area Homeless Shelter places many homeless people into permanent residences but the length and “durability” of their placement is hard to measure.

Success of Homeless Programs
success cont
Success (Cont.)
  • The amount of homeless shelter services has been drastically inclining.
    • In 1974, there were only four such facilities in the Atlanta area.
    • Now there are over 100 shelters in the metropolitan Atlanta.
  • Homelessness remains a problem in almost every U.S. community.
    • Fortunately with the help of community based organizations and local, state, and federal assistance, many homeless can find aid and eventually permanent residence.