Unemployment & Homelessness Causes - Brian/Fergus - City to Street
City to Street
Homelessness and Unemployment Unfortunately there’s no single cause for homelessness. If things were that clear prevention wouldn’t be so complex. Law and Justice of New South Wales compiled a range of causes:

  • structural causes, including poverty, inadequate affordable housing and unemployment
  • government fiscal and social policy causes, including economic and industrial reform, privatisation, availability of public housing and welfare expenditure
  • cultural causes, such as dispossession of land and provision of culturally inappropriate accommodation to Indigenous populations
  • individual causes, including mental illness, substance and alcohol addiction, gambling, domestic violence and family fragmentation.
The relationship between employement and housing plays a significant role in the cycle of homelessness. Picture someone who cant find work, eventually weekly expenses like rent and utilities become uncontrolable. Family and friends can accommodate but in most cases these situtations cannot last forever. For a 100,000 people in Australia this means sleeping on the streets is the only answer. Employment presents a way out of homelessness for these people. But how do you employ a segment that are skill deprived with little or no experience?

The Brotherhood of St Laurence and Youth Projects are two organisations that have been leaders in this field over the years, with successful projects providing disadvantage people with sustainable employment opportunities. Youth Projects, in particular offer an extensive range of services from health, outreach, community, employment, education and training. Luke O Connor, one of the many important employee’s that driveYouth Projects, achknowledges the importance of improving ones self esteem and sense of community. I think emphasis can be placed on improving ones living conditions, health and personal presentation so they feel their standard of living can be labelled ‘the norm’. YP take this aspect of the recovery serious with extensive pre employment healthcare, drug and alcohol, mental heatlh and training services to assist the person rejoining the workforce.

In one case, a man called Mick had a history of alcohol abuse and mental health issues. Having completed a BA Mick continued to drink heavily which had a negative impact on his mental health issues. After being referred to YP, Mick developed strategies to deal with stress and anxiety, curbing his alcoholism. Since he has commenced post graguate studies and continues to live a healthy lifestyle. This shows the need for such organisations as Youth Projects.

Its important to remember each homeless person has a story, their paths are unique so each recovery needs to be treated individually. Employment might provide housing but in some cases there are other sensitive issues, as mentioned above, like substance abuse and addiction that also need attention. The expectation for change cant solely be placed on providing adequate housing. It’s a major area that needs addressing but must be viewed as one part of a larger picture. For instance, if a disadvantage person aquires employment and can now afford rent, will this matter if the person continues to abuse drugs, suffer from health issues or hold a negative attitude towards society? How long will an employer neglect  this behaviour?

For this reason City to Street will reinvest profits into consulting, concilling, therapy and healthcare to gear towards a holistic recovery approach.




7/20/2012 15:30:11

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