Giving Homeless Hope

 REAL PEOPLE, REAL STORIES...
  Homelessness doesn't discriminate people do.  
We often forget about 'homeless people' and that they are really just like everyone else."

BACKPACKS FOR UNSHELTERD
HOMELESS YOUTH & ADULTS

​An all year round program that aims to provide local unsheltered homeless backpacks, with everyday basic needs items that make life alittle easier on the street.   All items are donated from individuals and businesses in our community.




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Imagine a world where it is illegal to sit down. Could you survive if there were no place you were allowed to fall asleep, to store your belongings, or to stand still? For most of us, these scenarios seem unrealistic. But, for homeless people across America, these circumstances are an ordinary part of daily life that we take for granted.

Life On The Street​

There are some activities so fundamental to human existence that it defies common sense that they might be treated as crimes. Falling asleep, standing still, and sitting down, are all necessary actions for any human being’s survival. While these activities are unquestionably legal when performed indoors, more and more communities across the country are treating these life-sustaining behaviors as criminal acts when performed in public places by people with nowhere else to go.
Lack of Affordable Housing Causes Homelessness
A lack of affordable housing in America lies at the heart of our ongoing homeless crisis. Research from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that there is no state in the country where someone earning the minimum wage can afford a one or two-bedroom apartment at the fair market rent. This problem is worsening as the rental market, in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, has seen increased competition and, therefore, higher rental prices. Without major new expenditures, this situation will not improve. Over 12.8% of the nation’s supply of low income housing has been permanently lost since 2001, and investment in the development of new affordable housing has been insufficient to meet the need. The United States has lost 10,000 units of federally subsidized housing each year since the 1970’s. For those subsidies that do remain, waiting lists are long. In some cities, the waiting lists for subsidized


There Are Fewer Shelter Beds Than Homeless People
in Many American Cities Homelessness carries risks of death and bodily injury from the natural elements, violence, and increased health risks caused or worsened by lack of shelter. Despite this, there are far fewer available shelter beds than homeless people in many American cities. In some places, the gap between available space and human need is significant, leaving thousands of people with no choice but to live outdoors in public places. 

​​Ways to Help

Homeless Unaccompianied Youth
An estimated 1.7 million children under the age of 18 run away or are forced to leave home each year in the United States
Unaccompianied Youth
Review of Idaho Laws 

A staggering 2.5 million children are now homeless each year in America. This historic high
represents one in every 30 children in the United States. Child homelessness increased in 31
states and the District of Columbia from 2012 to 2013. Children are homeless in every city,
county, and state—every part of our country.

Based on a calculation using the most recent U.S. Department of Education’s count
of homeless children in U.S. public schools and on 2013 U.S. Census data:
• 2,483,539 children experienced homelessness in the U.S. in 2013.
• This represents one in every 30 children in the U.S.

Complete Report available for download

Homelessness doesn't discriminate, people do.

Can you imagine working at a company that decided to downsize during the recession? Can you imagine being a single parent who has been laid off? You go out to find other jobs comparable to the one you went to college for, yet would soon realize that no one is hiring. After a while, you start to put in applications to places below what you were trained for, such as at fast food restaurants, convenience stores, and janitorial positions. If they even call you back, you receive answers back saying you were “over-qualified” for the position. Meanwhile, the bills keep piling up. You have a little money saved up, but after six months of electricity bills, water bills, telephone bills, car insurance, rent, and groceries, available finances begin to dwindle. Eventually, you have to choose which bills were important enough to keep paying and which you had to skip for the month. It’s a snowball effect that takes everything away from you in what seems like a blink of an eye. However no story is the same as the next. The homeless are not just a collective generalized group, but are individuals struggling to survive on their own. These people include a Veteran wounded in battle and waiting for disability checks, an abandoned child who just got out of the foster care system when they turned 18, a man who became addicted to pain medication after an accident without the resources to get help, a man with a mental illness without medical insurance, and a woman who’s only other option is to live in an abusive situation at home. No story is the same as the next and no one should be treated uniformly.
Homeless people are looked down upon and stereotyped as drug addicts, alcoholics, and criminals. They are ignored, harassed by police officers, and thought of as disgusting people. They are discriminated against and not given the help that they need to get back on their feet. This is a social injustice against our own residents and it needs to be rectified. The only way that stereotypical prejudices will cease to exist is through education and awareness of what our fellow  citizens are trying to survive through.
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Criminalization of homeless is unconstitutional
Ordinances in Boise prohibit sleeping or camping in public outdoor places

According to the Justice Department, "[i]t should be uncontroversial that punishing conduct that is a universal and unavoidable consequence of being human violates the Eighth Amendment ... Sleeping is a life-sustaining activity — i.e., it must occur at some time in some place. If a person literally has nowhere else to go, then enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance against that person criminalizes her for being homeless."

 Bell v. City of Boise

​Who benefits from this
“criminalization of poverty”?

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                                                    For many city officials, community leaders, and even direct service providers, it often seems that placing homeless people in shelters is the most inexpensive way to meet the basic needs of people experiencing homelessness; some may even believe that shelters are an ideal solution.

Research, however, has shown something surprisingly different.

The cost of homelessness can be quite high. Hospitalization, medical treatment, incarceration, police intervention, and emergency shelter expenses can add up quickly, making homelessness surprisingly expensive for municipalities and taxpayers.

Hospitalization and Medical Treatment
People experiencing homelessness are more likely to access the most costly health care services.

  • According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, homeless people spent an average of four days longer per hospital visit than comparable non-homeless people. This extra cost, approximately $2,414 per hospitalization, is attributable to homelessness.
  • A study of hospital admissions of homeless people in Hawaii revealed that 1,751 adults were responsible for 564 hospitalizations and $4 million in admission costs. Their rate of psychiatric hospitalization was over 100 times higher than their non-homeless cohort. The researchers conducting the study estimate that the excess cost for treating these homeless individuals was $3.5 million or about $2,000 per person.

Homelessness both causes and results from serious health care issues, including addiction, psychological disorders, HIV/AIDS, and a host of order ailments that require long-term, consistent care. Homelessness inhibits this care, as housing instability often detracts from regular medical attention, access to treatment, and recuperation. This inability to treat medical problems can aggravate these problems, making them both more dangerous and more costly.

  • As an example, physician and health care expert Michael Siegel found that the average cost to cure an alcohol-related illness is approximately $10,660. Another study found that the average cost to California hospitals of treating a substance abuser is about $8,360 for those in treatment, and $14,740 for those who are not.

Prisons and Jails
People who are homeless spend more time in jail or prison, which is tremendously costly to the state and locality. Often, time served is a result of laws specifically targeting the homeless population, including regulations against loitering, sleeping in cars, and begging.

  • According to a University of Texas two-year survey of homeless individuals, each person cost the taxpayers $14,480 per year, primarily for overnight jail.
  • A typical cost of a prison bed in a state or federal prison is $20,000 per year.

Emergency Shelter
Emergency shelter is a costly alternative to permanent housing. While it is sometimes necessary for short-term crises, too often it serves as long-term housing.

  • The cost of an emergency shelter bed funded by HUD's Emergency Shelter Grants program is approximately $8,067 more than the average annual cost of a federal housing subsidy (Section 8 Housing Certificate). A HUD study found that the cost of providing emergency shelter to families is generally as much or more than the cost of placing them in transitional or permanent housing.

Cost Studies
Studies have shown that – in practice, and not just in theory – providing people experiencing chronic homelessness with permanent supportive housing saves taxpayers money.
Permanent supportive housing refers to permanent housing coupled with supportive services.

  • A study followed the progress of the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) in Seattle, WA. All the residents at this Housing First-styled residence had severe alcohol problems and varying medical and mental health conditions. When taking into account all costs – including housing costs – the participants in the 1811 Eastlake program cost $2,449 less per person per month than those who were in conventional city shelters, as described in the article from the Journal of American Medical Association.
  •  A cost study of rural homelessness from Portland, ME found significant cost reductions when providing permanent supportive housing as opposed to serving the people while they remain homeless. The study specifically noted a 57 percent reduction in the cost of mental health services over a six-month period, partly due to a 79 percent drop in the cost of psychiatric hospitalization.
  •  A study from Los Angeles, CA – home to ten percent of the entire homeless population – found that placing four chronically homeless people into permanent supportive housing saved the city more than $80,000 per year.

  Cost of Homelessness

Living Wage Calculator
Hourly Minimum Wage in Idaho is $7.25 

Equivalant hourly wage for a person on disablity is $4.68 per hour. 

Random Acts
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