Vivianna G. California

The Importance of Ending Homelessness

Homelessness is a very important issue that has gone on for many years. Many lives have ended early because of the causes of homelessness, and the hardships, and even stress it can put onto your life.

Dear Future President,

My name is Vivianna Gonzalez, and I am a 15 year old freshman at an amazing arts school. And I have an issue that hopeful you can help resolve.

My important issue is that I think some light should get shined on is homelessness.

”A homeless person is an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; stay in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situation.” - Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act. Homelessness has affected over 3.5 million people, 1.5 million of them being children. This tragedy not only has people living in the streets, without shelter. But affects you mentally and physically as well. Each year, about 700 homeless people die from hypothermia, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. You can also get Cardio-Respiratory diseases, Tuberculosis, Nutritional defence, and probably the worst of all, physical and sexual assault. Those are only some of the many physical problems you can get from homelessness. Some mental issues are, loss of self esteem, becoming institutionalized, development of behavioral problems, and even loss of ability and will to care for oneself.

The many causes of homelessness is limited income and lack of affordable housing, unemployment, poverty, not getting paid enough, like low wages, mental illness, the lack of needed services, and substance abuse like alcohol and even drug abuse. Some more causes are after paying rent and utilities, 75% of households do not have enough income for food, medicine, transportation, and even childcare.

A couple problems homelessness can cause is homelessness can damage someone's capability through loss of skills and through the lack of ability to think about employment while still worrying about how they will find shelter or a home and keep it, plus it may damage a person's ability to bounce back from difficult situations.

A cause for homelessness in women in general is domestic violence. I do not have any experience of being homeless, but I am a woman who has began puberty and can only imagine how it feels for women who have periods and doesn’t have the specific necessities for it, like tampons,pads, etc. Having a period is already hard to deal with as it is, but to not be able to clean and change yourself when necessary must be one of the worst things to experience. Even when staying in shelters during your ongoing menstrual cycle is harsh to deal with too as I've read. But because of the shelter’s strict restrictions, you aren't always able to use the restroom as much as needed. Let alone change your tampon or pad because of the limited amounts of essentials.

Many actions can be done to help end, or even prevent homelessness. Some of the things you can do is volunteering at your local homeless shelters, calling local shelters and making a list of what necessities are needed, offer professional skills directly or assist in job training, help build or fix up houses or shelters, and even try and involving others to help as well.

Sincerely, a caring Vegetarian, Vivianna Gonzalez



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