Chronic homelessness stands as an alarming concern among the ethical considerations in contemporary society. According to Perkins (2016), chronically homeless people live on the streets for longer periods of their lives or in other places that do not meet human habitation standards. Some of these people may be mentally challenged and may also suffer from substance use disorders. The number of homeless people keeps on swelling, and the advent of chaos-inflating crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic only made a turn for the worse (Coughlin et al., 2020).
According to Georgia Homelessness Statistics (2022), almost half a million Americans in the U.S. are homeless, and about ten thousand people in Georgia experience homelessness every night. Shockingly, Vlkovic (2021) reveals that Atlanta, which contains approximately a third of the population in Georgia, lacks housing facilities or structures required to end chronic homelessness. Perkins (2016) reveals that individuals who experience chronic homelessness, especially the mentally challenged individuals and those who suffer from substance use disorders, increase health care spending due to the high cost of services rendered to them, such as inpatient hospitalizations and emergency room visits, which are catered for by public resources. Therefore, the solution to the problem requires deliberate efforts to direct resources towards a sustainable program to reverse the trend.
A proposed solution of hope to the problem is collaborative coordination among the private and public sectors through the government to raise funds to permanently solve the problem of chronic homelessness through funding a supportive housing program for a better future. A supportive housing program is a program that seeks to intervene in the situation of homelessness by providing affordable housing assistance to chronically homeless people in combination with voluntary support services that aim at addressing the basic needs of chronically homeless individuals. These services could help these individuals by increasing or supporting their independent living and occupational skills of these individuals, which consequently will connect them with affordable community-based healthcare and employment opportunities.
According to Henry et al. (2021), a supportive housing program is said to have reduced the number of chronically homeless people by about 8% since 2007. Moreover, Vlkovic (2021) reports that supportive housing programs are a sure way of ending chronic homelessness because it increases housing stability in the highly affected regions and improve health, making it a cost-effective solution because it reduces public costs that are associated with catering for hospital services provided to chronically homeless individuals.
Coughlin, C. G., Sandel, M., & Stewart, A. M. (2020). Homelessness, children, and COVID-19: A looming crisis. Pediatrics, 146(2).
Georgia Homelessness Statistics. Usich.gov. (2022). Retrieved 10 February 2022, from https://www.usich.gov/homelessness-statistics/ga/.
Henry, M., de Sousa, T., Roddey, C., Gayen, S., & Bednar, T. (2021). The 2020 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, Part 1: Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness. The U.S. Department Of Housing And Urban Development 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2022, from https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/6291/2020-ahar-part-1-pit-estimates-of-homelessness-in-the-us.
Perkins, M. (2016). Ending chronic homelessness: Federal strategy and the role of permanent supportive housing (p. 192). Nova Publishers.
Vlkovic, M. (2021). Solutions to End Homelessness Include Permanent Supportive Housing. SaportaReport. Retrieved 10 February 2022, from https://saportareport.com/solutions-to-end-homelessness-includes-permanent-supportive-housing/thought-leadership/enterprise-community-partners/.