How do people become homeless? There are different reasons why individuals become homeless. Personal problems, limited education, loss of a job, runaway child, domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness and poor work habits, are all contributing factors. Individuals do not typically become homeless because of these reasons; they become homeless because they don't have the economic resources to deal with these problems. Click here to see statistics on causes of homelessness.
What is the length of time that people stay homeless? Most individuals do not stay homeless for long. The average length of stay at Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless Emergency Shelter is between 43 and 48 days. The majority of people who are homeless are working or actively searching for work, while others receive disability or other special forms of income. Individuals save up money, find suitable housing, share an apartment with a friend, or find another solution within two months to two years. Case management services can be a valuable resource for assisting with this process. There are many successful programs that provide intensive case management for individuals with more complex issues to assist with housing location and retention.
Who are the homeless? Homeless people include women, men, children and families. Individuals who have disabilities and or mental health issues are candidates for homelessness. Victims of domestic violence, rape or familial violence sometimes become homeless. Veterans, usually as a result of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), individuals who have untreated physical illnesses, limited education, illiteracy, drug and or alcohol addiction, racial minorities, sexual minorities, elderly men and women, imprisoned individuals are many times more likely to become homeless. The current economy is striking our community. We are finding more Senior citizens, individuals and families who have lost their homes due to lack of finances, loss of employment and exhaustion of safety nets. Interfaith Partnership’s services directly help these individuals. Click here to learn about the demographics of our clients at the Emergency Shelter at Interfaith.
How do those in need find Interfaith’s Services? Information on the available services offered at the Drop-In Center is disseminated in the form of brochures, flyers and posters that are distributed regularly to local agencies providing services to these target populations. This includes but is not limited to other emergency overnight shelters, health care centers, private clinics, police precincts, mental health and substance abuse service providers, the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society, and the Veterans Administration. Information is also posted at public buildings where homeless individuals have a history of frequenting through the business day. This includes public libraries, fast food restaurants, state buildings such as The Concourse, and local bus and or rail stations. The Homeless Action Committee which operates an Outreach Van Search that targets the chronically homeless population is also another vital referral source.