is to provide an inviting, functional, and Innovative experience and lifestyle through all forms of fitness. We want to Empower you and help you achieve the highest level of sustainable fitness.
For many, the word “homeless”conjures up images of scraggly men standing on street corners holding cardboard signs. The face of homelessness is changing. In fact, the fastest growing segments of the homeless population are women and families with children. We hope that the “Backpack Program” will help cut these numbers down.
We want everyone to know that getting a job is a challenge for most people in these days, and incredibly difficult for a homeless person. Most lack clean clothes, showers, transportation, a permanent address and phone number. Others have a criminal past, learning disabilities and lack of education that holds them down. Even if they find work, their low income often cannot sustain them.
Homelessness is often associated with drugs, alcohol, violence and crime. So yes, life on the streets can be perilous for homeless men and women. But very few crimes are committed by homeless people against those of us who try to help them. Throughout the works of Dezert Gainz the attitude we see most often from homeless men and women is gratitude.
Surviving on the street takes more work than we realize. Homeless men and women are often sleep-deprived, cold, wet, and sick. Their minds, hearts and bodies are exhausted. Though help is available, they may have no idea where to begin navigating the maze of social service agencies and bureaucracy. With no transportation and little money, they can spend all day getting to food and maybe an appointment before they need to search for a safe place to sleep. And they do this while lugging their precious few possessions along with them in a bag or backpack. It is not a life of ease.
People are not homeless by choice! No one starts life with a goal of becoming homeless. People lose jobs and then housing. Women run away to the street to escape domestic violence. Many people have experienced significant trauma and simply cannot cope with life. Others struggle with mental illness, depression or post-traumatic stress. Yes, poor choices can contribute to homelessness. But outside circumstances strongly influence those choices.
Food and shelter are essentials for life. By offering these “backpacks” and other outreach services, like restrooms and mail service, we build relationships with people in need. Then we’re able to offer them something more through our recovery programs, like counseling, addiction recovery, emotional healing, spiritual guidance, education, life skills and job training.
Many U.S. cities have established ambitious goals with 10-year plans to end homelessness. While these plans to provide housing and better centralized services to homeless people are important in reducing the scope and duration of homelessness, they will not completely eliminate it everywhere for all time. But homelessness does end—one life at a time. With your help, we continue to restore the lives of hurting men, women and children every day.
Probably the most common stereotype of chronically homeless people is that they are drug and alcohol addicts — with good reason. 68% of U.S. cities report that addiction is their single largest cause of homelessness. A formerly homeless addict is likely to return to homelessness unless they deal with the addiction. Treatment programs are needed that treat the root causes of addiction and help men and women find a way back home. (*Source: National Coalition for the Homeless – Substance Abuse.)
Nationally, 50% of homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence. When a woman is abused, she faces a crisis of safety. If she stays in the home, she’ll be beaten again. If she leaves, she’ll have little means of support. Either choice is a tremendous risk. Choosing homelessness over abuse is both a brave and frightening decision. (*Source: National Coalition for the Homeless – Domestic Violence.)
6% of the American population suffers from mental illness. In the homeless population, that number jumps to 20-25%. Serious mental illnesses disrupt people’s ability to carry out essential aspects of daily life, such as self-care and household management. Without assistance, these men and women have little chance of gaining stability. (*Source: National Coalition for the Homeless – Mental Illness.)
The current downtown in the economy has many Americans barely getting by financially. Many are underemployed at wages that can’t sustain them. Layoffs and job cuts leave individuals and families in desperate circumstances. Unemployment benefits and savings run out, leaving people homeless who never thought it could happen to them. (See: National Coalition for the Homeless – Employment.)
Even people who have jobs are finding themselves upside down with their mortgages. From 2008 to 2009, foreclosures jumped by 32%. A 2009 survey estimates that as many as 10% of people seeking help from homeless organizations do so due to foreclosure. (*Source: National Coalition for the Homeless – Foreclosure.)
On any given night, as many as 200,000 military veterans sleep on the street. The percentage of veterans with post-traumatic stress is growing among those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Adapting to “normal life” back in the U.S. is proving to be extremely difficult for the men and women who have served US. Unable to cope, some choose to leave homes, loved ones and jobs behind for homelessness and/or addiction. (*Source: National Coalition for the Homeless – Veterans.)
Homeless teens often become so due to family conflicts. They’re kicked out or choose to run away over issues of drug/alcohol addiction, physical abuse, sexual orientation or teen pregnancy. Mental illness can play a significant role in teen homelessness just as it does in adults. Teens in foster care often end up on the street after they “age-out” of the system at age 18, a sad situation in which many feel alone or abandoned.
A homeless person is most often a deeply hurting person. By the time they come to a homelessness organization for help, they’ve burned through every supportive relationship possible. Friends and family are no longer able or willing to help, leaving the homeless man or woman very much alone. What relationships they have are usually predatory. In a sense, their situation is less about homelessness and more about unwantedness. A significant barrier to recovery often lies in the ability to restore trust and maintain healthy relationships.
Sometimes when people are unable to deal with the death of a loved one or other significant trauma, they numb their pain in addiction. Addiction and apathy lead to the loss of job and home. They simply stop caring if they live or die. Grief becomes a roadblock to living.
“Once you get down this low, it’s hard to get back up,” we often hear homeless men and women say. The longer they are homeless, the more difficult it becomes to combat the lies they hear in their heads. They believe there’s no way out. They don’t deserve another chance. They’ll never break free from addiction. They’ll always be a failure. More than anything, these men and women need hope.
Eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architectobeatae vitae dicta sunt uam explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem Eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi aliquam nontus architectobeatae vitae dicta sunt nis explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem.
Cheap motels became the newest thing in subsidized housing and the de facto shelter for families affected by the recession in 2009. For families, it’s an affordable alternative to shelter and safer than the streets. But with cramped rooms, unsafe conditions, and little space for cooking, it is far from a good alternative to safe, decent housing. And when money runs out, families are back on the street.
Many have called storage units the modern-day cardboard box. Sure, they’re not ideal, but they’re dry, secure and beat the dangers of the street. And they offer a way for people to keep some of their belongings rather than abandon them or have them stolen.
After walking all day or night, it’s tempting for a homeless man or woman to stretch out on the lawn or a bench for some rest. Parks are open to the public and a decent place to get a nap during the day. But sleeping in the park at night is usually interrupted by police asking offenders to move along.
While it may seem counter-intuitive that a homeless person would choose to stay on the streets rather than in a homeless shelter, there are understandable reasons for doing so. Shelters tend to attract people who are chronically homeless and addicted. This can be frightening to someone newly homeless or to those who struggle with mental illness or social phobias.
Much like the situation with foreclosed homes, there’s no shortage of empty warehouses and other business buildings where homeless men and women take shelter.
Across the country, hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes are boarded up, idle and empty. At the same time, homelessness has been on the rise and the need for decent affordable housing is as great as ever. It comes as no surprise that homeless men and women choose to become squatters in vacant homes.
When homelessness strikes, friends and relatives are often the first place of refuge. Homeless families and individuals sleep on couches, in garages/sheds and backyard tents. Although they are technically homeless, they are unseen and left uncounted in an official homeless census – until the hospitality wears out. Then, they end up on the street.
For all of those homeless individuals whose unfortunate living situations are documented, recorded, and broadcast to the public, there are hundreds more who remain anonymous. The methodology for finding and counting homeless people is imperfect; we simply do not find everyone.
Our work on the project together with the hard work and the quality of worship.