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Advocacy for the Homeless
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| Words: 1053 | Submitted: 12-Nov-2012
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DescriptionProviding advocacy for the homeless population
Advocacy for the Homeless
This paper addresses issues of advocacy in the human services field. The population that the paper will focus on is the homeless. There are many obstacles for the homeless as a special population within society. In most cases there are several challenges and problems facing the homeless in addition to being homeless. Not only does the human service professional have to provide advocacy in addressing adequate housing needs, human service professionals must also consider the circumstances that led to the client’s homelessness. Once this issue has been identified and advocated for, further concerns such as possible treatment, medical care, education and employment assistance, and legal issues must be addressed. The competent human service professional must be educated and knowledgeable as to how to best provide advocacy that not only addresses the individuals immediate needs, but also the contributing factors to the clients’ homelessness.
Upon researching the word advocacy, the student found two definitions that adequately describe the meaning of the word and how it applies to an effective human service professional. The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary defines advocacy as: the act or process of advocating or supporting a cause or proposal (2012). The second definition of the word advocacy was defined by the National Lead for Advocacy, Valuing People Team as: taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests, and obtain services they need (2009).
Although both definitions properly define advocacy, the latter definition seems to be a more definitive answer when describing how human services professionals apply the term to their daily work with various populations needing assistance. However, both definitions describe not only the process of providing support, but also taking action to ensure that needs are being met in the best interest of the client seeking assistance.
According to a report in 2009 provided by the National Coalition for the Homeless, facts on how many people experience homelessness in the United States are often misleading and inaccurate. Often times being homeless is temporary, which adds to the difficulty of determining just how many people are currently homeless. Statistics on homeless numbers are also hard to decipher since shelters are disproportionate to the number of estimated people that do not have a permanent residency to call home (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009). More recent studies conclude that there has been a steady increase in homelessness in America since the current recession began.
On January 11, 2011, the National Alliance to End Homelessness released a report titled: State of Homelessness in America 2011. The ...
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