The Trump administration already stated they were cutting back on funding for public health, homelessness, and housing. However, there's recently been a sharp increase in the demand for these very same services. With this in mind there are several areas where federal funding cuts and policy changes threaten the homeless:
- Repealing the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) means more people in need of subsidized healthcare from public clinics and emergency rooms where homeless people are seen. An increasing demand on this system definitely isn't good.
- According to one press release sent out by Trump's administration, funding for services addressing mental health, substance abuse, housing and homelessness could be cut. This means reduced safety and environmental regulations for the homeless.
- Trump says that any sitting that doesn’t actively search for undocumented immigrants, it risks losing all federal funding. Anyone who cares for people shouldn't have to foresee a time when they must begin demanding to see people’s papers before giving them the critical services all human beings need.
- "We will also see an increase in homelessness because untreated mental health and substance use disorder are one of the primary reasons for homelessness. We will especially see a decrease in the amount of money available for substance use disorder treatment... HUD dollars are often the first to be cut... One silver lining, though, is we may see an increase in low income housing tax credits, because…it is a tax credit that goes to banks, big business and high net worth individuals." ~ Adrienne Quinn, Department of Community and Human Services Director
With this in mind, it's time to create more regulated homeless encampments. We also need safer facilities where the homeless can spend the night. Of course, all this will take both time and money. Until then we need more street ministries out there making a difference.
Did you know that a warm blanket or a pair of dry pants (even when they're a few sizes too big) really offer a bright spot in an otherwise horrible day for these folks? While we can't all be out there giving these things to people, we can donate to organizations who are able to get out there and make this difference. With this in mind, won't you take a look around this site and see how you can help?