Unfortunately, homelessness in America is a fact and that is why homeless shelters provide an important aid for people in need of a place to sleep. The vast majority of shelters can be found in large cities and towns. These kinds of shelters for the homeless are also know as rescue missions, transitional housing or emergency shelters. Many of these establishments are run by non-profit charities and rely heavily on financial donations. Some receive financing in part from their local or state governments.
Regretablly, homeless people are found the world over. It has been estimated that over one hundred million, and even up to five hundred million individuals worldwide do not have permanent housing. Different countries have different criteria for classifying someone as homeless, so that is why the overall number is hard to pin down.
There are separate sleeping areas for men, women and sometimes, mothers and their children. There are stringent rules and regulations at these places and this is to ensure the safety of all who are staying there. Many of these types of organizations offer free meals and clothing too. Because of the down turn in the economy over the last few years, more and more individuals are seeking this type of shelter.
It is estimated that approximately 3 million people are homeless on any given night and about sixty percent have spent at least one night in a homeless shelter. Recent studies have indicated that one in fifty children have experienced homelessness in the last year. That means well over one and a half million children have been without permanent housing sometime during the past year. About one in four individuals who are without permanent shelter are teenagers.
Most people who seek shelter do not have mental health issues. But the longer they are without long term housing, they do become at risk of developing a mental health problem. It is estimated that about a quarter of the individuals seeking shelter have a substance addiction.
Shelter for the homeless, not only provide a place to sleep and some meals, but they also offer services to help people find permanent housing. They can also help some find employment and medical services. In other words, these places over assistance to help a person become a positive part of society.
Homeless shelters are in constant need of food and clothing. Basic necessities, such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste and even toilet paper can be be donated. Even toys and pet food are desired donations. Some places will even accept gift cards for local stores where new clothes can be bought. Learn more on how you can help by reading this article.
Financial donations are always appreciated and needed. These types of organizations need volunteers too, as they never seem to have all the help that they require, especially during the holidays. They need help preparing and serving meals, various paperwork and even baby sitters. Sometimes they need drivers to take people to their doctor appointments. For all the services they provide, they do need the local community to volunteer or to donate a needed item.
Finding a homeless shelter is easier if you are in a big city. One of the first places to check is the yellow pages. Look under homeless shelters, emergency shelters, charitable organizations and under the government listings for housing agencies.
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