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Funding for Employment Aid Programs for the Homeless: Conclusions and Implications

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Running head: CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS 1Funding for Employment Aid Programs for the Homeless: Conclusions and ImplicationsLorraine AcostaJohnson & Wales UniversityCONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS 2My research question is: How effective is the United States’ funding to employment aid programs for the homeless population? I was interested in understanding the U.S.’s budget use and distribution regarding employment aid for the homeless, so, I designed a survey that would allow me to gain knowledge on how the local community feels about it at micro level, based on their recent experiences. I surveyed individuals, mostly residing throughout Florida, and one in Burlington, NJ. In trying to figure out how the participants felt about the matter, I used a phenomenological method. I used an agree/disagree method on statements that I felt represented population (homeless) density, situation improvement, opportunities and availability, locale distribution, and public knowledge of organizations within the participants’ communities; I also included some open-ended questions to get real answers from them, as opposed to feeding them an option.A grounded theory approach helped me come up with theories about the relationships between each response and what they could mean in regard to how the participants’ felt about the effectiveness of the nation’s funding to employment aid programs for the homeless population in their respective cities. In reviewing and analyzing all of the responses, I found that all participants had seen at least two homeless people living on the streets, with the highest number of homeless people spotted being five. After completing the survey, some of the participants communicated to me that the number they put down for this question did not represent different people, indicating that these were the same individuals that were reported over the two weeks prior to taking the survey. They passed by the same people in the same place, not only meaning that they had nowhere to go, but also indicating that nothing was being done to get them out of their situation. The participants also reported that they knew employment aid organizations are inplace, however, not one of them knew of any, specifically, where they could refer someone inCONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS 3need. This could possibly mean that there is not enough money to create and launch campaigns and/or advertisement, whether it’s on TV, radio, newspapers, or even on social media, that could help get these places in front of people’s eyes, which could potentially help get someone off the streets. Over 60% of all participants felt that the situation concerning employment for the homeless population is not improving based on the amount of homeless people they continuouslysee on the street, while about 40% of them believe there are opportunities available, however, they are, more often than not, spread out so far apart that a lot of homeless individuals and families are left out due to lack of money for transportation. From what I’ve seen myself, a lot of them want to work; I see a lot of homeless people holding up cardboard signs saying, “Need work,” and, “Will work for food.” So, it doesn’t seem to be a “laziness” problem, and the participants didn’t think so either. 100% of the individuals that completed my survey reported that they did not know of any organizations within their towns that, specifically, specializes in employment aid for the homeless. Now, if we really think about this, these participants are people with nearly unlimited access to information. Whether it’s on television, social media, newspapers, news channels, radio, Google, etc., they have it all at their fingertips. So, if these people don’t know about any places they could take somebody or, at least,refer them to, the homeless population has much less of a chance of learning about them. What all of this data tells me is that the United States’ funding for employment aid for the homeless population is not effective. Do they have these organizations in place? Yes. Does the government provide funding for these organizations? Yes. However, the homeless unemploymentissue is constant and persistent, which is what, ultimately, led me to the conclusion that they are not being funded properly. Nevertheless, this survey was only conducted in a couple of cities, it was administered to a handful of people, the actual homeless population was not interviewed orCONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS 4surveyed to get their perspective as well, since they are the ones that are affected the most, so, further study needs to be done. I would begin by contacting as many employment aid programs as I can get ahold of in as many states as possible, not only to ask questions about how they operate and what they feel they lack, but also to increase my sample size in a stratified manner. I would also sweep the streets of my own town to speak to any homeless individuals about their situation and about what they feel is lacking in these organizations. At the end of the day, they are the ones that know what it’s like to experience wanting to work and not being able to. Unfortunately for the homeless population, it doesn’t seem that funding for these programs is anywhere near the top of the priority list for the country, and this could mean that their situation will continue unless some extraordinary changes are made in the United States’ budget and plans to eradicate

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