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Nationally, more than half a million Americans experience homelessness on any given night of the year.
About 15 percent of this number is comprised of "chronically homeless" individuals, those who have been homeless for at least a year while living with a disabling condition.
We know that multiple factors contribute to homelessness, including mental illness, addiction, joblessness and lack of education. This is why, along with a safe, welcoming place to live, we also offer programs that help individuals and families learn budgeting and other life skills, secure stable employment, and manage mental illness and other challenges. And because older adults are particularly vulnerable to poverty, homelessness and isolation, we provide housing and support programs specifically designed to foster social connections, engage minds and improve the overall quality of life of those in their later years.
Often individuals and families struggling with homelessness simply need a short-term respite to help them get back on their feet again. In addition to providing a place to live, our transitional housing programs offer resources like employment assistance, work/life classes, substance abuse assessments and mental health counseling. Those struggling with homelessness receive the support and gain the skills and knowledge they need to thrive independently. Veterans, who are among the most vulnerable, benefit from our housing programs that are designed specifically for their needs.
Those of us blessed to live in a home of our own often don't think twice about having a safe place to sleep, nutritious meals to sustain us or a hot shower to refresh us, but that's not the case for those struggling to survive on the street. Our emergency shelters offer a haven for those with no place to turn, providing a safe space, a warm meal, a hot shower and a comfortable bed, small luxuries we might take for granted but are lifesaving for many.
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