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Homelessness in our area
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As a college student studying homelessness in the last 2 months, I have concluded that more efforts have to be exerted to help put an end to the issue of homelessness and help those in need. Despite efforts by various programs and shelters to try and help the homeless people, many of them have not received proper funding by the state, leaving several citizens in need of help. Many people throughout the community are aware of the growing epidemic of homelessness throughout Stanislaus County. According to Stanislaus Housing & Support Services Collaborative, in 2015 there were approximately 1,400 homeless men, women, and children in Stanislaus County alone.

Many different services have already been implemented throughout the Central Valley to help the homeless, so why should we care? Of that 1,400 homeless individuals, forty-three percent suffer from mental illness, six percent were children, while another eleven percent were military veterans. These people need help and are unable to receive proper help and are left to the streets. Many of the county’s programs and organizations designed to provide help to the homeless people have received limited funding and minimal support from the state. Many of the homeless aren't helpless, they just need support. While helping to end homelessness in our area won't be an overnight process, I feel like it can be possible, starting with small steps, such as volunteering at shelters and with non-profit organizations to help the homeless people. Overall, the issue of homelessness in our area is swept under rug, but as a community, we can help get rid of  homelessness all together with a little bit of time and effort.

Believe it or not, as a college student I don't know everything, and while I can’t provide an immediate solution to the problem, I can provide some things that I feel can help. As a city, homeless people should receive help in finding a job and going through training, and provided assistance with finding a place to stay. But with those benefits they should come with responsibilities, such as better than average attendance to that job training, and some source of income from that job to get a place to stay. While my idea of a solution might not be perfect, or fix homelessness overnight, it is better than just sweeping it under the rug and doing nothing.

— Nickolas Thomas