Careers Helping the Homeless
Homelessness affects hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, and that’s something we should all care about. Not having a place to live significantly impacts a person’s mental and physical health as well as communities at large. By working to end it, we can connect homeless individuals and families not only with permanent, affordable housing, but also with stable jobs and quality education. And while there are many ways you can help the homeless, from volunteering to simply donating old clothing or handing out food, choosing to dedicate your career to the cause will have the greatest impact. Keep reading to learn more about careers where you can make a real difference helping the homeless.
Alyssa Kennedy received her bachelor's degree in Health & Societies: Health Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health from the same school. She works full-time at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Infectious Disease department as the HIV Ambulatory Outpatient & Ryan White Program Manager. She also works at Prevention Point Philadelphia as a case manager at their weekly Ladies’ Night event, in addition to being a harm reduction specialist in the mobile syringe exchange program. In both positions, Alyssa has served the homeless population facing either HIV/AIDS and/or substance abuse issues. In the near future, Alyssa is preparing to go to law school to pursue a career as a public health and interest lawyer.
5 Alarming Facts About Homelessness in America
A total of 552,830 people experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018.
The number one cause of homelessness is not being able to find affordable housing.
Homelessness increased by 0.3% (1,834 people) between 2017 and 2018.
Shelters only have enough temporary beds for 70% of the homeless population.
24% of the homeless population is chronically homeless, meaning they’ve been homeless for at least a year or repeatedly.
Career Paths Where You Can Help the Homeless
There are many ways you can help the homeless on a professional level. You can work directly with those experiencing homelessness by educating them, legally representing them, or treating their well-being. Counselors, social workers, teachers, nurses, and other professionals specialize in just that. Or you can work behind the scenes, working on policies that help the homeless or getting involved in urban planning that shelters them. Here are just some of the many career paths where you can help the homeless.