Basic Physiological Needs
Research conducted by Abraham Maslow developed a Hierarchy of Human Needs with the lowest level relation to the physiological needs necessary for survival (food, water, heat, shelter, clothing, toilets, and sleep). These basic needs must be fulfilled first and will take priority the over other higher levels. In today’s world, it’s unfortunate, that there are so many people and families who through financial difficulties struggle to maintain these basic needs with many becoming homeless.
Homelessness occurs when circumstances leave people with no other options and once homeless it becomes a trap that is difficult to get out of. It’s estimated that there are 7,500 people sleeping rough just in London UK and around 400,000 people that are classed as hidden homeless who move around family and friends ‘couch-surfing’ or squatting in disused building. Some people commit crimes in order to be sent to prison just to be warm and fed.
There are four ways to reduce homelessness:
Prevent people becoming homeless
Seek legal advice regarding eviction
Utilise support from family and friends
Contact housing associations
Become aware of local authority policy, national legislation
Change systems to prevent homelessness
Use food banks
Liaise with ‘Street Workers’
Work with Homeless organisation – Salvation Army.
Get creative to solve problems
Research and experience have shown that investments in permanent housing are really effective in reducing homelessness.
Provide emergency shelter.
Improve self-care – bathing, haircuts, charity clothing.
Stabilise people through a shelter, then transfer them to permanent accommodation.
Transfer to permanent accommodation.
Use charity shops for clothes, equipment, furniture.
Consider assistance programmes to maintain their accommodation.
Ensure physiological needs food, water, heat.
Provide self-improvement opportunities.
Some initiatives employ homeless people to help other homeless people.
Example, Goodwill Stores in the USA are donation charity shops which employ people who are unemployed to gain job experience by working in the stores, to sort items, serve customers, drive (collection and delivery) vans.