Since the 1970s, the US has experienced a wave of homelessness that wasn’t seen in earlier times. Various factors were said to be responsible for the rising number of homeless people on the streets. These include industrialisation and mass migration to urban areas, deinstitutionalisation of the mentally ill, high unemployment rate and the emergence of HIV and AIDS This gave rise to a number of organisations that helps the homeless.
Since the 1970’s when organisations that help the homeless began operating, the number of homeless people have steadily decreased significantly. According to Statista, the number of homeless individuals in 2021 was 326,126, a 44% decrease from the previous year.
Perhaps, these organisations are making positive impacts by ensuring that every citizen has a place to call home. Certainly, they are doing something right to make the world better. Here is a list of 10 organisations that are helping the homeless find their feet.
12 Non-profit organisations that help the homeless
1. Coalition for the homeless
Created in 1981 in Newyork, after filing a lawsuit that led to the Callahan consent decree in 1979, this organisation has helped those experiencing homelessness by providing them with shelter and food.
Over the years, they have won many legal battles. They do this by fighting for the rights of homeless women, people with disabilities and those living with HIV and AIDS. Some of these rights include the rights of the homeless to vote, the right to adequate medical facilities and the right to proper housing.
The organisation has also ensured that homeless people not only get shelter but also enjoy a promising life. They have helped over a thousand homeless women find a path towards financial stability through employment and have invested in the education and well-being of thousands of homeless children.
This organisation is responsible for the provision of housing, food and crisis services to over 3500 people daily.
This is a NewYork based homeless shelter that helps homeless families have a place to stay. Win began in Brooklyn in 1983 as Women In Need sheltering four homeless women and their six children. Today, the organisation runs 14 shelters and over 400 support housing helping about 4,800 people with shelter each night.
Win runs one of the largest homeless shelters in New York and has helped hundreds of families secure more permanent and affordable housing.
Like many other charities, Win also provides education, income building, childcare and skill acquisition programmes for the homeless.
3. Depaul USA
Depaul USA was established in 2009 in Philadelphia USA. This organisation caters to the homeless by providing both temporary and permanent housing. They also provide daycare for children of the homeless and health clinics to cater to their health needs.
The organisation is currently available in about 8 cities around the United States of America including Chicago, Los Angeles and New Orleans, among others.
With a unique approach that aims to empower homeless people, streetWise helps to give marginalised and homeless individuals a chance to earn money to cater for their basic needs. The organisation helps by producing newspapers which are given to those experiencing homelessness for 1.15 dollar. These employees sell the newspaper for about 3.00 dollars making over 100% interest in the process.
The organisation began in 1992 on the streets of Chicago. Just 5 weeks after its inception, it sold about 60,000 issues of Streetwise magazine. The organisation also helps by providing clothes, legal assistance and affordable housing referrals for those in need.
They also have an approach that helps individuals prepare for a job, land the job and keep the job in a programme called S.T.E.P. to Employment.
5. Abode services
This non-profit was established with the sole aim of reducing the number of homeless individuals on the street by providing emergency homeless shelters, permanent housing development, and employment support for formerly homeless and current out-of-home individuals. They also have a programme that supports the children of formerly homeless individuals.
Founded in 1989 by a small group of people in Alameda county, California, this organisation has grown to serve over 14,700 individuals annually. They now cover other cities in the United States including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Napa Counties among others.
6. Healthcare for the Homeless
This is an organisation of about 10,000 individuals. They have a common aim of helping the homeless have access to adequate healthcare services as well as adequate housing and support services.
Among the health care they provide are medical care, dental care, psychiatric care, and addiction services. They also help with ensuring that individuals under their care get access to housing, insurance, public benefits assistance and proper identification.
7. Genesis joy house homeless shelter Inc.
This is a unique type of housing that focuses on female veterans by providing transitional housing as well as mental health support for them. A number of female veterans suffer from PTSD and about 1 in 4 female veterans have suffered military sexual trauma.
Genesis Joy House gives women, especially the homeless a platform to take charge of their lives while reintegrating into society. In addition to providing housing for these women, they also provide career training, addiction recovery programmes and educational programs to help these veterans find their path to self-sufficiency.
8. Animal welfare league of Montgomery county inc
This is a no-kill animal shelter for homeless cats located in Gaithersburg Maryland. Established in 2005, the shelter runs a cage-free shelter with cats having their own rooms equipped with toys, cat trees and roommates.
The shelter offers programmes that help to prevent unwanted cats from being homeless and find a home for them through fostering and adoption.
9. Homeless empowerment program
Also known as HEP, this charity is a non-profit organisation. It was established in 1986 by the founders’ Barb and her late husband, Rev. Otis C Green. The founders began their mission in the 1970s after housing a homeless family whose father had been injured at work.
Several years later, they started HEP and have since grown the organisation into an award-winning charity that has helped several individuals including veterans and low-income families.
HEP helps the community by providing food, clothing, housing and other support services that can help homeless individuals become self-sufficient and have an improved quality of life.
10. National Alliance to End Homelessness
This is a nonprofit organisation that was founded in 1983 by concerned citizens. Their intent was to provide emergency relief for the growing number of homeless people. After a few years, the homeless population still continued to grow. This gave rise to them seeking more permanent solutions to homelessness, giving rise to a network of public and private partnerships.
The organisation uses research and data to drive policy changes that will ensure housing security for citizens. This could help with preventing and ending homelessness. They also provide training and capacity building that will turn policies into useful programmes. They believe that this can help the homeless become self-sustaining.
11. Selah Neighbourhood Homeless Coalition
By engaging the homeless with existing services, offering resources, and tackling local policy issues, Selah Neighborhood Homeless Coalition works to put an end to homelessness. They seek to better understand the needs of individuals by developing ties with the homeless people residing in the encampments in North East LA.
The organization was founded in 2017. After identifying the area’s needs, the organization started hosting weekly programs. These programmes included hot meals, baths, case management, hygiene kits, job training, essential clothing, and more.
This group relies on an extensive volunteer base. The volunteer base collaborates with other care professionals including the homeless on a daily basis. In addition to an online donation system, they also make it simple for donors to offer charitable contributions to aid the shelter.
12. Picture the Homeless
In response to the way they had been treated and the problems they believed had gone unaddressed in New York City, two homeless men started this organization. Over 75% of the board of directors today are homeless themselves or have previously been.
This nonprofit’s mission is to alter public perceptions about homelessness and give those who experience it a voice. Rather than selling the idle city-owned property to for-profit housing developers, Picture the Homeless urged the city to hand it back to the community through land trusts in 2017. This action might lead to everyone having access to affordable housing.
The organisation is completely run by members. They pay a membership fee of about 10 dollars for the running of the organisation.
Preventing and Ending homelessness is one major vision of all these organisations that helps the homeless mentioned in this article. They have taken a stand to ensure that everyone has a place to call home. With this in mind, it would be great if we all joined hands towards helping to reduce homelessness and end suffering.
You can lend your support by donating to a charity today. It doesn’t have to be money. It could be food, clothes or shoes. Certainly, this can go a long way in making someone out there happy.