In January 2020, there were just over half a million people experiencing homelessness in America. Families with children made up 30% of that population. Unaccompanied youth accounted for 6% (National Alliance to End Homelessness). Because of the statistical inaccuracy of point-in-time counts, these figures are most likely significant underestimates.
Who is homeless? What extenuating factors have pushed them or continue to subject them to homelessness? What solutions are available?
We hope to answer these three questions through a holistic overview of homelessness in America, as well as in the East Bay. We will be reviewing aspects of homelessness including misconceptions, racial disparities, mental health issues, and other health-based difficulties. All of these factors contribute to what homelessness means for those who are affected by it. While we don’t claim to provide a comprehensive picture of what it’s truly like to be unhoused, we intend to create a more knowledgeable and accepting community, capable of helping combat the issue of homelessness in the future. By the end of this class, students will not only have a greater understanding of the drivers and facets of homelessness, but will also have had an opportunity to directly combat the serious issues faced by the unhoused through an outreach event with Undergraduate Street Medical Outreach. Attending one of these outreach events, hosted every weekend, is worth 10% of students' grades, with the other 90% consisting of participation, weekly discussion posts, a small individual assignment, and a final group project.
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|Health and the Unhoused
|Isabella Lake, Sophie De La Rocha