The basic necessities that many people take for granted are out of reach for those who are experiencing homelessness. Things like affording professional clothing, not having a mailing address, and issues of malnourishment are just some of the circumstances that inhibit people from ending their homelessness.
Breaking the cycle of homelessness is affected by these barriers, inhibiting their ability to save money, apply for housing, and even get accepted for jobs. Keep reading below to learn more about some barriers affecting homeless communities and how you can help.
Lack of Professional Clothing
When it comes to applying and interviewing for a job, first impressions are everything. For many of those experiencing homelessness, they are told to just get a job. This isn’t as easy for those without access to new clothes, a shower, and even a permanent address. An interviewee dressed in appropriate attire unfortunately will always have an advantage over one dressed casually. In addition to that, many service jobs require uniforms or special mandatory clothing. For those experiencing homelessness, spending money on clothes like this is out of reach.
Poor Dental Health
Another barrier getting in the way of ending homelessness is poor dental health. A common saying is that a smile opens doors and creates possibilities – but having access to clean water, toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss isn’t always a given. Imagine going to a job interview and being nervous to smile just because you can’t afford proper dental hygiene products. Imagine thinking that once you smile, any potential skills or talents you could bring to the job go out the window. On top of that, imagine not wanting to eat because of the excruciating pain with each bite. Providing simple donations such as toothbrushes and toothpaste can be life-changing.
Lack of Nutrition
It is common knowledge that healthier foods are more expensive. Many communities experiencing homelessness eat less than 2 meals per day, often lack more nutritious foods and are more likely to have inadequate diets. Many homeless people are eligible for food stamps, but due to a lack of permanent address and/or electronics, it can be hard for them to receive them or even know about them.
Overall Lack of Resources
Homeless communities overall lack access to basic resources that many of us take for granted. This includes things like showers, clothes, hygiene products, books, and more. But it also includes greater things such as the above items. With the help of community members, we can greatly reduce the barriers that homeless communities face through donations. If you are an employer, consider these barriers when interviewing your future applicants – focus less on physical appearance and more on actual talent and skill.
Get Involved with ShowerUp!
ShowerUp works to bring hope, grace, and love to all communities experiencing homelessness. If you would like to get involved in ending the barriers to homelessness, we provide mobile showers and personal hygiene services to homeless communities in Nashville, Chicago, Wichita, Huntsville, and soon Boston! Get started today by volunteering, donating, or sharing with someone experiencing homelessness.