Jul 14, 2017

What are one or two things you think would make the most difference in your community in reducing homelessness?

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SOC 455: Homelessness


Paper #1



For this assignment, we will address a large scale social problem in the U.S. homelessness. 



The Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles




APA format

6 pages of text, plus a references page

12 pt Times New Roman font



There are two kinds of research required for this paper. 

  1. The first is traditional library research of scholarly sources and analysis of homelessness. 
  2. The second is local community research. 


Most of us in the class live in areas where homelessness exists to one degree or another.  Begin working on this paper by finding out what you can about the extent of homelessness in your area and the problems and possible solutions associated with it.  A topic search on “homeless” in local newspaper(s) is a good way to begin.  Find an organization in your area that works to reduce homelessness, and/or to provide assistance to homeless people.  These may be nonprofit organizations, city or county programs, church-related programs, or other kinds of outreach or public service groups.  Choose one program to use as an example in your paper.  To gather information about the organization, there are several possibilities:  an personal visit, the organization’s website if they have one, or local news coverage, for example.



Chapter 1 on the Sociological Approach to Social Problems introduces you to two concepts you will need for this paper. 

The first is a Sociological Imagination

The second is the idea of a “Person-Blame Approach” to understanding Social Problems as contrasted with a “Systems-Blame Approach.”  

In your community, where do you find evidence of a person-blame approach and evidence of a systems-blame approach?  These are always at odds in one way or another, and the conflict between them is one reason social problems persist. 


What are one or two things you think would make the most difference in your community in reducing homelessness?  What are the most important one or two things we might do nationally to reduce homelessness?  Remember to keep your analysis framed within what we are studying this month. 


Use the attached PowerPoints as references in your paper.


SOC 455: Homelessness Name Institution Date SOC 455: Homelessness Introduction In this thriving world, increasing number of people are becoming homeless at an alarming rate; homelessness has been an increasing issue in the United States. In the US, hundreds of homeless people live on streets as their permanent shelter. A homeless person is anyone who lacks shelter, resources or estimated community ties; a total of 650,000 people are homeless in America including minors (Hastings, 1979). Many factors contribute to homelessness ranging from social, economic, environmental factors and population pressure. Research shows that countries vary in term of their levels of material conditions; some nations are well off having adequate resources while others are poor (Hastings, 1979). Sociological Approach to Social Problems The root cause of homelessness is attributed to the growing population. Globally, it is estimated that by 2050, the world population will reach 9 billion (Collins, 1996). 99 percent of the population growth occurs mainly in the less developed nations. Therefore, the greater the proportion of a population living in poverty, the higher the fertility rate would be. As a result, basic resources like housing are overstretched. For instance, there are five cities in the developing world with a population of 20 million; they can no longer handle their numbers into terms of housing, employment and the required social amenities (Collins, 1996). Most of their res...

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