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October 17, 2011 / charityprofiles

Providing Shelter to the Homeless: National Alliance to End Homelessness

According to a research conducted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), the United States will see a 5% growth in homelessness during the next three years. This figure is based on the ever-increasing poverty rate and fluctuating economic trends. With more people without a roof to their heads, the NAEH finds itself in the middle of a journey to end homelessness – a journey which began 28 years ago.

In 1983, the National Citizens Committee for Food and Shelter was founded by a group of concerned leaders to answer the needs of a growing population. But by 1987, their success was overshadowed by homelessness which had taken root for a number of reasons. Since then, the organization became known as the National Alliance to End Homelessness. With a new name came a new goal, which is to prevent and end homelessness in the United States.

Homelessness, however, is a complex problem fraught with uncontrolled variables. To solve this problem, NAEH must also solve poverty, provide affordable housing, open opportunities for both able and disabled, and so on. Although these problems seem impossible to solve, the organization has never stopped creating long-term and short-term solutions.

Their work involves improving the federal homelessness policy by actively participating in the legislative process. To address the current situation at hand, they provide capacity-building assistance in several communities. Also part of their advocacy is awareness, which is fulfilled through the Homeless Research Institute – the education arm of the organization.

Although NAEH remains vigilant in improving the welfare of the homeless, it needs the cooperation of the government. So far, the results of federal agencies’ goals are elusive, but the organization remains optimistic. While long-term solutions are still a work in progress, the support of individuals and corporate partners has made homelessness more bearable. As long as there is awareness and cooperation, NAEH’s advocacy remains strong.

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