Homelessness Final Project

 Homelessness is a multidimensional issue involving socio-economic, political, psychological, and health factors. Homelessness refers to the lack of the basic need for shelter. Homelessness is caused by various reasons such as increased rent, low income, and engagement in drugs. Homelessness is a problem that strongly prevails in America and requires different stakeholders to come in between to help solve the issue.The government or organizations lay down human Service Planning methods to cater for homelessness to stand in between the homeless people and shelter (Gao.gov, 2020). They try to bridge the gap. The methods include building permanent houses for the homeless. Some members of the homeless population receive their own permanent houses. Some receive funding for emergency shelters or engage in transitional housing. There are organizations like Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that often investigate homelessness. It helps prevent and curb homelessness among the citizens (HHS.gov, 2016). HUD collects data on homeless people and plans to take care of them by laying down the best course of action for everyone. The most suitable method social workers can utilize to address homelessness is the human service delivery model.

Service Delivery Model Rationale

The human service model uses a holistic approach in service delivery. The primary mode of service is problem-solving. The focus is on the present circumstances that maximize the identification and use of the client’s strengths to solve immediate and future issues (Woodside& McClam, 2014). The human service model focuses on the client, and their environment, thus offers remedies to both areas. It provides services that assist individuals in solving their issues. The holistic process identifiesthe client’s problem and strengths; therefore, an intervention is conjured based on the identified factors.

According to the human service model, problems are an expected and even necessary part of everyday life. They occur because human existence is a complex process involving interaction with other individuals, groups, institutions, and the environment. The human service model works with the person and the environment considering the impact of social institutions, social systems and social challenges. The holistic treatment in solving homelessness is best accomplished when the human service workers recognize the client’s needs in relation to others and the environment (Khan, Koehne, Haine, & Dorney-Smith, 2019). The primary focus of the human service model is addressing challenges related to problems in living, such as homelessness. In addition, it also focuses on issues on an intrapersonal level where each case is unique compared to others. The approach integrates solutions to fit an individual, group or a large population.

The approach aims to teach clients such as homeless people critical problem-solving skills to enhance their quality of life. The human service approach maintains that society ought to provide basic needs for the homeless to have an improved quality of life. The approach is also holistic as it aims to meet the diverse needs of an individual. It is prudent to identify the cause of their situation and help them recover and rebuild their self-esteem with homeless people. A homeless individual may not be employed or may have familial issues; thus, the human service approach identifies these auxiliary issues and work with the client to prevent future homelessness. The approach ensures human service workers work systematically, first working on the immediate issues then moving on to other issues.

Strengths and weaknesses

One strength of the human service model is the successful establishment of relationships with clients. The social worker in the human service approach establishes rapport with clients before suitable intervention is identified. The social worker builds strong relationships with the homeless to ensure they give the most appropriate care based on individual needs(Woodside& McClam, 2014). This close relationship allows them to identify the unique client’s strengths.The human service model also offers a supportive environment to the homeless. This method provides immediate housing facilities while also treating environmental factors such as family. The treatment of clients and their surrounding environment offers a more successful long-term solution. The human service model focuses on the positive features of the client rather than the negatives. It also helps clients gain self-esteem by tutoring them on techniques to solve their problems independently.

The human service approach promotes the welfare of the client since it assists the client in uncovering their strengths and how to cope with challenges.The most significant weakness is the time taken to establish strong connections with the clients necessary to offer tangible solutions. The establishment of solid relations takes time, which can sometimes hinder immediate assistance of a client’s needs. The human service model is integrated with human service theories to understand the homeless issue and support the delivery of services. The most suitable human service theory in relation to homelessness is the existential and humanistic approach.

 

 

Human Service Theory

The existential and humanistic approach is the theory best fitted for addressing homelessness in Spartanburg, South Carolina. People respond to homelessness depending on how they view the issue. The existential and humanistic approach assists people in freeing themselves from self-imposed limitations and understand their real-life objectives (Nilsson, 2018). Existential and humanistic theories believe that behavior is determined by free will and choice.  In the existential and humanistic approach, it is the responsibility of the homeless to try to solve their issue of homelessness since people can make their own decisions and thus focuses on dealing with emotions in the present (Neukrug, 2017). This is echoed in the human service delivery model, whose main aim is solving the immediate homelessness issue.

The theory focuses on the clients’ subjective experience, where the significant themes are the client’s responsibility, self-awareness, and free choice (Watson & Schneider, 2016). The humanistic approach aims at guiding clients to free themselves from the shackles of assumptions that limit them from living a fuller life by encouraging growth and self-actualization (Neukrug, 2017). This approach will help the people in Spartanburg, South Carolina, better understand how to deal with homelessness and discuss what they need to survive. Self-actualization is embedded in the human service model where the social workers encourage the homeless to use their strengths to find solutions to their homelessness situation.

The existentialist approach also aims at guiding people to find philosophical meaning when faced with extreme anxiety. According to the existential approach, the leading cause of homelessness is rooted in concern over isolation, despair, loneliness and death. People must come to terms with anxiety to live a fuller life; thus, one must constantly remake oneself by evaluating choices (Nilsson, 2018). The approach focuses on people not being able to make reasonable choices that create meaning in their lives. In Spartanburg, South Carolina, dealing with homelessness, the existential and humanistic approaches incorporate personal identity and promotion of interpersonal relationships to find purpose in life. The existential and humanistic approach also reflects how people perceive themselves and experience the world. The theory believes in understanding conscious thoughts to shape behavior the same as the human service model, where the clients’ strengths are used to shape their future problem-solving skills.

Roles of Human Services Professionals Addressing the Community Problem

The primary role of human services professionals is to assist individuals in functioning constructively in society. There are numerous reasons why people become homeless, including job loss or domestic violence. Human service professionals aim to address these core causes where the goal is to find housing solutions in the short term and prevent future homelessness. The human services professionals perform the role of case management which encompasses both individualized and community treatment.

The case management work details include working with individuals to locate therapy treatment and find short- and long-term housing. The specialists use client-centered therapy to establish rapport with clients and to clarify client’s strengths throughout the session. The human service specialists must obtain consent from the clients regarding their therapy sessions, guarantee privacy to the client information and shun discrimination in delivering services such as ethnicity or gender (National Organization for Human Services, 2015).The sessions are also used to help homeless individuals overcome obstacles to facilitate a client’s acceptance of responsibility. They also assist individuals who have been offered shelter with additional services to solve future challenges byhelping in job applications and coaching the interview process.

Human services professionals also tackle the challenge of homelessness at the policy level. They ensure that the local and state governments have set policies to provide for the homeless population’s needs, such as affordable housing projects. Human service professionals must be aware of the laws to ensure efficient advocacy to help the homeless. The human service professionals also seek donations and grants that provide the required financial assistance to place families into long-term housing. The human service professionals also help individuals access specialized resources, such as homelessness due to domestic violence.The human service professionals connect this particular group of homeless organizations withnot-for-profit organizationsthat offer additional rehabilitation support.

Outline action steps for implementation of service delivery based on recommended model

The action plan for implementing service delivery based on the human service model entails; data support through documentation, supported housing projects, benefits outreach and supported employment. The first step is the documentation of the homeless through the use of data support. A data-driven approach helps identify areas where a large population of homeless people is concentrated, thus proactively bringing services to these sectors. Besides, outreach programs and evidence-based practices are used to help people with mental illnesses who are homeless. The use of data decreases the chances of discrimination.

The second approach is the provision of supported housing to the homeless. The housing affordability gap is a fundamental cause of homelessness. Thus, human service professionals collaborate with government agencies and not-for-profit organizations to provide emergency shelters and immediate access to permanent housing. Reducing homelessness in children and youth entails enrollment into schools since they offer safety and stability. The human service professionals identify children at risk of homelessness and ensure support for them to enroll in school to mitigate the impact of homelessness (Winters, Collins-Camargo, Antle, & Verbist, 2020). Homeless individuals are provided access to sustainable housing without the mandatory substance abuse and mental health treatments. These two actions offer the immediate solution to the homelessness challenge. The human service model also tutors clients’ problem-solving skills that can be utilized to prevent future homelessness through supported employment (Sherraden, Birkenmaier, & Collins,2019). The human service professionals assist the homeless improve their quality of life by placing them directly in the labor market. The human service professionals place the qualified individuals into jobs regardless of their homelessness.

Outcomes and Evaluation Approach for Effective Service Delivery

The evaluation of the human service model approach to homelessness will entail analyzing data from multiple sources. The data is comprised of interviews from individuals placed in the outreach program, surveys and program documents such as housing databases that are maintained in real-time through coordination with service providers. The use of multiple data sources improves the credibility of the information regarding the homeless. Interviews and focus groups will be used to collect information regarding participants who had been enrolled in the employment program to determine its viability. In addition, case studies will be used to integrate the user’s perspective in understanding the efficacy of the programs through the collection of quantitative data. This integrated approach provides better evaluation results than the point in counts data used to determine homelessness rates.

Conclusion

The human service delivery model implemented in addressing homelessness is the best fit. It uses a holistic approach, and its primary focus is addressing issues related to living, such as homelessness. The human service delivery model emphasizes the establishment of relationships with clients to provide a suitable intervention. The human service delivery model is used concurrently with existential and humanistic approaches since both deals with immediate issues and equip individuals with future problem-solving skills. The recommendations related to the human service model include client-centered therapy, supported housing and employment benefits. The evaluation of the actions entailsusing surveys, case studies and program documentation to determine the model’s efficiency in addressing homelessness.

 

 

References

Government Accountability Office. (2020). Homelessness. www.gao.gov/Homelessness

Khan, Z., Koehne, S., Haine, P., & Dorney-Smith, S. (2019). Improving outcomes for homeless inpatients in mental health. Housing, Care and Support, 22(1), 77-89.

National Organization for Human Services. (2015). Ethical standards for human services professionals. Retrieved from http://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical-standards.

Neukrug, E. S. (2017). Theory, practices, and trends in human services: An introduction.  Cengage Learning.

Nilsson, H. (2018). Existential social work and the quest for existential meaning and well-being: A conceptual framework. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 37(1), 64-76.

Sherraden, M. S., Birkenmaier, J., & Collins, J. M. (2019). Financial capability for all: Training human service professionals to work with vulnerable families. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 53(3), 869-876.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). Homelessness. www.hhs.gov/Homelessness

Watson, J. C., & Schneider, K. (2016). Humanistic–existential theories. APA handbook of clinical psychology: Theory and research (p. 117–143). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/14773-005.

Winters, A. M., Collins-Camargo C., Antle, B. F., & Verbist, A. N. (2020). Implementation of system-wide change in child welfare and behavioral health: The role of capacity, collaboration, and readiness for change. Children and Youth Services Review, 108.

Woodside, M. R., & McClam, T. (2014). An introduction to human services. Cengage Learning.

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