Homelessness has become a big business in America. There is an abundance of organizations claiming to help homeless communities, but do they really? With the cost of living on the rise in America, The number of homeless communities is continuing to grow. With the rising numbers in homelessness come organizations claiming to provide resolutions to the problem. But are they? Many of the nonprofits in America begin with good intentions. But over time, the pressure of increasing debt and the decline in enthusiasm can crumble the foundation of any well-meaning organization. In Tampa, FL, the population is currently numbered at more than one thousand documented homeless community members. There are a plethora of programs that assist in improving the homeless issue. However, the climbing cost of living and the stagnant employment wages aren't helping. Many people have jobs, but no homes. They stay in shelters only to be forced to pay excessive fees and robbed of any freedom they've earned. But how does this happen? Some organizations can obtain funding via direct donations from individuals and businesses, they use smart ways to acquire money from its residents and do not report accurate housing occupancy numbers. According to the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative (THHI), more than 30% of the homeless population are women. Women are more susceptible to verbal and emotional abuse when homeless, because, often, that is the reason they are experiencing homelessness. Many of them suffered some form of abuse or domestic violence, which led to their displacement. There are thousands of resources in the Tampa area that are helpful, restorative, and educational. So how is it that with a surplus of good funds, people are still being taken advantage of? Loopholes in reporting and audits make it possible to go long periods under the county's radar, that's how. Our community members deserve organizations and resources they can depend on. It's hard enough being homeless in Hillsborough County. But, being homeless and taken advantage of creates feelings of mistrust and confusion. The good news is, you can help! By volunteering your time and donating to organizations like THHI, you can help increase the much-needed resources in our community, time, and money. Report toxic organizations or organizations that are physically unsafe. Wanting change is easy; making it happen takes work. Together we can make a positive impact, not just for our city, but for our future as well.
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