Let’s Help our Own Community What do you think of first when you encounter homeless individuals on the street? Are you among those who believe their poor life choices have earned them something bad? Or do you pause and consider how you may assist them? Whether we like to admit it or not, the majority of us choose the former. Instead of working to help the homeless get back on their feet, we blame them for their predicament.
We are socially programmed to distrust those we perceive as not being excellent community members. Homeless individuals are frequently represented as criminals and disease carriers in the media, including some movies. In this blog, we will discuss some key reasons for homelessness in Florida and how we can help such members in our community while struggling through our own demons. Let’s begin!
Lack of Home
In addition to the high cost of housing, there is also a lack of affordable homes available in Florida. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there is a shortage of over400,000 affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renters in Florida. This leaves many individuals and families struggling to find a place to call home.
Mental illness is another key factor that can lead to homelessness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 20% of adults in the U.S. live with a mental illness. In Florida, this number is even higher, with an estimated 26% of adults living with a mental illness. Mental illness can often lead to job loss, financial instability, and family conflict, which can all contribute to homelessness.
Substance abuse is another common factor that leads to homelessness. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 20% of people experiencing homelessness have a substance abuse disorder. In Florida, this number is even higher, with an estimated 30% of people experiencing homelessness having a substance abuse disorder. Substance abuse can lead to job loss, financial instability, and health problems, which can all contribute to homelessness.
Lack of Income
In addition to the high cost of housing, many individuals and families in Florida also lack the income needed to afford rent. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the average hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home in Florida is $22.96, but the average hourly wage earned by workers in Florida is only $16.88. This leaves many people struggling to make ends meet and at risk of becoming homeless.
Why Should You Help Your Homeless Community?
Homelessness isn’t a choice. It’s essentially circumstances. No one chooses to be homeless.
It’s not something that people aspire to. Rather, it’s a situation that people find themselves in when they have no other options. This could be due to factors beyond their control, such as the high cost of housing, lack of available affordable housing, mental illness, substance abuse, or lack of income.
If you see someone who is homeless, don’t judge them. Help them. There are many ways you can help people who are experiencing homelessness in your community. You can donate to a local shelter or food bank, volunteer your time at a local shelter or soup kitchen, or simply offer a kind word or smile to someone who is struggling. Remember, everyone deserves a place to call home.
Our team embodies the adage that having compassion does work by providing a variety of services through their kindhearted efforts. As fulfilling as it is to care for and assist others, the labour can be emotionally taxing and difficult. We make ourselves a voice for those who lack the ability to speak for themselves by fighting as hard as we can on their behalf. But in order to achieve this successfully, we must also make sure that we are taking good care of ourselves.
Here are ten suggestions to help you keep your mental peace in mind while doing good in your own community:
Make time for yourself
You must schedule enough time for self-care if you want to perform at your best and take the best possible care of others. A good meal, exercise, or just saying “no” when you’re too exhausted to handle more task can all be examples of taking care of yourself. You can be a better care giver for others if you take the time you require for self-care.
Plan brief breaks
The typical weekday no longer looks the same. As more employees choose a hybrid office paradigm, it is simple to arrange meetings back-to-back with brief intermissions. Avoid overcommitting yourself and give yourself some downtime in between meetings. If a later or earlier start time would be more convenient for you, don’t be hesitant to let the meeting organizer know, and mark times on your calendar when you’ll need a break to refuel.
Reduce Emotional Fatigue
When you’re volunteering and taking care of others around you, at one point you might face an emotional fatigue. To get through it, you need to remember the reason why the cause is so important. It’ll help you keep going. Also, take some time out for yourself every day to do things that make you happy and relaxed. This can be anything from reading a book, taking a walk or playing with your pet.
Set realistic goals
If you’re trying to achieve too many things at one go, it’s only going to lead to more stress. So, take a step back, and reassess your goals. Set realistic and achievable goals for yourself, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Get Enough Sleep
It is essential that you get enough sleep to be able to function properly. When you’re sleep-deprived, it’s hard to concentrate and be productive. So, make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Make better choices every day in terms of your purchasing habits and the sourcing of your essentials. You can also Shop for a cause at Community Reach to help the homeless population. What this means is that you can purchase items from stores that donate a portion of their proceeds to organizations that help the homeless. Through philanthropic shopping, you can donate to various causes without having to spend any extra money. Consider investing in are usable water bottle, which would help reduce plastic waste and also save you money in the long run.
Make time for socializing
It’s easy to get so caught up in your work that you forget to take some time out for socializing. However, it’s important to have a healthy social life as it helps reduce stress. So, make sure you take some time out to meet up with friends and family, or even just to go out for coffee by yourself. You can also socialize with the people you volunteer for.
Find a support system
A support system can be anyone from your friends and family to your colleagues. These are the people you can rely on when things get tough. If you don’t have a support system, try to find one. There are also various online communities that can offer emotional support.
Do something fun every day
No matter how busy you are, make sure you do something that brings people together and also something that revitalizes your volunteering efforts. It could be as simple as playing with a dog at the animal shelter or taking a yoga class before starting your day. These are just some of the things you can do to take care of yourself while also doing good in your community. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, make sure you take care of yourself, so that you can continue to care for others.
What are some things you do to take care of yourself? Let us know in the comments below!