Do Homeless People Have Special Needs?

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Homeless people tend to have special needs, whether those be physical or mental, and those needs could include help building relationships, conflict resolution, anger management, self-motivation or physical disabilities. Understand the needs of many homeless people across the nation with information from a Salvation Army major in this free video on homelessness.

Part of the Video Series: Homelessness
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Video Transcript

I'm Major Carole Emeron of the Salvation Army. My husband and I co-direct the services of the Salvation Army in Buchanan County, so that includes shelter, the core community center, the thrift store, community outreach, disaster services and anything else the Salvation Army would be involved in here in Buchanan County. Do homeless people have special needs is a good question, and you know, my mind starts thinkin' what what are some of those special needs? And I think yes, that some of the needs are relational; building relationships, conflict resolution, anger management. And those could or could not be designated as mental health issues. It could be that it's just a pattern of the person's life, and their they don't know how to work through it. Abuse could be part of that special need that they have. Do we have people who have physical and and mental special needs? Mental special needs, yes; physical special needs, sometimes. However, I think we could see that escalate in the future as funding is cut. Oftentimes, the homeless shelter doesn't have the ability to take care of somebody's physical special need. For instance, if you have a person who's a paraplegic trying to get into a homeless shelter probably would be a big nightmare for them because they're not necessarily set up to care for the person, or even though we're American disabilities accessible it doesn't necessarily mean that everything is going to be easy for that person and that there's going to be a caregiver, and all that goes with that kind of a special need. But I think everyone in our society really has special needs. None of us need the very same thing for survival that our next-door neighbor does, but particularly we're talking about homeless, and I think that we probably could say yes, that a goodly number of them have a special need. And it may not be what people normally think of as a special need. It could be self-motivation. It could be the hope to go on in a situation where they've maybe been beat down, and beat down, and beat down, and now they've reached the end of that and really sort of want to give up. And they come to a homeless shelter, and somebody works very diligently to help walk them through and talk them through so that they do grasp that hope again. Thank you again for your interest in the issue of homelessness. This is Major Carole of The Salvation Army, St. Joseph Missouri, and I just want to encourage you to do what you can to prevent homelessness. There are many ways people can help. By volunteering, by giving of resources; shampoos, soaps, laundry detergent, blankets, socks, underclothes, by volunteering your time with an organization. So again, thank you for your interest in this particular video, and if you have any questions, please feel free to call your local Salvation Army. I'm sure that we can put you to work, and make an impact in each community that you'll represent.

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