Does Loss of Jobs Cause Homelessness?

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Homelessness can be caused by loss of jobs or even just a cut in hours, and these days it is taking more than a year for the unemployed to find a new job and get back on their feet. Learn about the cycle of unemployment leading to poverty 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 Emmeron of the Salvation Army. My husband and I co-direct the services of the Salvation Army in Buchanan County. So that includes the shelter, the Corps Community Center, the thrift store, community outreach, disaster services and anything else the Salvation Army would be involved in here in Buchanan County. One of the causes of homelessness can be job loss. A reduction in hours even of the employment. Somebody thinks that they're going to have forty hours a week and that's going to be able to pay for them for whatever shelter needs they have and all of a sudden they are cut either completely out of work a couple of weeks or their hours are reduced to such that they're no longer able to continue to pay for their shelter needs. Well I think it not only contributes, but it also capsulates or captures the people to be able to, to prevent them from really, again being gainfully employed. It takes them longer. We used to say it took about three months for somebody who lost their job and lost their income to recuperate. Now it's probably a year to a year and a half. Because first of all the job security isn't there. Searching for a job when everyone else is out of a job is very difficult. So and statistically, I'm not sure how many of our folks are here because they've lost jobs. I know that we used to say and this was probably the last fifteen years that one percent of the population could be potentially homeless. I am guessing and I don't have it statistically or scientifically proven but it's probably more like two to three percent now. Which doesn't seem like a lot but when you start talking about the millions and billions of people then it really does. And then when you start talking about the capacity of your homeless shelters to be able to take in these individuals, it's a pretty extravagant number. 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 represent.

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