June 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
This last week I finished my research by examining the statistics of homelessness in Durham as well as the demographics of the homeless crime throughout the city of Durham. Observing the percentages of the overall homeless rate in Durham versus the average of the United States, it was useful to compare and the see the large difference homelessness in Durham compared to the national average. Looking at the statistics found in the 2010 census, Durham experiences homeless rates that are almost seven times higher than the national average. While the “chronic” homeless rate is approximately the same as other cities throughout the country, Durham has about seven times more people that experience homelessness at least once a year comparatively. Furthermore, I researched the correlation between crime and homelessness in Durham and found a strong correlation between the two. While the numbers have dropped significantly over the past few years, the correlation is still apparent and hints to one of the macroscopic problems of Durham’s crime scene.
Perhaps the most in depth research I conducted this week was on Durham’s Ten Year Plan Against Homelessness. This plan, conducted by the Durham City Council, was not only used as a demographic study, but primarily as a solution to Durham’s high homeless rate. While I conducted all my research for this topic online, I was enthralled to find the plethora of statistics that applied to my study. This research provided a “new hope” aspect that I plan on incorporating into my paper. Discussing the entire ten-year process of providing permanent housing to the “chronically” homeless in Durham, this plan showed the federal government’s conscientious response to the large problem in Durham. Furthermore, I found out this plan is being conducted in accordance to Urban Ministries of Durham as well as a few other homeless organizations. Surprisingly, it is also working to solve the social discrimination problem of Durham and is moving to eliminate the criminal record check boxes on the preliminary job application. Establish this would provide the chance for an applicant to explain himself and make an impression before a prejudice forms from the man’s past. Other approaches to stop social discrimination are being taken as well to eliminate public alienation in the community.
From this entire semester, I was able to take an introspective look at myself and reflect on many of the issues of the general public that I faced myself. Conducting this study on the homeless, I was able to see what it is like on the other side of the sign and how it makes me feel to be alienated. This study helped me recognize with the homeless men I talked to and open an empathetic heart to their needs. It also refuted the common misconceptions of laziness among homeless people. In closing, I was happy and thankful that I studied this topic because it really helped me take a closer look at myself by observing the daily lives of those less fortunate than me.