Collaborative & Innovative
Tackling the Issue
Homeless OutreachThe increasing asylum accommodation breeds homelessness for some minorities in big cities like Spokane. Homelessness is acute and has roots to poverty, inability to afford housing, mental illness, and drugs use. In most cases, it is not by choice as numerous factors compel individuals to the streets. Persons living in poverty in Spokane County is as high as 13%, which has been intensified further by COVID-19. A report from the Spokane Cares (2016) indicates that there are 5000 homeless individuals in the Spokane county of which 60% are children- an account which is 33% higher than the statewide average. Of this population, 21% resides in the City of Spokane alone (The Spokesman Review, 2014). The characteristics of this number consisted of people experiencing severe mental illness; chronic substance abuse condition; survivors of domestic violence; and chronically homeless individuals (Spokane Cares, 2016). It has been documented that 83% of homeless students have experienced a violent event by the age of 12 (Lawrence-Turner, 2014).
According to Mayes (2013), the problem of homelessness is “beyond the scope of local, state and the federal government” but rather “it is really best and most efficient in the hands of private individuals or organizations who manage the homeless.” Homelessness issue in Spokane County will only increase as the population of the county has seen steady increase since 2010. US Census Bureau (2020) reported a population increase of 14.5% between 2010-2020 with foreign born persons being 5.4% of the entire population The area has seen the influx of new industries and businesses thereby attracting teeming jobseekers of varying socioeconomic conditions. The consequence of this economic push results in rising housing costs beyond the reach of many, especially the minorities. Median gross rent for the 2015-2019 census was $913 but currently the average rent in Spokane for a 1-bedroom apartment as of August 2021 is $1,105, a 30% jump than 2020 (US Census, 2020). This is way out of reach to individuals earning the minimum wage in Washington State.
We are creating initiatives to promote great opportunities for those in need. The results from empirical studies would identify the immediate impact of homelessness, drug use disorder and mental health issues prevalent in Spokane County. Some work has been done by some organizations in the city of Spokane, yet, it is a sorry site driving through Downtown Spokane, for example with numerous men, women, adolescents and children taking refuge under the bridge and in the streets. This immediately unveils the inadequacies of current efforts to confront the issues. Psychological health is affected by social structure through the social environment, work and health behavior. Early life, genetics, and ethnic culture form the backdrop on which the other factors operate to influence an individual’s well-being. Immigrants face many challenges arising from the change in social structure and culture when they immigrate, which affects social environment, work, and health behavior domains. Differences in the culture of the new country add to the possibility of internal and external discord that may affect the mental health of these immigrants (Baker, 2016). The main factors compelling this populace to this unenviable living conditions is yet to be identified. Until empirical evidences are identified, every effort tailored towards solving the problems will remain elusive. Shalom Outreach Washington's baseline study with qualitative and quantitative approach will dig deeper into the real reasons why the conditions have prevailed. With access to the right resources, people can become empowered by their own abilities and gain the confidence to fulfill their potential through skills development opportunities provided by SOW. Learn more about our work by getting in touch with our team today.
Education & Outreach
Doing What’s Needed:
Shalom Outreach Washington is designing an intervention program to boost the educational backgrounds of most immigrants and local minorities who either dropped out or could not afford to complete high school. By training participants to take GED classes, huge employment opportunities are opened to them. Support our efforts.
Skills Development Strategies
Tackling the Issue:
SOW has opportunities to train individuals for hands on skills by partnering with construction, artisan, retail companies and others to open employment doors to the immigrants without jobs