Understanding Homelessness In Our Community
By Tammy Modic | Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012 2:00 pm
Homeless In Our Community

Ending homelessness must begin with the understanding that people who are or have been homeless are our neighbors and members of our community. Public perceptions and attitudes toward persons experiencing homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless need to change in order for positive, long-term solutions to be realized.

Most Americans rarely interact with people who are or who have been homeless. The lack of interaction between different groups of our society, combined with impersonal or inaccurate descriptions of homelessness posed by the media and public officials, contributes to a distancing of those who have housing from those who do not. As a result, homelessness is perceived as an abstract social problem.

Those who experience homelessness are seen as the sources of their own misfortunes, and the socio-economic policies and practices that give rise to homelessness are then too easily ignored. This abstraction, in turn, lessens the degree of urgency and commitment needed to work strategically and consistently toward solutions to end homelessness that are long-term, outcome-based, and not simply responses to crises.

Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing wishes to teach and challenge tomorrow's leaders as well as empower those who have experienced homelessness first-hand, that by fostering an environment of self-worth, respect, and understanding for all people, we can and will end homelessness.

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mental / physical health »

Stable housing and supportive services are critical
From the National Alliance to End Homelessness

About half of people experiencing homelessness suffer from mental health issues. At any given point in time, 45 percent of homeless people report having had indicators of mental health problems during the past year. About 25 percent of the homeless population has serious mental illness, including chronic depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

People experiencing homelessness also have a high rate of substance use. According a 1996 survey, 46 percent of homeless respondents reported having an alcohol use problem in the past year,

and 38 percent reported a problem with drug use in the past year. Mental and physical health problems are exacerbated by living on the streets and in shelters. Health conditions that require ongoing treatment — such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, addiction, and mental illness — are difficult to treat when people are living in shelter or on the streets. Medication can require special steps, including refrigeration or special storage, that can be difficult to execute for people experiencing homelessness. Preventative care can also be difficult for this population to access due to its often prohibitive cost, so people experiencing homelessness may wait to seek medical care until a trip to the emergency room is necessary.

These mental and physical health conditions should be considered when designing effective, efficient strategies to end homelessness. Permanent supportive housing provides stable housing coupled with supportive services as needed – a cost-effective solution to homelessness for those with the most severe health, mental health, and substance use challenges.

Directors Corner »

Community Outreach and Fundraising
By Tammy Modic - NATH Executive Director | Posted: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 1:00 pm

It is hard to believe that March is coming to an end, and we are a quarter of the way through 2014.

The Community Outreach and Fundraising Committee is busy preparing for the upcoming events this summer and fall. We are in the process of gathering the four items for our Summer Raffle, looking for Raffle Sponsors, and securing the locations where we will be selling the tickets. If you are interested in sponsoring the Summer Raffle please contact me at 715-369-9777.

We already have dates set for our brat sales. We will be selling brats and raffle tickets in Eagle River, Rhinelander, Minocqua, Saint Germain and Antigo. We will need help at many of these events. If you are willing to give a couple hours to help us out, please checkout Sign Up Genius, our volunteer sign up at:   http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090D45A9AB2DA31-fundraising.  More dates and times will be added in the near future, so please check back often.

Last year NATH was able to have a miniature house built that we used in the Rhinelander Forth of July Parade. We will again have the float in that parade, as well as in the Saint Germain Fourth of July Parade. The parades are a fun way to showcase Frederick Place. An opportunity to sign up to participate in the parades will also be on Sign Up Genius in the near future.

These are great ways to help NATH and Frederick Place continue to provide shelter for those experiencing homelessness. Come join the fun!

Tammy Modic
NATH Executive Director