How does it feel to be hungry on the streets of Philadelphia? I went into this 80 hour journey with a plan to just feed the homeless; expecting to see the superficial effects of street life through appearances. I expected everyone in need walking by to accept the offered water, take an extra napkin, welcome a warm meal. I never imagined pride becoming such a motivating factor behind who accepted the meal and who didn’t.
My capstone centered around homelessness; even those too prideful to admit they need a hand. I originally planned to open the SLA doors and host the “soup kitchen” in our cafe on a lonely Saturday morning. With some help, I budgeted how much money I would need in order to feed an estimated shelter. It wasn’t cheap; so I fundraised through the SLA community as much as I could before the big event.
That big event was unfortunately pushed back a while, leaving me room to explore more shelters and central ideas behind my capstone. I started to develop an outside mentor, one who has a heavy foot in the recovering addict community. He helped me acknowledge why some people end up on the streets, and why some people are hesitate in lending a hand.
We reached out to shelters in Kensington area, local to his rooming home for men and women suffering with substance abuse issues. We spread the word that there would be warm lunches available on Saturday. Spreading the word became easy; people in the rooming home started telling friends and the turnout was great.
"Www.phillyvetshouse.org." Philadelphia Veterans House. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016
This source represents more than just a webpage. The philadelphia veteran house was one of the original shelters i reached out too; completely lost on how to bring my capstone to life. I originally thought I would have to scrap them as they have a volunteer application process and deadline, but they were still able to provide me plenty of information about veterans in our area.
Through their website and telephone communications, I was able to get an understanding of how volunteers begin their process. This source allowed me to keep in contact with them for questions, concerns and help spreading the word.
"Wish List." Philadelphia Veterans House. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.
This section of the Philadelphia Veteran House was extremely helpful throughout this whole process. As simple as it sounds, by listing all the supplies they use and need donations of on a daily basis, I was able to gauge what supplies was really necessary for me to ask for. Having such a successful guide also helped me compile a “wish-list” of my own to pass along to the Community Involvement Club. There were many times google searches for supply lists needed for a soup kitchen stretched 4 pages long, while this one listed necessary and realistic supplies I should aim to buy.
Volz, Cat. "What Does It Feel like to Be Homeless and Poor in America?"What Does It Feel like to Be Homeless and Poor in America? Quora, n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.
I stumbled upon this source miraculous, simply looking for more accurate supplies list. Not knowing what food is appropriate to serve and what is not, I searched for actual experiences. This source gave a tremendous first hand encounter on how it was to be on the streets- for the exact minute she was able to get off. This opened up a whole other door to my capstone leaving me to ask much bigger questions about who I was truly appealing too. Having this inside knowledge I was able to brainstorm ways to incorporate her feelings into how I both presented my capstone and spoke about it.
"Facts on Homelessness." Project HOME. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.
This source was different than what I was used too, which helped me put some things into perspective. Majorly a statistics page, it offered insight into homelessness nationwide, even narrowing into veterans. By going in depth about the homelessness rates fluctuation, I was able to examine any outside factors effecting that change. The source also offered useful information about what population of our nation is homelessness, ie. their age and sex. It even discuss possible causes of homelessness, which in itself suggests ways to fix the system. This simple source also offers statistics specific to Philadelphia, and whether they are sheltered or unsheltered.
Leal, Daniel, Marc Galanter, Helen Dermatis, and Laurence Westreich. "Correlates of Protracted Homelessness in a Sample of Dually Diagnosed Psychiatric Inpatients." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 16.2 (1999): 143-47. National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 17 May 2016.
As my capstone shifted away from veterans, I developed a new focus area for homelessness. The addiction community is heavily scrutinized while also being heavily judged. My outside mentor is certified in the addiction field, but he dealt with recovering addicts. This source gives information about the substance abuse effects on homelessness and how it differs from the average homeless person. This source was very useful because it also paired with other coexisting issues besides substance abuse. Besides explaining how the addiction cycle could lead to homelessness very easily, the source gives background to how the state is involved in limiting addict homelessness.
"Overdose Deaths Among Homeless Persons." National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). N.p., 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 May 2016.
This source discusses the effects of substance abuse in homelessness. This source specifically overviews the different substances that may be abused so much to the point of overdosage. This source made me do a double take because at first it seemed unreliable. Despite being a .gov and seemingly trusting website, I was hesitate to trust the information on this particular page; I had nothing to verify this data was accurate. But after researching more on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website I feel more confident that is is a trustworthy source. This source is helpful with understanding the effects of homelessness; even if that person is an addict.
Zalot, Morgan, and Vince Lattanzio. "Homeless Youth: A Silent Epidemic."NBC 10 Philadelphia. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.
This source is extremely different from the previous ones my research has been based off of. This article was published by NBC 10 News, regarding the dangerous epidemic on homelessness in youth. After reading this article a few time I was not going to reference it because of the person nature the author wrote the article in to try and engage your sympathy and concern. It seemed forced, or like it was fitting into an image. But as I read the comments and reread the person accounts, I realized the author succeeds in using these youths to make a point.
Hughes, Ryan. "Kensington Sees Largest Increase of Homeless Individuals during 2015 Count." Philadelphia City Paper. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.
This source gets very specific about homelessness in the Kensington Philadelphia area. This source discussing the dramatic rate increase that Kensington experienced for its homeless citizens and suggests people may not want to even go into a city shelter. Since this article is so short, I was not originally going to cite it. But the discussion on the homeless not wanting to go into city shelters sparked my interest for further research and became a very useful source. The personal accounts, and empathize on their polite attitude, became extremely useful in mentor conversations. It provoked conversations about living conditions for homeless; there is a major difference between shelters and housing.
Mago, Vijay K., Hilary K. Morden, Charles Fritz, Tiankuang Wu, Sara Namazi, Parastoo Geranmayeh, Rakhi Chattopadhyay, and Vahid Dabbaghian. "BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making." Analyzing the Impact of Social Factors on Homelessness: A Fuzzy Cognitive Map Approach. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.
On first glance, this source seemed great. It had every analysis of societal impact on homelessness, and vice versa. As I read through this source, I realized a lot of the information was fluffed up. This source went in depth with the government's impacts on homelessness, whist including graphs to backup all data referenced. This gave me confidence in the source as each important statistic had another reference point to back it up. The source was also useful because of the explanatory graphs that connected to the text. At times there were some extremely statistic things, strictly formulas, but otherwise it the source was beneficial.
Sands, Jim, and Jill Atkey. "Homelessness." SpringerReference (n.d.): n. pag. Nov. 2009. Web. 17 May 2016.
This source is beneficial on almost every page. Instead of deeply analysing the societal effects of homelessness, this source depicts how homelessness affects everyone, not just the homeless. This has to do with mental illness, troubled/misunderstood youth, substance issues and many more important factors. The source becomes extremely useful as they examine different forms of homelessness. This is the most relatable source I have found as it does not try and sugar coat the impacts of homelessness, rather simply explains how certain factors impact each other. This source also uses many visuals to back up their cited facts, giving me confidence in their reliability.