The special needs group of students are those with emotional, mental or physical disabilities or have a high risk of developing any of these conditions. This group of students may also be those with disadvantaged backgrounds. The special needs group of students is a topic of interest because of various challenges they face. The challenges faced by special needs groups of students ranges from financial, education, social to proper housing. The refugees falling under the special needs groups need appropriate support from the community colleges and the government at large for them to afford adequate housing, which is a social determinant of the populations health (Rassen, Cooper, & Mery, 2010). The social determinants of health have been designed to identify the modes through which physical and social environments can be created to promote good health for the needy group to enable them to make choices leading that would make their health better (Shaw, 2008). Efficient and affordable housing for the students with special needs are essential in protecting the students and promoting both their academic and personal success (Rassen, Cooper, & Mery, 2010). This group of students needs particular type of housing fitted with supportive services, which does not discriminate their physical nature or torture them psychologically. Thus, this research will focus on affordable housing for immigrant students with special needs the refugee camps. This study will assess the strengths, needs, and assets of housing as a social determinant of health to these students and analyze the outcomes to come up with an appropriate solution. The study will employ mixed method design, which includes research questionnaires to collect data from secondary sources of information. The following will be the research questions: What is the approximate number of student with special needs living in refugee camps?
- Are the majority of the homeless people male or female?
- What factors contribute to people being homeless?
- What is the government doing to reduce the number of homeless people?
- Which organizations provide support to the students who cant afford adequate housing?
- Which country is hugely affected by the homeless groups?
- What is the range of age for students with special needs living in the refugee camps?
The special needs group of students gets shelter through the aid of Affordable and Special Needs Housing Program (ASNH), which is jointly funded by the state and federal to provide affordable housing throughout the Commonwealth states. The funding is bi-annual and primarily sourced from home funds, National Housing Trust Fund and Virginia Housing Trust Fund Competitive Loan Pool. According to the report by the United States (1991), the special needs group also receive funding from the Community Development Commission, which is firmly committed to helping people with disabilities through the provision of funds to nonprofit organizations and developers to help in building special needs housing fitted with the supportive services. Individuals with mental illness, those living with HIV/AIDS, transition age youth, victims of domestic violence and homeless households all fall under special needs and needs support (Shaw, 2008). Various studies that have been conducted shows there exist a relationship between the health and homelessness of the individuals. The relationship between health and homelessness is seen to be correlated as homelessness contributes to health issues, and similarly health problems too contribute to poverty and homelessness (Frankish, Hwang, & Quantz, 2005). Results from the research show that 85% of homeless people experience chronic health disease. The homeless people have experienced several issues which include unintentional injuries like burns, cuts, bruises, etc. and mortality, musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pains, hunger and nutrition, skin and foot problems, dental problems, infectious diseases, respiratory illness, mental health issues, sexual and reproductive care and chronic diseases and disorders. Under mortality and injuries, they incur unintentionally, motor vehicles and falls are always the primary cause of their injuries. These groups are also vulnerable to an unintentional overdose of drugs such as alcohol (Frankish, Hwang, & Quantz, 2005). When exposed to cold weather with these hazards, the special needs students risk attacks from hypothermia and frostbite which is one of the main causes of death in various parts of the world through freezing the victim. Hot weather's also cause severe sunburns and heat stroke to the victims. Suicide is also a common cause of death in this group due to rampant violence experienced by the homeless group. Approximately 40% of the homeless people have been assaulted each year of which 21% of the forty percent are women. Cases of fire consuming the makeshift shelters of the refugees have also been reported thus need for appropriate and affordable housing for these special needs people. Disorders affecting joints, tendons and ligaments have also been reported in the refugee camps. The treatment of these diseases has proved to be challenging due to the poor living conditions in the streets and the temporary shelters due to their inability to afford the prescribed medicine and poor sleeping conditions in these places. Many of these students have resorted to drug abuse instead of seeing the doctor ease their pain while others have the phobia from the experience where they have been mistreated by the physicians who have often prescribed over the counter pain medication instead of regular admission to the hospital. Statistics from the national report compiled by the Canadian Homelessness Research Network (CHRN) and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness shows that at least 200,000 Canadians have the homelessness problem in any given year. The research also shows that 150,000 Canadians use shelters, which are not in suitable condition (Firth, 2010). Approximately 30,000 people from Canada sleep outside every night without food or housing and over 50,000 are hidden homeless within the same night staying with friends or relatives because they have nowhere else to go (Firth, 2010). The report showed discrimination and neglect by the government, as they have not been able to control the situation. They have suggested various solutions, which have not been useful in the end like warehousing the homeless people. In Toronto, approximately 5000 people sleep outdoors every year in emergency shelters because of domestic violence. Men constitute 65% of the homeless some with experience in the Canadian military.
Condition Number of Canadians
The homeless can come from any group, however, from the reports single adult males of between the age of 25 and 55 form the majority of the homeless population taking a percentage of 47.5. Youths ranging from age, sixteen to twenty-four where the majority of the students fall accounts for 20% of the total population (Firth, 2010). Within the youth population, 25 to 40 percent of them are lesbians, gay, bisexual or transgender and have been publicly discriminated because of their sexual orientations (Peressini, McDonald & Hulchanski, 1996). The remaining percentage of the homeless people consists of the aboriginal group of individuals.
Homelessness can be categorized into various degrees depending on their situations. Of the 200,000 homeless population of Canada, 4,000 to 8,000 fall under chronically homeless group, they are those who use homeless shelters. The episodic group consists of 6000 to 22000 people who move into the homeless shelters and out a multiple number of times over several years (Echenberg, & Jensen, 2008). The transitional homeless forms the vast majority of the homeless group consisting of between 176000 to 188000, they are individual families using the shelter system for short stay (Rassen, Cooper & Mery, 2010). They usually occupy these systems for less than one month thus homelessness to them is a one-time event. These people are often pushed to being homeless due to various reasons like loss of jobs, addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, and extreme poverty. Over the past years, there has been a decline in the number of rental houses that the less fortunate group can afford. Combined with the little or no income and the widespread discrimination in the private and public sectors the population sought to find alternatives thus their vulnerability (Rassen, Cooper & Mery, 2010). From the findings in various secondary sources, 36% of the students with disabilities live in apartments, 9% of them live in condominiums, 10% in duplexes, 34% in houses, 3% live in-group homes, 2% in care homes while 6% live in unspecified housing (Echenberg, & Jensen, 2008). This data can be represented in table and graphs as bellow
Living Place Percentage
Recommendations Lessons learnt. From the analysis of the key findings, the outcomes prove that the underlying problem of homelessness for students with special needs entails several things. Having a home is a basic human need for personal warmth, shelter, and safety. Shelter, protection, and warmth have proved to be very vital for the proper health of any living being. It is also evident that personal security, privacy, and quiet environment is imperative for good health and conducive sleep (United States, 1991). It is also helpful for faster recovery of patients. Proper and affordable housing is vital for safekeeping of the personal belongings like clothing, bedding, and possessions, which are carried all the times around.
Good housing and proper planning facilitate hygienic conditions for shaving, cleaning clothes and even drying them. With better housing facilities, preparation and storing of foodstuffs becomes easier in safer ways, which are less harmful to the health of an individual. Affordable housing is also a real requirement for this group because of mail address issues. For mail delivery, a permanent address is a obligation to enable them to keep contact with friends, relatives and other people who are important to them. It is also evident that this group has faced hostility from the various arms of the state due to the use of drugs, which has led to their assault in different ways.
Measures to be undertaken to change the situation Homeless people are part of our society and deserve fair treatment from both the locals and the government. They face several problems beyond lacking affordable, safe, and suitable housing and homes (Smith et al., 2013). Their problems range from social disadvantages to private and public difficulties. The refugees have often been deprived of vital necessities in states like Toronto and Ontario. In countries like Canada, some immigrants have been denied access to some essential private and public services like schools, hospitals, banking services, etc. (Smith et al., 2013). Thus, from this research, to achieve a peaceful coexistence between the locals and the immigrants, the refugees should be provided with proper health and dental services within the camps and their areas of residence.
Schools and other social amenities should also be built in these areas to provide quality education to less advantaged group.
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