Project Homeless Connect deserves more recognition
Homelessness in Buffalo rose 10 percent from 2016 to 2017. Local and state government must take proactive measures to assist these individuals, many of whom are minors struggling to receive an education. A large percentage of the local homeless population struggles with mental health concerns that require immediate attention, but the traditional safety nets, allegedly in place to help these individuals, do not seem to be effective at preventing rising levels of homelessness in and around the city.
Welfare programs, disability services and other programs society perceives as designed to aid those most in need are failing to provide our most vulnerable citizens with adequate funds and resources to live on. Parents cannot afford to feed themselves or their families. Families cannot afford school supplies or books necessary to receive adequate educations. People are struggling to pay rent, and frequently end up on our streets, where these helpless individuals are ignored by others passing by without so much as a second glance.
Shelters cannot accommodate everyone, and our government is not actively aiding its citizens most in need of assistance. While Project Homeless Connect recently began in Buffalo, I noticed little news coverage of the event. I attended with Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc., but was unaware of the event until informed. Project Homeless Connect deserves recognition as it supplies individuals in need with valuable advice and provides opportunities for the community to engage directly with the issue of homelessness.