Goal Statement: In this portfolio, the issue of homelessness in Austin will be discussed as well as the impacts affordable housing and easier access to resources could have as preventative measures.
Significant Findings: The target population of this portfolio includes individuals at risk of entering into homelessness in Austin, Texas. In communities across the United States, higher rates of homelessness are correlated with higher rates of criminal activity, mental health issues, and substance abuse across all subgroups of those communities (Center for Evidence-Based Solutions to Homelessness, 2019). Thus, the issue of homelessness is a public health issue because it impacts entire communities, not just the individuals being directly affected by homelessness. The number of homeless individuals in Austin, Texas has skyrocketed since the year 2020, and it continues to grow despite local prevention efforts (AustinTexas.gov, n.d.). However, research shows that with the aid of prevention efforts focused on providing easier access to preventative resources and affordable housing, community programs and mental health professionals can work together to prevent at-risk individuals from entering into homelessness in the first place (AustinTexas.gov, n.d.). When working with such an underserved population, professionals must also consider the different types of individuals being affected by homelessness, and they must work to cultivate preventative measures that are effective, culturally competent, and evidence-based.