Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why are there so many homeless veterans

             In January of 2014, approximately 50,000 veterans were identified in the unites states, accounting for 9% of the homeless population as a whole. There are various reasons for these unsettling statistics including mental health and lack of specialized care. 

             As a result of traumatic experiences in combat situations veterans are at an increased risk for developing debilitating mental disorders, such as PTSD. This anxiety disorder makes it difficult to maintain relationships, hold down a job, and often leads to homelessness. Maintaining relationships is a crucial step in re-entering life outside of war because continued contact and immediate treatment help prevent additional mental problems. Holding down a job is also important as it allows the veteran to become self-reliant and independent which significantly improves their mental health. Also, Upon becoming homeless 50% of veterans resort to drugs and alcohol to solve their problems which makes it increasingly difficult to obtain employment and restart life. 

              To help combat this problem the V.A. and government should implement programs for veterans to receive employment opportunities as soon as possible and reach out to veterans to access their mental health and help them recover. This would decrease homeless population because by employing veterans right away the likelihood of them becoming successful increases, as it grants them independence and income. 

             Women have an increased risk of becoming homeless. This is due to organizations dedicated to helping veterans basing their services on the needs of males. This decreases the effectiveness of care for both women as they have gender-specific needs. A main cause of homelessness for women is MST, or military sexual trauma, and around 50% of homeless female veterans report having experienced it during service. “Homeless veterans who experienced MST demonstrated a significantly higher likelihood of almost all mental health conditions”( c All of these factors cause the women who suffered from this event to be at a greater risk of becoming homeless than other veterans. Specialized care and counseling for those who suffered from this are often not available through veteran organizations due to lack of gender specific care and offering these services would help decrease the population of homeless veterans.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Power gap In Nickel and Dimed

The book Nickel and Dimed follows Barbara Ehrenreich and her experiences working multiple low paying jobs. She is constantly struggling to make ends meet and have enough money to purchase bare essentials such as housing and food. The places she worked at usually had a significant power gap between the workers and the managers, causing a perpetual sense of powerlessness. 

Barb experienced the most overwhelming sense of powerlessness while working at Hearthside. This was due to the oppressive manager, Stu, who would demeaningly watch his employees to ensure they never got a moment of relaxation. This had a negative effect on all his workers mentally and physically. Since she wasn't able to sit down the end of the day was characterized by extreme fatigue, which was new to her. Also, she worked constantly fearing that Stu would force her to do a more strenuous task that would follow him catching her Idling.

During her time at Woodcrest, she was able to control her work environment the most. Her supervisor, Linda, made this possible by demonstrating that she cared about her workers, Ehrenreich even describes her as “kindly”, the opposite of how she described her other supervisors. Unlike Stu, Linda didn't watch her employees so Barbara was able to focus solely on working, rather than constantly being under the pressure associated with a manager watching you. 

When Ehrenreich worked for Molly maids she had the most “say” and the ability to collaborate with her co workers. This is because the employees aren't under a manager's supervision when they are cleaning the houses. One time where she was able to have control over a situation in the workplace is when Holly hurts her ankle. Ehrenreich was determined to lighten Holly’s work to preserve her wellbeing and prevent her from further injury, so her and her other coworkers took steps to minimize the amount of strenuous tasks that Holly had to do.  For example, Barb worked hard to complete her assignment quickly so she can do the ones Holly isn't able to do, while Holly does the cleaning that doesn't require standing, such as cleaning bathrooms. The fact that she was able to do this shows that she is able to control some aspects of her workplace and collaborate with her co workers to get the job done.