Vulnerable Population Assessment
Downtown Atlanta Park is located near Robert W. Woodruff Park, which exists on a six-acre of land after demolition of buildings in Atlanta financial district in the year 1971. Office towers, city scrappers, and law firms border the park and they were set up to promote commercial activities and life of people living downtown. However, most individuals abandon the offices near around the park and they age and become old. Furthermore, during this time, the plight of homelessness needed a public outcry making Woodruff Park a place for organizing rallies (Reitzes, Crimmins, Yarbrough & Parker, 2011). This place turns to be a dwelling place for the homeless and it leads to the growth of a homeless community in Downtown Atlanta. Therefore, this paper wishes to investigate and study the homeless women and men who reside at Downtown Atlanta Park. The paper investigates the kind of health problem the community faces and the efforts in place in trying to curb this situation.
Homelessness in Downtown turned to be an issue of concern due to the widening gap between the wealthy and poor in the society that led to decline in state support for housing programs. In a survey carried out, statistic shows that almost 760000 US citizens are homeless with the male population being dominant. Approximately 375 people in Atlanta seek shelter in this park every night with 76 people coming from the surrounding area of the park (Reitzes, Crimmins, Yarbrough & Parker, 2011). This number varied depending on the time of the month and the weather conditions. There were a small number of people during the cold season. Economic problem was evident to be a factor of concern since most of the homeless people travelled from neighborhood communities with the majority being young adults in search of a job.
Based on research, different risk factors tend to affect homeless population health in a particular manner. Drug and alcohol consumption are the main risks affecting these vulnerable people. Other homeless people engage in risky sexual activities that put their life in danger. However, certain strength helps the homeless in ensuring they live a healthy life. These include family norms and values build on strong social ties that reduce risky behaviors like using heroin by the Mexican-Americans (MacKnee & Mervyn, 2002). Strong family ties play a role in ensuring maintenance of drug use by the younger family members.
Atlanta Park provides varying resources to the homeless people. Family, regular services and non-kin networks provide these resources. Organization and unions also came together to provide temporary shelter. The opportunity makes clothing, washing machines, and dryers available to the homeless from time to time. Income support depended on the firms that provided these supports (Reitzes, Crimmins, Yarbrough & Parker, 2011). These funds are to be used for their health checkup and buying of food. Individuals not linked with families provide child and general safety. The families also benefit from advice and counselling from associates.
Research indicated that most people in the park abused drug with a higher number of them smoking cigarettes evident from the scores of tobacco remnants. It was evident that people were smoking in the morning period. The park has a surveillance system that monitors people in the park indicating cases of drug abuse to be apparent. Efforts to solve tobacco abuse will be through implementing tobacco policies. The policies should restrict on smoking, restrict access to tobacco to a certain age. The policy should also restrict distribution of tobacco product.
From research on Downtown Atlanta Park homelessness, most people are homeless due to the widening gap between the rich and poor people. This results in drug abuse and risky sexual activities like rape. It is significant for the state to put efforts in tackling this issue that that has augmented in the current era.
1. MacKnee, C.M., & Mervyn, J. (2002). Critical incidents that facilitate homeless people’s transitions off the streets. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, 11, 293–306.
2. Reitzes, D. C., Crimmins, T. J., Yarbrough, J., & Parker, J. (2011). Social support and social network ties among the homeless in a downtown Atlanta park. Journal of Community Psychology, 39(3), 274-291.