Communities thrive when every member is cared for and valued. The concept of ‘creating communities that care’ is rooted in ensuring that every individual’s needs are met, from basic necessities to emotional support. In this piece, we’ll discuss the crucial components that make a community stand out as supportive and inclusive.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (Psalm 133:1)
Entry-level jobs open doors. They provide opportunities for people just starting out (or those getting back on their feet) by offering a reliable paycheck and a stepping stone to financial stability. Communities with ample entry-level jobs give everyone a chance to earn a living, which decreases the chances of people falling into homelessness.
Having a job is not enough—to survive, people need a paycheck that covers the essentials. When people earn a living wage, they can keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. Jobs that offer living wages help prevent homelessness and make it possible for those who were homeless to get back on their feet.
Everyone deserves a place to call home. Affordable housing makes it easier for people to pay their rent or mortgage, which reduces the chances of eviction and homelessness. Here at ICPADS, we help homeless individuals rebuild their lives. Finding affordable housing is one of the most important steps of that journey.
Local Public Transportation and Sidewalks
For many, owning a personal vehicle is out of reach, but that shouldn’t limit their ability to get around town. Reliable public transportation and well-maintained sidewalks ensure that those who do not have a vehicle can get to work, school, the doctor, etc., just like everyone else. This removes a barrier that might prevent individuals from making a paycheck and contributing to the community, thus preventing situations that can escalate into homelessness.
Access to Food
Food is a basic need, but in some communities, food deserts make accessing food tough. Food deserts are places where getting fresh, affordable food is challenging due to a lack of grocery stores. Without access to these essentials, individuals and families are pushed towards unhealthy, often more expensive alternatives. Communities that address this issue ensure all residents have access to nutritious and affordable food, contributing to better health and financial stability.
Access to Quality Healthcare
Health is wealth, as the saying goes. When everyone in a community has access to quality healthcare, unexpected health issues won’t escalate into financial crises. It’s more than just providing clinics and hospitals; it’s about ensuring people don’t have to choose between medicine and rent. Access to quality, affordable healthcare keeps residents healthy and helps them avoid financial issues that may lead to homelessness.
Access to Quality Schooling
Every child deserves a quality education. This means schools that not only teach but nurture and inspire. In communities where good schooling is accessible to all, kids have a better shot at a stable future. Communities prioritizing education lay the groundwork for the next generation, providing them with knowledge and skills that will help them avoid homelessness in the future.
Fair and Supportive Policing
Fair and supportive policing ensures that every resident is treated with dignity, regardless of their demographics or circumstances. When law enforcement is trained to handle situations with fairness and compassion, it reinforces community ties and builds trust. This allows a community to maintain public safety and avoid the negative impacts of unfair policing practices.
Strong communities are built on robust support systems. Whether it’s a library offering free classes, a shelter providing a warm bed, or a food bank feeding families, these resources give stability to those in need. In communities where these services are readily available, everyone can get help when needed, which reduces the chances of individuals and families facing homelessness.
You Can Make a Difference
Michigan City and LaPorte County have made great progress in creating a community that cares, but there’s always more work to be done. By joining hands and supporting one another, we can make a difference right here in our backyard. One way to help is by supporting the ICPADS homeless shelter. Every donation counts and can bring warmth and hope to someone in need. Consider chipping in with a one-time or recurring donation today.