Why Big Change Cares about Big Change for the Homeless

As part of our model, Big Change Advisors donates a percentage of our profits to make a Big Change for society. Businesses can designate a percentage of their fees to go directly to the Los Angeles Mission, one of the nation’s largest service providers to the homeless.

Through this model, businesses can invest in their own future and the future of at-risk people, families, and seniors throughout the Los Angeles community — creating a big social impact.

Why homelessness? Because it’s an epidemic.

As cited in the Los Angeles Times, the population of people who are chronically homeless in the city has grown 55%, to 12,536, since 2013. Nationally, according to the 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, on any given night in January 2015, 564,708 people were homeless.

In addition, nearly one-quarter of all homeless people nationwide are children, under the age of 18.

It’s a problem so big President Obama has proposed spending $11 billion over the next 10 years to fight family homelessness.

And it’s a problem that could happen to almost anyone.

MarketWatch cites that “Americans are feeling better about their job security and the economy, but most are theoretically only one paycheck away from the street.”

The article reports approximately 62% of Americans have no emergency savings, which are critical for not only getting through emergencies, but also being able to make mortgage payments and hold on to their homes.

And it’s not just foreclosures that are putting people at risk. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, other causes of homelessness include:

  • Fewer work opportunities and lower wages. In many areas of the country there is often a deficit in quality work opportunities. With the value of minimum wage declining, those who do find work are often not paid enough to afford housing.
  • Lack of housing. For people with low incomes, it can be difficult if not impossible to find low-income housing. The Coalition reports there has been an increase of 41% from 2000 to 2009 in fair market rent for a two-bedroom rental unit.
  • Domestic violence. Oftentimes, poor women who are victims of domestic violence must choose between living with an abuser or living on the streets. According to the Coalition, 50% of cities surveyed identified domestic violence as a primary cause of homelessness.
  • Mental illness: Many homeless people are simply not mentally prepared to afford and sustain long-term housing. According to reports, 20% to 25% of America’s homeless population suffers from some form of severe mental illness.

These reasons are among the most cited for causing the homeless epidemic. And they’re why, in Los Angeles, the work of the Los Angeles Mission is so important.

Homelessness is not a distant problem. It’s something that can happen to our friends, our families, our neighbors, and our children. Through Big Change Advisors, businesses can help solve this problem, and bring Big Change to their bottom lines, and to all society.

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