People who are homeless should just get a job.
People who are homeless should just get a job and then they would not be homeless. This is a common myth regarding homelessness. The fact is many people who are homeless do have jobs, sometimes two or even three. Some estimates are that as many as 44% of homeless persons nationwide are employed. However, a paycheck does not necessarily solve their homelessness or other challenges.
In Clark County, a full-time worker earning $11 minimum wage would need to work 77 hours per week to afford a studio apartment, at the fair market rent of $1,026. At 40 hours per week, the worker would need to earn $21.25 per hour for a studio, $23.58 for a one-bedroom or $27.71 for a two-bedroom, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual 2017 Out of Reach Report.
In addition, it is difficult to find and keep a job while living in a car, tent, shelter, or outside with no place to regularly bathe, receive mail, do laundry, and feel safe enough to focus on employment responsibilities versus daily survival.
Lisa was working in an office setting when she and her son left their home to escape domestic violence. They rented a couch in a relative’s home but, were periodically kicked out on a whim, making life even more stressful. Lisa’s income would not support the cost of moving into an apartment of their own. At the CFTH Housing Solutions Center, she received coaching and support. She successfully requested more hours at her job making it possible to afford a small apartment. The Housing Relief Fund paid her move-in costs. “The encouragement I received made all the difference in the world,” shares Lisa. “Living in such chaos, I would have taken forever to save for all the moving expenses. Now I have a home for my son and myself. I’m working hard at my job so we can stay stable.”