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Understanding Homelessness (了解無家可歸)

December 6, 2021 Guides & Reports

Frequently Asked Questions

Homelessness is the state of lacking a permanent home. Getting laid off, leaving a foster home, escaping a violent relationship, unexpected expenses, fire, disabilities, and family tragedies can all render a person unhoused. A shortage of affordable housing and high rents also mean people are increasingly vulnerable to losing their home.

Here are some common misconceptions about Homelessness.

無家可歸是一種缺乏永久住所的狀態。下崗、離開寄養家庭、逃離暴力關係、不可預期的開支、火災、殘疾和家庭悲劇等都可能會使人失去住房。經濟適用房的短缺和高昂的房租也意味著人們越來越容易失去住房。以下是一些關於無家可歸的常見誤解。

MYTH: People that are unhoused are too lazy to get a job.


FACT:
There are many unhoused people who do have jobs. However, they still cannot afford housing with their wages.

Also, for a job interview (and continued employment), people need access to a shower and presentable clothing; they also need resumes, transportation, a stable telephone number and address. Even if they have these items and/or skills, searching for food and shelter is difficult and time-consuming. Unhoused people on the streets are often spending most of their time trying to survive at the most basic level on a day-to-day basis.

Another important thing to note is that the available government assistance for disabled and low-income people provides very limited financial support (roughly $500 - $900 a month) to meet basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter.

誤區:無家可歸都是因為懶惰。


事實:
其實,許多無家可歸者是有工作的;然而他們的工資仍然買不起或租不起住房。

此外,為了面試(和繼續工作),無家可歸者需要淋浴和體面的衣服、也需要簡歷、交通工具、穩定的電話號碼和地址。即使他們有這些物品和/或技能,尋找食物和住所也是困難和耗時的。街上的無家可歸者往往把大部分時間都花在最基本的日常生活上,試圖生存下去。

另一個需要注意的問題是,政府為殘疾人士和低收入人士提供的援助非常有限(大約每月500至900美元),這根本無法滿足基本的衣食住行需求。

MYTH: People experiencing homelessness can go home to their family.


FACT:
Not everyone has a supportive family or any family at all. Some run away from abusive parents and partners or have been disowned by their family.

誤區:無家可歸者可選擇回家。


事實:
並不是每個人都擁有一個支持自己的家庭。有些人因為受虐而選擇逃離父母和伴侶,也有些是被家人拋棄的。

MYTH: Unhoused people can move to a cheaper place.


FACT:
People prefer to stay in the community they are familiar with--places where they have connections to friends, family, food, medical care, and other resources. The proximity to these resources are essential to anyone and everyone.

San Francisco is a city celebrated for its inclusion and diversity. There is value in people being able to live in a safe space here, whatever their community may be.

誤區:無家可歸者可選擇搬到更便宜的地方。


事實:
人們更喜歡呆在他們熟悉的社區——那些有朋友、家人、食物、醫療和其他資源的地方。接近這些資源對任何人都至關重要。

三藩市是一個以包容和多樣性著稱的城市。無論屬於哪個群體,人們都有權生活在一個安全的空間內,這也是我們這城市的價值所在。

MYTH: People experiencing homelessness are flocking to San Francisco for the public benefits.


FACT:
56% of the Bay Area’s homeless population have lived in their county for 10 or more years, and a vast majority have lived in their current county for more than one year. Contrary to common misconception, most unhoused people previously had permanent housing where they currently live, particularly in the Bay Area.

Also, public assistance is just as difficult to navigate in the city as it is anywhere else. There are various criteria based on income, age, status, and other considerations. Applying for them is a full-time job with no guarantee.

誤區:無家可歸者為了公共福利而蜂擁到三藩市。


事實:
根據統計,灣區56%的無家可歸者在本縣居住了10年以上,並且絕大多數人在本縣居住了一年以上。與誤解相反,尤其在灣區,大多數無家可歸者在目前居住的地方曾經有過長久性住房。

另外,城市裡的公共福利和在其他地方一樣難申請。有基於收入、年齡、身份和其他考慮因素的各種標準。申請援助本身就非常耗時,還不能保證申請得到。

MYTH: Unhoused people can sleep in a shelter instead of on the streets.


FACT:
Reservation systems are hard to navigate, and shelters have long waitlists for short-term stays only. There are simply not enough beds in emergency shelters in accessible areas of the city. Additionally, existing shelters often have strict restrictions on who can stay where (families are often split up), when to come in, and other rules people have to abide by. There are also other reasons unhoused people choose not to stay at a shelter: stigma, mistreatment, the general loss of autonomy and freedom, among others.

誤區:無家可歸者可選擇睡在收容所裡,而不是流落街頭。


事實:
預訂系統操作起來困難重重,收容所也都有很長的等待名單,並且只供短期入住。在城市的無障礙區域,緊急庇護所根本沒有足夠的床位。此外,現有的收容所通常對可以住在哪裡(家庭經常需要被分開)、什麼時候進來以及必須遵守的規則有嚴格的限制。也有其他原因導致無家可歸者選擇不住在收容所,例如對收容所的恐懼、誤解、以及社會對無家可歸者的歧視及污名化、曾在所裡受過虐待、以及普遍喪失自主權和自由等。

MYTH: People experiencing homelessness are drug and alcohol addicts.


FACT:
It is a stereotype that all unhoused people are drug and alcohol addicts. Many live sober lives. For those with addiction problems, some became unhoused as a result of untreated mental illnesses, and some use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism to survive on the streets.

誤區:無家可歸者都吸毒和酗酒成癮。

事實:認為所有無家可歸者都是吸毒和酗酒成癮是一種刻板印象。許多人過著清醒的生活。對於那些有上癮問題的人來說,有些是因為未經治療的精神疾病而失去了住房,有些則用毒品或酒精作為在街頭生存無可奈何的應對方式。

Statistics

  • In the 2016-2017 school year, nearly 250,000 K-12 students in California were homeless; nationwide, families with children make up ⅓ of the homeless population and are the fastest growing segment
  • In San Francisco, there were 8035 people experiencing homelessness in 2019, a 17% increase since 2017
  • 7% of the homeless population in San Francisco are Asian/Pacific Islanders
  • Homeless people have an average life expectancy of around 50 years of age, almost 20 years lower than housed populations

統計

  • 在2016-2017學年,加州有近25萬名幼兒園到12年級的學生無家可歸;在全國范圍內,有子女的家庭佔無家可歸人口的三分之一,是增長最快的人口
  • 在三藩市,2019年有8035人無家可歸,自2017年以來增加了17%
  • 三藩市7%的無家可歸者是亚裔
  • 無家可歸者的平均預期壽命約為50歲,比居住人口低近20歲

What can I do to help?

  • Avoid stereotyping or stigmatizing people experiencing homelessness.
  • Acknowledge their presence.
  • Understand their struggles by learning more about homelessness.
  • Have a conversation with family and friends about homelessness; help debunk these myths.
  • Donate or volunteer with nonprofit organizations
  • Contact your local elected officials to prioritize homelessness issues.

我該如何幫忙?

  • 減少對無家可歸者的成見或污名化。
  • 對他們給予理會和關懷。
  • 通過了解更多關於無家可歸的知識來體會他們的處境。
  • 與家人和朋友談論有關無家可歸的話題;並嘗試揭穿謬見。
  • 捐贈或志願加入非營利組織
  • 聯繫當地官員,優先解決無家可歸問題。

The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only and not applicable in all cases. For legal advice, please contact the Asian Law Caucus.

本文包含的參考信息並不適用於所有情況。 尋求法律建議,請聯繫亞洲法律聯會。