Inadequate Workforce Skillset as a Corrosive Disadvantage: Enhancing Marketable Skills to Combat Housing and Homelessness Issues
Baya, William C.
Washington and Lee University, Shepherd Poverty Program
Vocational qualifications -- Standards
Capabilities approach (Social sciences)
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Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]William C. Baya is a member of the Class of 2022 of Washington and Lee University.This paper explores three key themes in addressing the housing and homelessness paradigm: resource distribution, deservingness, and quality of housing. Firstly, on resource distribution, should housing programs maximally serve a small portion of the homeless population or serve everyone ever so slightly? This question stems from the fact that housing organizations ought to enable people to live decent lives. However, due to a myriad of constraints, organizations can't lift each person out of homelessness. Secondly, on deservingness, are eligibility criteria set forth by housing programs justified? Requirements demanded by housing organizations tend to neglect the very people who need housing assistance the most. Lastly, on the quality of housing, what should housing programs enable people to do and be? This question investigates the underlying shortcomings of housing programs that prevent clients from ever getting a home. This paper is divided into six sections. The first section touches on some of the existing factors that lead to homelessness followed by an analysis of two housing models -- Housing First and Treatment First Continuum of Care -- to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The second section focuses on how housing can be thought of as capability deprivation seeing as it obstructs the attainment of Nussbaum's ten essential qualities for a life to be considered well-lived. The third section explores a conceptual model of homelessness that should inform the elements of homelessness and home that housing programs should address to enable a minimally just society in which people are not just housed, but also living a life worth living. The fourth section discusses two moral justice theories -- utilitarianism and contractualism -- to set grounds for how housing programs should be evaluated. The fifth section does a comparison of three existing housing/shelter models. The sixth and last section offers policy recommendations on how empowering marketable workforce skills in housing clients, or the homeless population, can enable individuals to be self-sufficient and put them on a path out of homelessness. [From introductory section]