Complex problems and active solution seeking

After completing the midterm and viewing other’s projects, I cannot help but think how solving social problems is an ever active endeavor. There are always new components of a problem arising. There are always new entrepreneurs creating solutions. There are always areas which need more insight, resources and helping hands. Hearing about the many organizations and people involved in our areas of research amazed me. Learning more about 211 seemed to open the doors of opportunities in our local community: opportunities to volunteer, opportunities to introduce others to, opportunities to increase knowledge about current systems.


And of course, looking at everyone’s maps increased awareness about the complexities of each problem. I liked how groups were able to tie every appendage of the problem back to one or two root causes. For underperformance of Latinos in schools, the root cause was parents not involved in the school system for whatever reason. For the LGBT group, it was a lack of understanding and empathy for those who struggle with homosexuality. For homelessness, it all came down to bad choices or unfortunate circumstance. Identifying these ultimate causes and subsequently looking at the more visible causes helped to decide what new approaches should be taken, approaches we have the potential to grasp.


For my personal research into homelessness, I learned that because there are more than a dozen causes behind it, there are more than a dozen solutions needed in order to meet individual needs. For example if a family is homeless because the provider lost his/her job, the family needs food and shelter while the provider gets help with job placement. Drug addicts need a recovery program to be involved with. Many veterans need therapy to heal their post-combat trauma. People need skills training on money management or interviewing. Most homeless people require medical attention.


The needs are endless.


I was surprised to find shelters across the country seek not only to feed or house homeless individuals and families but to also help them in these other areas as well. People are just having to find a program that best fits their specific struggles.