The role of local businesses in addressing multidimensional needs of homeless populations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Contrary to the perception that the business community can be hostile and exclusive toward individuals experiencing homelessness, local businesses can and do serve homeless populations at multiple levels. This article proposes a theoretical framework that links the versatile roles that local businesses can play in addressing various dimensions of human needs. This theoretical framework is illustrated through two models in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, which focus on the role of business improvement districts (BIDs) and a social enterprise intervention (SEI), respectively. These models demonstrate that the business community can meet not only physical needs but also the emotional and self-actualization goals of homeless individuals. This article suggests that social work education and field education curricula can benefit from engaging the business sector in addressing complex social issues, such as homelessness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

homelessness
education curriculum
social issue
community
social work
district
education

Keywords

  • Business
  • hierarchy of needs
  • homeless
  • multisectoral
  • social development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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AB - Contrary to the perception that the business community can be hostile and exclusive toward individuals experiencing homelessness, local businesses can and do serve homeless populations at multiple levels. This article proposes a theoretical framework that links the versatile roles that local businesses can play in addressing various dimensions of human needs. This theoretical framework is illustrated through two models in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, which focus on the role of business improvement districts (BIDs) and a social enterprise intervention (SEI), respectively. These models demonstrate that the business community can meet not only physical needs but also the emotional and self-actualization goals of homeless individuals. This article suggests that social work education and field education curricula can benefit from engaging the business sector in addressing complex social issues, such as homelessness.

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