Using a social problem of your choosing (i.e.: addiction, homelessness, suicide, etc.) and the problem must be different that one you chose for your paper. Create a scenario and choose the model you see as the best fit to address your selected social problem, either the medical model, the public health model, or the human services model. In response to your peers discuss the success and shortcomings of each model’s application.
Model: The Public Health Model
In addressing the social problem of homelessness, I believe that the best-fit model is the public health model. Homelessness is a complex issue with a multitude of factors contributing to its existence, including economic disparities, lack of affordable housing, mental health issues, and substance abuse. The public health model, which focuses on prevention, population health, and addressing the social determinants of health, offers a comprehensive approach in tackling homelessness.
The public health model views homelessness as a symptom of larger systemic issues, rather than an individual failing. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the root causes of homelessness, such as poverty and lack of affordable housing, and aims to address these systemic issues through policy changes and social interventions. By considering homelessness as a public health concern, it allows for a holistic approach that takes into account the physical, mental, and social well-being of individuals experiencing homelessness.
One of the strengths of the public health model is its emphasis on prevention. It recognizes that preventing homelessness is more effective and cost-efficient than addressing it after it has occurred. This model focuses on identifying risk factors, such as economic instability or mental illness, and implementing interventions to mitigate those risks. For instance, providing affordable housing options, access to mental health services, and employment support can help prevent individuals from becoming homeless in the first place. This preventive approach not only reduces the overall incidence of homelessness but also improves the overall health outcomes of individuals and communities.
Furthermore, the public health model stresses the importance of collaboration and collective action. It recognizes that addressing homelessness requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders, including government agencies, healthcare providers, social service organizations, and community members. By bringing together these different sectors, the public health model fosters a comprehensive and coordinated response to homelessness. This collaboration allows for the pooling of resources, sharing of expertise, and a more efficient allocation of services to those in need.
However, the public health model is not without its shortcomings. One major limitation is the lack of focus on individual-level interventions. While the model recognizes the importance of addressing social determinants of health, it may not adequately address the unique needs and circumstances of each homeless individual. Homelessness is a complex issue with diverse populations, each requiring tailored support and interventions. The public health model’s focus on population-level approaches may overlook individual-level interventions that could be crucial in helping individuals transition out of homelessness.
Moreover, the public health model’s emphasis on prevention and long-term systemic changes may require extensive time and resources. The process of addressing the root causes of homelessness, such as poverty and affordable housing, involves policy changes, community engagement, and sustained efforts over a prolonged period. In the face of immediate and pressing needs of homeless individuals, the long-term focus of the public health model might not adequately address the immediate needs for shelter, food, and safety.
Despite these shortcomings, the public health model offers a comprehensive and systematic approach to addressing homelessness. By understanding it as a public health issue, the model recognizes the need for preventive measures and the importance of addressing the social determinants of health. Collaboration among various stakeholders is emphasized, which leads to a more effective and coordinated response. While individual-level interventions and immediate needs should not be overlooked, the public health model presents a valuable framework for understanding and addressing the complex issue of homelessness.