The disparity between the haves and have-nots has been haunting this world from times immemorial. While there are people who live in posh buildings and at the same time, there are people who do not have a home to live in. Most of these homeless people are unable to provide proper education to their children and many of them may not be able to afford spend on basic medical care. Dr.Ellen L. Bassuk, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, USA conducted a research on the plight of the homeless people in America. The startling revelation of the research points out to the fact that impact of homelessness will be greater on mothers and children. This research was made in the year 1980 and according to the estimates then made; about 36 million in America are homeless.
Aims of TBHF: It was in the year the David Jordan, then editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens magazine happened to meet Dr. Bassuk in Boston during a conference. While they were exchanging views on the plight of these homeless families, they came up with the idea of setting up a Better Homes Fund. The very next year, that is the in year 1988 they managed to set up the fund. After setting the fund they also got it registered with the appropriate government agency. The fund was set up as a non-profit and as a non-endowed public charity organization. TBHF (The Better Home Fund) was accordingly registered under Sec.501 © (3). The aim of the organization is to provide enough support to people who are homeless so that they could own their own home and at least by next generation, every family should have a decent home to live in.
A network of caring people: In course of time, TBHF was able to rope in likeminded people and a network of caring people was established throughout America. Several individuals and people from various professions like the Engineers, lawyers and doctors and so on also became members of this organization. At the same time, hundreds of people from world over came forward to give enough donations and other kind of support for the Better Homes Fund. Within a short period of time, the organization was able to build enough resources. This gave greater enthusiasm for the organization and for the people working with the Better Homes Fund and they began indentifying the needy people and gave them the much needed helping hand.
Research and evaluation: The working plan of TBHF rests on the principle of Research and Evaluation, program development and support and finally policy and public education. In so far the research and evaluation is concerned, TBHF makes periodical evaluation of the various programs initiated by it and results are tabulated appropriately so that it would be able to identify the area requiring support. The report also helps the government to frame policies for the benefit of the homeless people and their families.
Program development and support: TBHF has made elaborate plan to reach the needy people by providing necessary assistance for health care, education of children, attending to domestic violence, various types of family support program and also providing permanent housing for these have-nots. TBHF also coordinates with its member organizations and support groups so as to ensure that the assistance reaches the right person.
Policy and Pubic Education: As already said, TBHF conducts periodical evaluation of the needs of the homeless people. The results of these evaluations are published so as to educate the donors, government and the public at large. This is an awareness program and it highlights the living condition of the homeless people and the type of support they would require.
Evaluation of the help given: Hundreds of organizations, philanthropists, professionals, and institutions, individuals as also the federal and state governments have contributed sizable amount of money which has helped the organization to provide a helping hand to these homeless people. As a matter of fact, TBHF has provided grants to a tune of $5.5 million spread over 36 States across USA.
Future course of action: TBHF points out that the success of its program is largely because of the unstinted support it has got from the donors and other people. With continued support of these donors and effective coordinated support offered by other like minded organization and individuals, TBHF is confident of achieving its goal of providing homes to every homeless family in America.