Americans need to go beyond holiday volunteerism and become more intentional about helping the homeless year-round.

The reasons people become homeless vary; addiction and mental health disorders are often cited, but they are not the most common reasons. The institutional practices at work – lack of a livable wage, affordable housing and medical debt – are major reasons one becomes homeless.

Bridging the gap between public policy and the needs of the homeless, this urgent issue needs attention from every sector possible – individual, public, private and institutional. It’s only human.