Homelessness Is Not An Option Essay, Research Paper
We see them as a crowd, a collective entity; we call them the homeless, as if that defines who they are, but we neglect to add the unspoken word in that title: people. People whom with social disabilities or financial problems usually will be abandoned by the society and become homelessness along the streets. “During the past year, over two million men, women, and children, or nearly one percent of the US population, were homeless.” (The National Law Center) The growing homeless population is a factor that shows people are suffering unexpected financial problems and struggling in maintaining their life basis.
Typically, people have the impressions that homeless people are sloppy, lazy, and irresponsible; however, the truth may be shocked because there are many people who have jobs and non-habitual to drug or alcoholics still remain homeless. “It is a tragic aspect of our culture that homeless people, in addition to suffering from the hardship of their condition, are subjected to alienation and discrimination by mainstream society. It is even more tragic that alienation and discrimination often spring from incorrect myths and stereotypes which surround homelessness.”(The National Law Center) Homelessness results from a complex set of circumstances that require people to choose between food, shelter, and other basic needs. Once the choices are limited which means people can no longer obtain what they need often result in homelessness.
Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. Poverty means you do not have enough money to bye your essential or basic needs. Some people are homeless because of a lack of affordable housing. Others because of incomes those are too low to pay for basic living expenses. However, what all of this comes down to is poverty. Poor people are frequently unable to pay for housing, food, childcare, health care, and education. Difficult choices must be made when limited resources cover only some of these necessities. Often it is housing, which absorbs a high proportion of income that must be dropped.
A growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in poverty are the main causes of homelessness. The declining value and availability of public assistance is another source of increasing poverty and homelessness. Loss of benefits, low wages, and unstable employment, A lack of affordable housing and the limited scale of housing assistance programs have contributed to the current housing crisis and to homelessness. In fact, homelessness is not the option that people would want to choose, but it is the invisible hand from the “inequality and the failure of human hopes” (American Voices 175) pushing people make “the Hobson’s choice”.
There are many organizations trying so hard to help the homeless, like soup kitchens, donations, and shelters. These things for sure will not enough to help all the homeless people, because some place do not have a near by shelter or soup kitchen. Even the best organizations do not have enough resources to serve all the homeless people. Government’s assistances are not helpful to homeless people; as the result, people who do have social security or are previous tax payers may sleep on the street or in the car and suffering for endless cold and hunger.
Not a lot is being done about preventing more people from becoming homeless. There is still not enough affordable houses or reasonable incomes. That is why we need to work on “eliminating poverty housing worldwide and empowering families caught in the cycle of need and hopelessness.” (Habitat For Humanity) “Homelessness is intolerable, but it is not inevitable.” (The National Law Center). The homeless are people just like all of us who deserve to live. Many of us have numerous options in our lives. It is hard to imagine becoming homeless, because we know we have many alternatives to being on the street. Only a concerted effort to ensure jobs that pay a living wage, adequate support for those who cannot work, affordable housing, and access to health care will bring an end to homelessness. It is worthy to take the time to think about all those poor souls, who are sick and cold and are sleeping out side waiting and hoping for someone to help them.
“National Law Center On Homeless And Poverty.” The National Law Center. 06 December. 2000. The National Law Center. 25 March. 2001
LaGuardia, Dolores, and Hans P. Guth. American Voices: Culture and Community. (4th Ed.) Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, 1999.
“Habitat for Humanity.” Habitat For Humanity: South Bay- Long Beach. 1996-2001.
Southern California Habitat offices. 25 March. 2001