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Homeless in America

Essay by   •  March 1, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,265 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,070 Views

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Have you ever driven down the road and seen a homeless with a sign that reads "Homeless. Will work for food. God Bless"? If you have, then you know that homelessness is a big problem. It's impossible to go anywhere in the city without being confronted by strangers begging for money or food and other people living in exile. Even outside urban communities, this has become a common sight at busy intersections and freeway off-ramps. I'm not trying to say homelessness is a newly emerging problem in our society. I'm sure homeless people have been around since the world began. However, the situation has escalated to such a degree that in the last ten years it's obviously now an unending problem that our government is trying to write off, ironically, as the number of homeless families increase across our beloved country. Driving right past the beggar on the street corner are sixty thousand dollar automobiles with passengers too busy to stop and throw out a dollar to help feed a hungry American with no place to live. Something is very wrong with that picture. In that way I think the individuals and the society is responsible for the homelessness to the extent that it is reduced through different programs offered to the homeless.

The facts are that there are millions of homeless people in America today. Many of these people had no choice but to become homeless. Economic problems such as being laid off work, or the rise in the cost of housing have lead people to live on the streets. Many of the homeless are women that have become divorced or have left home because of physical abuse. These women have no education because they have not been given the opportunity to get the education that is necessary nowadays to get the job. Therefore they are forced to live on the streets. They have no family to help them and they are left with no other choice. People with mental illnesses also become homeless quite often. These people are incapable of handling the stress of living on their own. These people get kicked out of their homes and are too ashamed to go to their families because of their illness, so we see them on the streets struggling to stay warm. There are many other people that become homeless for many different reasons. Some of these people cannot help becoming homeless. With this list of people there must be some way that we can help these people.

There are many programs that have been available to help those who are homeless. There has been homeless in America ever since the world began and not much progress has been made in the 200 plus years in helping these people. We have adopted programs such as FDR's New Deal in which the government produced more jobs that took little skill, and made these jobs available to the homeless people. Social Security was adopted and is still going. It is where you pay into it while you work and when you for some reason become unable to work you will have this money. HUD (Housing and Urban Development) housing has been available also to the homeless. We also have AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) and Welfare, which gives federal money to homeless and the poor which helps them get back on their feet.

There are also many shelters where the homeless can go to get out of the cold and sleep on a bed instead of a bench or the hard ground, but families sometimes find it dangerous to sleep there in fear that the few possessions that they do own will be stolen. In "Homelessness in America" by Charles E. King it states "A home offers a sense of security, of permanence, of one's own space" (448). We as a society should make these places safer for the homeless, and set up programs within these shelters that will help the homeless find jobs and homes. We could have the vacant apartment buildings opened and have the homeless stay there so that they have an address so they can get a job. We could take some of the money that we are using to set up these little shelters, and set up larger ones in the cities that need them the most. We could all volunteer a little of our time to serve dinners to these people and to help build homes for the homeless. We could give a little of our money

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