Addressing Homelessness through Awareness, Support, and Change
Imagine feeling lost, having nowhere to go, and not having the funds to buy your next meal, including not bathing and wearing the same filthy clothes for weeks. You’re spending each night behind an abandoned building, a bench in a public park, or even a vacant house. As the sun rises, you awaken by the noisy traffic, car horns honking, and chatter from nearby people. When you get hungry, you beg for money to eat a cheap meal, but people pass by as if you don’t exist. Yes, this is the life of a homeless person. Homelessness is a critical issue that requires everyone’s attention. Due to the causes and effects, every adult’s responsibility is to contribute money and time to a homeless organization.
The Face of the Displaced
Everyone would agree with the saying ‘home sweet home.’ yet hundreds of homeless people in the world have no home of their own. We all have seen a homeless person’s possession in a plastic bag or shopping cart. Being homeless doesn’t discriminate. It consumes all ages, races, genders, and even those who were once wealthy—homeless means you can’t afford shelter or goods for basic needs of life. There are numerous reasons why a person becomes homeless, and a lack of education is one of the causes of becoming homeless.
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If a person’s education level is low, it’s impossible to get a high-paying job to support themselves, which leads to the next cause of low income. Some people don’t make enough money to pay rent and buy necessities that could include clothes, personal hygiene items, food, and the list goes on. The final cause is unable to obtain a job. The homeless community includes ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society, yet they are without a job due to their criminal history and are left with nowhere to go.
Causes and Effects
When there are causes, there are also effects. An effect of being homeless is addiction to drugs. Homeless people are eager to escape the pain of reality by consuming illegal narcotics. Additionally, starvation is an effect since the poor have no job or even a low-paying job; they cannot provide food for themselves and their family. Lastly, Mental health issues are an effect. People with severe case of psychological problems are at a higher risk of becoming homeless. Homelessness hurts, and it can weigh heavily on the mind and heart. The feeling of worthlessness is embarrassing and prevents the homeless from seeking help.
Breaking Stereotypes and Providing Support
There are a lot of stigmas connected to the homeless that are difficult to overcome. We believe that homeless people choose to walk away from everything they once had to live a carefree life. However, that is far from the truth. Or Perhaps we think homeless people choose not to seek a job. Homeless people sought to find employment. Either it was a low-paying job, or they were denied because of their criminal background or education. The point is Homeless people are trying to make it in a world that requires high standards. Homeless people are phenomenal people; they just lack the knowledge and qualifications as those who do succeed in life.
If people become homeless as a repercussion of lack of education, going to jail/prison, and employment problems, should we not, as a society, make a more substantial effort to help these people in need? Homeless people with little to no source of income create an opportunity for crime, which we want to prevent. A way to avoid it is to offer genuine support to people before they find themselves homeless—for example, a family of ten family members who need food. There should be a 24/7 organization that helps in times like this situation. A family should know that there is at least one organization or program they can turn to.
Every adult should donate money and time to an organization that supports the homeless so they can continue to provide for those in need. Giving money to an organization is crucial because it allows the homeless to gain nutrition so they can grow physically and mentally. We should give to the less fortunate to change their lives for a brighter tomorrow.
- National Alliance to End Homelessness. Homelessness in America: Facts and Figures.
- Cutler, D. M., & Lleras-Muney, A. Education and Health: Evaluating Theories and Evidence. National Bureau of Economic Research.
- Koegel, P., Melamid, E., & Burnam, A. Childhood Risk Factors for Homelessness Among Homeless Adults. American Journal of Public Health, 84(9), 1446-1452.
- Kertesz, S. G., McNeil, W., & Cash, J. J. Unmet Need for Medical Care and Safety Net Accessibility Among Birmingham’s Homeless. Journal of Urban Health, 81(3), 142-160.
- Culhane, D. P., Metraux, S., & Hadley, T. Public Service Reductions Associated with Placement of Homeless Persons with Severe Mental Illness in Supportive Housing. Housing Policy Debate, 17(2), 357-380.