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Homeless Women. Essay

1100 words - 4 pages

Women on the StreetHave you ever rushed down the street and felt that nagging feeling ofguilt, as you breeze by someone lying in a doorway? Is she alive? Is sheill? Why do we all rush by without finding out is she's all right?People sit in train stations, bus stations, parks, doorways,unmistakably sick, with what, we don't know. All are seemingly alone.Some beg. Some don't. Some have open sores that ooze and bleed.Some are drunk. Some talk to themselves or formless others. They haveno homes.Street people make up a small percentage of the homelesspopulation. Most homeless people blend into the daily flow of urban life.Many families are homeless. Many babies go from the hospital into theshelter system, never knowing what it is like to go home. Women areanother subgroup of the homeless.Solutions to homelessness are not easily found. But before we cansolve problems, we must be sensitive enough that we create the will to findthe solutions. Often if we do not feel the problem, if some emotionalresponse is not made, we are not moved to seek solutions. We are oftenunmoved to even recognize the questions. We cannot afford to keepwalking by.'Work is a fundamental condition of human existence,' said Karl Marx.In punch-the-clock and briefcase societies no less than in agricultural orhunting and gathering societies, it is the organization of work that makes lifein communities possible. Individual life as well as social life is closely tied towork. In wage labored societies, and perhaps in every other as well, muchof an individual's identity is tied to their job. For most people jobs are aprincipal source of both independence and correctness to others. It shouldcome as no surprise that, in the work force or out, work and jobs areimportant in the lives of homeless women.There are women who want to work and do, and women who want towork and do not. There are women who cannot work and others whoshould not work and still others who do not want to work. Some workregularly, some intermittently; some work part-time, some full-time; andthere are even those who work two jobs. At any given moment, there is a lotof job-searching, job losing, job changing, and job avoidance. Withinmonths or even weeks, these may all appear in the same person.The process is almost routine. A homeless woman registers with anunemployment agency. Since there is no way for them to call her when ajob comes up she calls them - three, four times a day. By the third day theyusually tell her, 'Don't call us, we'll call you.' If she confesses there is noway to reach her, they lose interest. Although since 1985, the shelters helpreach people.Several women reported losing their jobs or the opportunity to getthem when their homelessness became known. One women had beenworking as a receptionist in a doctor's office for several weeks when thedoctor learned she was living in a shelter and fired her. The doctor told herif he'd known he wouldn't have hired her, shelters are places of disease.The jobs...

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