Homelessness Essay

1432 words - 6 pages

The distribution of wealth in American resembles a diamond shaped structure meaning the majority of the population is in the middle class and the poor as well as the wealthy are the minority. The diamond is considered the perfect structure for any economy because the majority of the population is in the middle class. However it is shocking that a large minority of people are still subject to poverty and homelessness. The majority of the homeless maintain one or more low wage jobs, many even have families to care for aside from just fending for themselves. These average hardworking people fall through the cracks in society making barely enough money to let alone enough to own or even rent a place of their own. Homelessness affects the family, peoples' values, and because of society it is hard for the homeless to get back on their feet.Homeless many times is seen as a dieses or even a plague affecting the rest of the population. People see the homeless on the streets, many of them are drunks or just have severe mental problems, and they feel no compassion for these people. However because of the peoples attitudes and the expenses of living in America today these people are never given a 2nd chance, sometimes not even a 1st one. This year many major cities have in some cases doubled the number of beds available to the homeless because of the huge increase in the homeless. To give a rough estimate of the huge increase in homelessness, a study by the Urban Institute in 1987, it was approximated that between 500,000 to 600,000 people were homeless at any given point over the year. Compared to estimates from 1996 where they expect 2.3 to 3.5 million people so between 6.3 and 9.6 percent of the country will experience homelessness.Homeless people are not just the poor discarded souls seen on the streets of major cities pushing a shopping cart containing their life's possessions. The homeless are also hardworking people who simply cannot afford a place of their own. Being homeless is simply lacking a permanent place of residence, the homeless are a nomadic people never having enough money to stay in same place for extended period. The simple answer to these problems is of course affordable housing. However according to a 3-year-old report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the average two-bedroom apartment would require and hourly wage of around $12, this is almost double minimum wage.Homelessness is not just a simple problem of housing either. The Oxford English Dictionary has about four pages of definitions devoted to the word home. The extent of its definitions underlines the importance of having a personal shelter. The idea of home is incredibly important to people because it is a place of social interaction among family; it is a place to store personal items; and it is also a safe haven from the outside world. Being homeless removes a large part of a persons' reality as well as their life. When the idea of a permanent home is removed...

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