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Homelessness In America Essay

1662 words - 7 pages

Have you ever wondered how people become homeless or why they are homeless? All too often people’s perceptions of how a person becomes homeless are inaccurate. Many of those assumptions are created on myths and based on the negative aspects of a homeless stereotype. Because of this, it causes people to become inhumane or biased and disinclined to the obvious facts. Every human being has a life that is full of inevitable struggles, and those who have been affected greatly by these struggles are the same people who live and breathe just like any person but have wandered into a place of destitution. Turning our backs from those who are suffering only contributes to suffering, affecting those who are homeless and can affect anyone or our society.
A person’s perception can create many outcomes, both good and bad. For instance, perception can be good because it causes us to become aware of our surroundings, but it can also blind us to the facts. People usually view the homeless as criminals, drug addicts, alcoholics, misfits, and lazy based on a single encounter they may have had with a homeless person, what they have heard through other people, or movies. The perceptions that society has created about all people who are homeless is that they are entirely at fault for their own misfortunes and the miserable situation they are in, because they choose not to get their lives together. These are the assumptions and stereotypes that cause the rest of society to fear and separate themselves from those who are homeless, often treating them as if they were not part of the community. Misconceptions like these can cause a dangerous environment for people who live out in the streets among people who are prejudiced against homelessness or would cause them harm. It also interferes with those in need of help from getting help.
Before judging a person that is homeless it is important to have an open mind. No one likes to see people living out on the street whether it would be out of sympathy or repulsion. Some people might feel annoyed when they see a person with a cardboard sign panhandling so they often turn their heads, either to avoid confrontation or acts of encouragement. When you may interact with a homeless person you might feel disgusted because they might smell since they haven’t had the chance to shower on a daily basis. The homeless person might ask you for money and you may just not want to be confronted so you try to avoid them all together and maybe even pretend that they are not there or don’t exist. Common reasons you might feel this way is assumed that people who are homeless would rather seek handouts than to go out and get a job, or because there have been known acts of people pretending to be homeless in some events. Not many people are aware that there are homeless people who have jobs, but don’t earn enough in wages to afford housing expenses. I was probably one of those people who was unaware of this fact until I had gained some insight from...

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