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Homelessness In The United States Essay

1474 words - 6 pages

According to the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, “approximately 3.5 million people are homeless each year, while 36.3 million live in households without enough food.” This statistic only reflects the United States, and to many people, it just doesn’t make sense. For instance Alfredzine Black of the YWCA in Marion, Indiana says, “I don’t understand why we have so much poverty in the richest country in the world!” Citizens of the United States have a hard time defining and identifying poverty in their communities, so the country should crate a consistent and accurate measure of poverty. Also, urban growth is leaving people behind and causing unnecessary evictions that lead to homelessness, and this problem can be solved by following the advice of housing experts. Last, homeless shelters in the United States are losing government funding, but this could change by allowing for more government spending on shelters and feeding programs. Thus, homelessness is a social injustice in the United States because everyone deserves to be recognized as homeless and therefore assisted, and everyone deserves a safe place to live.
The United States has a problem with homelessness and poverty because the system used to measure the number of American citizens who are under a certain level which defines them as poor is inconsistent. Throughout the world, there are different methods of measuring the poverty level, and different organizations control these evaluations.
The World Bank defines poverty as living on less than $1.25 per day (at 2005 prices, adjusted to account for the differences in purchasing power across countries). According to this measure, there is no poverty in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the countries of Western Europe. According to the World Bank, as of August 2008, 1.4 billion people in the developing world were living on less than $1.25 a day and thus qualified as living in poverty. This number amounts to over 20 percent of the world’s population….(Introdution)
The World Bank monitors poverty and homelessness around the world, but other agencies focus on evaluating the United States alone. One of these is the United States Census Bureau.
In the United States, the Census Bureau sets the official poverty line. The figure used to compute a person’s poverty status includes any earnings, Social Security payments, child support, or other assistance. Then, using the size of the family and the ages of the family members, the Census Bureau determines which poverty threshold applies…According to this poverty measure, 12.5 percent of the U.S. population lived in poverty in 2007. (Introdution)
These studies may be biased or skewed depending on the information available to Census Bureau and World Bank employees who conduct them or the factors used to determine who is poor. For example, the factors taken into consideration by the Census Bureau may contribute to faulty results, since they only determine...

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