Is Homelessness A Big Deal? Essay

2274 words - 10 pages

When people see a homeless person they probably try to walk the other way to avoid being asked for money. Many people don't think about the homeless; they just think about how to avoid them. People think "that doesn't affect me," but it does. Homelessness affects more than just the people suffering from it. Not many people know how much money they are actually giving to homeless shelters. Helping the homeless is a big deal and should be dealt with, but not with the way the government is handling it. The government throws an enormous amount of money around and builds a few rickety buildings and thinks this solves the problem, but it doesn't. Putting money into something that doesn't work is no way to solve a problem. There is approximately 3.5 million homeless people in the US ("Overview of Homelessness"). Americans are responsible for all of these people whether they know it or not ("Homeless Stats"). The government should be spending money to help the homeless become productive citizens, instead of on shelters that serve only as a temporary, ineffective fix.
Americans spend more money than they think on these shelters. One woman's shelter in Maine costs about $157,650 a year just to keep it running ("Emergency Shelter"). That doesn't count the cost of actually building these shelters. It also doesn't cover extra expenses such as, bills, food, extra necessities to keep the people safe and healthy, or ways to help them.This just accounts for keeping the building running. Neither does it cover the costs of hiring workers to help out. That would be another $69,500 ("Emergency Shelter"). Homeless shelters cannot rely on money from their pockets, so they rely on the nation's money or donations. Not many people are willing to randomly donate money to an organization they are unfamiliar with, and that is actually good. People should not feel obligated to donate to some shelters because a lot of the money received as donations does not go to building shelters or helping the homeless. A lot of the time the money goes to the ones running the shelter. Donations can range from $1,000-10,000. ("Boulder Shelter for"). More wasted money. This is why many people feel that homelessness is a joke and don't want to help, they want to push the facts aside. Although by pushing the facts aside we are allowing for the problem to continue to grow and worsen. Economic problems are more likely to worsen with the way. With the loss of jobs, and the cost of owning property increasing people are more likely to become homeless and more money will be needed by Americans to keep these places running.
However there are better alternatives to homeless shelters. Such as affordable apartment complexes would eliminate constant payments on shelters and workers. This could be a way to fix this problem because the system now is not working. Shelters give off a negative connotation and sometimes are not what a person needs. They also account for a lot of money. Homeless people need...

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