Persuasive Speech: We Must Fight Homelessness

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     Specific Purpose:
          To persuade my audience to help fight homelessness
     
     Central Idea:
          With more help for the homeless we can make America better for everyone

     Attention
     I. Imagine for a moment that you're not in this classroom.
A. Instead your outside, but you not walking to class or your dorm, your living there.
          B. Imagine for a moment that you yourself are homeless.
               1. You have no shelter
               2. When it rains your wet
               3. When its cold your freezing
               4. You have no money     
          C. This is what life is like for many Americans each day
D. Today I would like to encourage you to donate your time or money to help fight the homeless epidemic in our nation.          
     
     (Transition: Let’s start by taking a closer look at the homeless problem in America)

     Need
     I. Homelessness effects many different kinds of people     
A. According to National Coalition for the Homeless last year over three million people were homeless
1. Statistics show that people living in poverty are most likely to become homeless.
2. Economically they are at a high risk of losing what little they already have.
               3. The average age of a homeless person is mid to upper thirties.
          B. Homelessness affects families
               1. The number of homeless families has significantly increased over the past decade.
               2. They are among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population
               3. They are approximently 40% of people who are homeless.
               4. 50% of homeless adults were also homeless as children
          C. Homelessness affects veterans
               1. It is estimated that 1/3 of the homeless are veterans.
     II. Why are these people homeless?
          A. I asked my friend his opinion and he replied, “It’s their own fault. They do it to                themselves by being lazy or with their drug habits.”
1. Typically people have the impression that homeless people are sloppy, lazy, and irresponsible.
               2. Many people believe the homeless should help themselves by getting jobs.
3. People also believe that drug habits have caused people to become homeless.
B. A survey in 30 cities by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1998 found that almost 1/5 homeless people are employed.
1. Many homeless people who have jobs and are not addicted to drugs still remain homeless.
          C. Declining wages have put housing out of reach for many workers.
1. In every state, more than minimum wage is needed to afford a one or two bedroom apartment.
2. According to a study by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1998, a minimum wage worker would have to work 87 hours a week to afford a two bedroom apartment.
               3. This insufficient income leaves many people homeless.
          D. Another contribution to homelessness is serious health...

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