The Homeless And Professional Panhandlers Essay

3465 words - 14 pages

“What if you woke up today with what you thanked God for yesterday?” I saw this sign hanging on a wall at a friends house, and it shocked me when I read it. I would have absolutely nothing. I have so much to be thankful for, but I never thought about any of it. I would not have any of my possessions, that at this point in time seemed like necessities, or any of my friends and family. I am not saying you have to become religious to be thankful for something, but there are people that do not have any of these things that we find necessary for basic survival. After a long day at school or work some people do not have the privilege of laying in a nice comfy bed, and have the privilege of having food at their disposal whenever they desire. These less fortunate people make up the homeless population in not only the US, but the world. Homelessness is a problem, because society stereotypes and discriminates against them, it has been on the rise without any effort to stop it, and it is dangerous to peoples health.
Stereotyping is something that everyone subconsciously does, and sadly, something that people are very good at. The common view on someone that is homeless is that they are dirty and disease ridden, but they are still human beings that are not as lucky as the rest of us. It is not just one mistake or bad choice that causes someone to end up on the street, it is a series of mistakes, and a little bad luck, that turns these peoples lives from bad to worse (Thibodeau). More often then not most of the things that put people on the street our things that can normally be dealt with alone, but when faced with these challenges it is easy to find a bank account drain quicker than it can be replenished. Most people can afford to make more than one mistake, but when you live from pay check to pay check they can not afford too (Kozol par.1). Many things raise the risk of becoming homeless. If a persons parents are homeless they are more likely to be homeless later on in life. If someone has faced imprisonment in earlier years, they also have a greater percent of falling below the poverty line (Cohen par.10). There are structural and Individual factors that also play a roll in a persons residential status. Structural problems that result in homelessness include: if people are laid off and they can no longer afford their mortgage, if their is a lack of affordable housing or apartments, or if they are dependent on someone else's income and are no longer supported by them (Hancock par.4). The individual factors that come can cause a person to live on the street are physical disabilities that causes you to lose your job, psychiatric disorders that do not allow you to support yourself, and disorders such as PTSD which also cause job loss (Cohen par.12). This is one of the main reasons that veteran homelessness is on the rise. Veterans make up about 12.6% of the total U.S population, which is about 39.5 million people, and they make up about 20% of the homeless...

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