Homeless: What has been done to decrease the problem?
One of the largest growing concerns in Toronto is the
constantly increasing number of citizens who are finding
themselves living on the streets. With the decrease in the
number of available jobs, the population of homeless people has
literally boomed. My questions are not as simple to answer as
they may appear. Why is a large portion of our community forced
to live on the streets? What has be done to decrease the
problem? These are the questions I will confront in my essay.
With the economical wealth attributed to the name “Canada”,
one would have to wonder why there is a homeless situation at
This problem is especially evident in Canada’s wealthiest
city, Toronto. When it comes to the affairs of the people, it is
the government who should intervene. When I look at what the
government has done with regard to the homeless problem, I have
to doubt that everything is being done to eradicate it. The
United Nations implemented a universal declaration of human
rights. Article 25 Section 1 of this declaration states:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for
the health and well being of himself and of his family, including
food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social
services, and to the right to security in the event of
unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other
lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
This is a step in the right direction.
However, this is not
enough. These rights are subject to the discretion of the
government of the country who decides to obey these universal
rights. How much is “adequate”?
The government, both at the federal and municipal levels, is
currently working on new spending cuts. These cuts also include
spending on welfare, unemployment and social services that are
geared towards helping the homeless. Spending cuts can be seen
as a necessity to maintain the country economically, but the
reason for having a government in the first place is to take
care of the people. How can this be done when money is being
taken away from those services that are necessary to uphold this
obligation? Simply put, it cannot.
Those obligations are
served by nonprofit organizations who depend on government
grants to maintain a standard of care for those who need the
The blame cannot be placed only on the government. Such a
system of assistance depends on its beneficiaries to be honest
and have some integrity. Many recipients of these services
attempt to “cheat the system”. With no will to search for work
many of these recipients remain at home and reap the benefits of
their weekly cheques. This causes the government to create
other services to control the amounts of money being distributed
to those people.
This process is costly and would be unnecessary
if all of the recipients decided to take an honest approach to
What can the government do to decrease the homeless
population? Although there is no quick and easy answer to solve
this difficult problem, Toronto has the means to attempt
economical ways to research and come up with ideas to solve it.
Here in Ontario we have many excellent universities and colleges
with equally excellent students who are taking courses in the
political sciences. If the government were to cooperate with
these universities and colleges and have them work in conjunction
with the current research groups, then the answer to decrease the
homeless population would be effectively answered. The
government would encounter little expense and at the same
time give the students a chance to implement what they are
learning into real life situations. Everyone benefits from this
idea and there are no losers.
In conclusion I think that our homeless problem could
eventually be rooted out entirely if everyone were to take part
in the care of their fellow neighbour. If we were to stop being
self-centered and start thinking about the other person who has
less than us, I am sure that we would benefit from it. It isn’t
all that hard. A few advertisements on the television and
radio, a .