Homelessness is a very large problem that America has come to face with. Millions of people, including children, families, babies, veterans, and the elderly live day by day without food, water or a roof over their head. People that are mentally ill also have to tough it out on the streets, which can be very confusing to them, and dangerous to us. This problem must be solved soon, because it’s not getting any better.
People have not always had to suffer with homelessness.
Too bad the problem has almost always existed, it had not reached a severe level until recently. With every war there has been a small trickle of homeless veterans to follow, but the Vietnam War and Korean War left a wave of many people without anywhere to go. This was just the start of the problem. Then the government decided to decriminalize drunkenness, loitering, and roaming on the streets. That means there were many homeless people that would normally be arrested roaming the streets. Women and children started to filter into the homeless scene, and then in a huge recession in the 1980s 11,000,000 people were laid off (9.
7% of all jobs). By the beginning of the 1990s, over one million people were on waiting lists for homes.
Homeless people can be categorized into four basic categories, families, lone, transient, or bums. A person in a family is usually a man and wife with one to many children living on the streets. A lone person is that who has no connection to anybody and never travels, but stays in the same general area. Transients is a person who never settles down for more than a few weeks, but keeps moving throughout cities by means of walking and hitch hiking.
Even the people with full time jobs are in need of permanent residence. These people live on eating scraps of food from trash cans, and possible meals from shelters on occasion, but those are usually three times a week at dinner, or some other type of schedule. People who have homes rarely think, nor can comprehend what terrible things that the homeless have to go through. They live in abandoned buildings, cars, buses, cardboard boxes, on park benches and underground. They eat bits of old fruit and meat with the mold and green sludge scrapped off. One man and his son used up their $60 of food stamps that they were given for two months.
For a week they lived on ketchup and mustard. Within three days of the condiments disappearing the boy had both his feet amputated due to frostbite. This was in New York.
Drugs are everywhere on the streets. It is estimated that 20% of all people living on the streets use hard drugs daily. Such drugs as cocaine, heroine, and morphine plague certain areas.
AIDS often spreads like wildfire among people who share unsterilized needles, and once a person contracts the HIV virus, they become a statistic in the disabled category. I have found that there seem to be two main elements in saving a homeless person. The government needs to help homeless people get back on their feet. They need to make sure also that homeless people don’t abuse systems such as social security and housing. Another thing that a homeless person greatly needs is responsibility over him/her. The homeless people need to get up on there own two feet, by their own will and try and help themselves.
Such as selling newspapers for low cost. They can then use this money to pay for food, shelter, and some personal uses. Many shelters exist whose primary goal is to help the homeless get a job and home. .