has come to face with. Millions of people, includingchildren, families, babies, veterans, and the elderly live day by day without food, water, a roof over theirhead, or love.
People that are mentally ill also have to tough it out on the streets, which can be veryconfusing to them, and dangerous to us. This problem must be solved soon, because it’s not getting betterfast enough. People have not always had to suffer with homelessness. Though the problem has almost alwaysexisted, it had not reached a severe level until the early 1970’s. With every war there has been a smalltrickle of homeless veterans to follow, but the Vietnam war and Korean war left a wave of many peoplewithout anywhere to go. This was just the start of the problem.
Many homeless people lived in placescalled Skid Row. A place with cheap bars, entertainment, and very cheap housing in buildings called SROs,or Single Room Occupancy. They could be rented from . 50 to . 90 cents a night.
Then cities started togrow, and in the mid 1970s One million SROs were replaced with parking lots, buildings and apartments. Skid Row eventually vanished. Then the government decided to decriminalize drunkenness, loitering, andvagrancy. That means there were a great many homeless people that would normally be arrested underthese conditions, still roaming the streets. Women and children started to f!ilter in to the homeless scene, and then in a huge recession in the 1980s 11,000,000 people were laid off(9.
7% of all jobs). The numbers of homeless people soared. It didn’t stop here though. President Reaganand Bush dropped public housing funds from 30 billion dollars to 6. 7 billion, a net loss of 37,800 housesper year.
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 loneperson is that who has no connection to anybody and never travels, but stays in the same general area. Atransient is a person who never settles down for more than a few weeks, but keeps moving throughout citiesby means of walking and hitch hiking. Within these categories are sub-categories.
These sub categories aretaken from a random group of 1,000 homeless people, and what their numbers would be. CATEGORYPEOPLEFamilies220Lone Individuals780Under 19146Women229Elderly Men17Veterans Men188Mentally Disabled Men125Disabled Men28Full Time Jobs7Part Time Jobs27Sporadic78Effort173Bum (Undeserving Homeless)49Even the people with full time jobs are in need of permanent residence. These people live oneating scraps of food from trash cans, and possible meals from shelters on occasion, but those are usuallythree times a week at dinner, or some other type of schedule. People who have homes rarely think, nor cancomprehend what terrible things that the homeless have to go through. They live in abandoned buildings,cars, buses, boxes, on park benches and underground. They eat bits of old fruit and meat with the mold andgreen sludge scrapped off.
One man and his son used up their $60 of food stamps that they were giver fortwo months. For a week they lived on ketchup and mustard. Within three days of the condimentsdisappearing the boy had both his feet amputated due to frostbite. This was in New York. There are some people who still have a spark of interest in finding jobs.
They look for places towork, and they try to establish an address and connections. If a homeless person is absolutely dedicated toending his own homelessness, he will most likely find his way out. The one category that people assume all homeless fall into is the undeserving homeless, or”bums”. These are usually men in their 40s or 50s who sit around all day and do nothing.
They don’t try andhelp themselves or others. They lie and cheat and honestly deserve nothing because they could never giveanything if they were forced to. They make up a very small group in fact, about 4% of all homeless.Drugs are everywhere .