17 September 2012
Judging the Homeless
Mother Teresa once stated, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” People are progressively being victimized for being homeless. Anna Quindlen, 1992’s Pulitzer Prize winner, for her New York Times column, “Public and Private”, evaluates the life of a homeless woman in her essay, “Homeless” (1998). She soon realizes that all homeless people have a different story and urges the reader not to judge them. Homeless people feel judged when they are stereotyped, mistreated, and misunderstood.
To start off with, homeless people often feel criticized when they are stereotyped. A countless number of people believe that homeless people are in their predicament due to laziness. This may be true for some of the homeless, but it does not always hold true. While a majority of the homeless population is unemployed, it doesn’t imply laziness. In today’s society the economy is so bad that a lot of the non-homeless once had a home. Quindlen quotes, “She had a house, or at least once upon a time had one…”(21) Some believe that most homeless people are criminals. This stereotype is one of the worst about homeless people because it generates an irrational worry towards the homeless. It causes many of the people who would help not to because they are afraid to do so. This common stereotype also makes it difficult for homeless people to get a job or from having a place to live. Residents of a specific area may even object to charitable organizations to be run in their area. Some people believe that homeless people take things from society and give nothing in return. Although, an alarming number of the homeless currently or are struggling with some sort of addiction, lots of the homeless do not or have not ever had...