Homeless: What Has Been Done to Decrease the Problem?

Topics: Human rights, Homelessness, Universal Declaration of Human Rights Pages: 3 (819 words) Published: October 8, 1999
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 all. 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...
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