Social Economics

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Is Homelessness Society’s growing problem?

Homelessness is a serious and growing problem for the whole of Great Britain. It is not merely a ‘housing problem’ but a much more complex mixture of social and economic factors, together with ‘individual’ factors which need to be addressed and analysed in order to try and resolve the growing problem of increasing numbers of homeless people.

One could question whether society acknowledges the depth and breadth of the problem within our developed country. Statistics collated by the organisation ‘Shelter’ have reported that “ in 2003 137,220 were accepted as homeless…” Shelter.2005 [online].

‘Crisis’ is also an organisation formed to highlight homelessness within Great Britain. They estimate that there are “ 380,000 Hidden Homeless people trapped in circumstances that leave them on the fringes of society ” Crisis.2005 [online]

This figure would equate to the population of a city similar to the size of Manchester. Crisis also claims that “ this invisible city is costing Britain as much as £1.4 billion every year” Crisis. 2005[online].

Apart from the economic aspect of homelessness, the moral dilemma needs to be addressed. In a democratic, developed society, it has been agreed that habitable accommodation is a basic human right. The Law also states the need for ‘equality’ within society, requiring services to be provided and accessible to all, especially the more vulnerable members of society.

However this country is a sophisticated, democratic society that already has provision in place for national education measures, health and welfare services. There is also the argument that there are enough strategies and policies in place to enable citizens to participate fully in society if they ‘choose’ to. This highlights the ‘individual’ factor of homelessness and may indicate why a level of personal responsibility and choice is felt to be a cumulative reason for an individuals’ predicament by wider...
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