Stereotypes in Homelessness

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The homeless have been a problem in society for as long as the nation's existence. When one thinks of a homeless person, they see a middle-aged male figure. Some may also believe that race also plays a vital role in the forlorn because in urban areas black homeless stand out among the white. Worn clothes, scruffy beard, and alcohol on breath all spark the characteristics of the average homeless person in the mind of Americans. There are many stereotypes attached to homelessness, but are they really true? Can a homeless person be put into a single stereotype. We will be examining the typecast of self-infliction and what it entails.

There are homeless that follow typical cataloging broadcasted by the media. They set up the average views published by such sources, that easily sway the ideas of the people. The stereotypical homeless person can be labeled as “old homeless”. Irresponsibility, laziness, and faultiness fall into the previously mentioned category (Arnold 91). One large group of the “old” homeless are the tramps. The tramps tend to be very deviant in the ways such as freight-hopping, forming hostile groups, and threatening many civilians (Kusmer). These “tramps” bring a worse representation of the new homeless than those desolate truly deserve.

The “low-life” homeless come from the wayfaring drunkards, wallowing in self pity and wandering through dense populations, such as urban areas. According to Arnold, the average image of the homeless is a drunk, aged man talking to himself in the street (89). But how does one know who is and who isn't homeless and if he is responsible for Greco 2

his loss? If a man wearing a suit was walking down the street, one wouldn't think twice about their place of residency, whether or not he has a family or job. He may not have any of these commodities. They may be like you or I, hitting a streak of bad luck.

A significant amount of the homeless have been found to have left home at an early age. Child abuse and...
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