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Homelessness

By WayneGaustin1 Dec 01, 2013 1714 Words


The Homeless

Understanding Society-Soci 1015/Dr. Kauppi
January 28, 2012

The Homeless
Amid an economic crisis, debt consumes what little assets people have and slowly drives them towards becoming "homeless". Pay check after pay check spent on paying debt which is accumulated as a means to live while paying of other debt; it’s an endless cycle. People encounter a homeless person every day without taking a second to think about or acknowledge them. Sometimes you get the odd person who will just turn their head in disgust and in some cases give them change. In my personal experience I have been with my friends when they either put them down or sometimes yell at them directly. The two most common sayings I have heard is “Get a job you bum”, “Go to school you bum”. People fail to look at the homeless as an oppressing issue rather they often view it as a weakness. Homelessness effects public safety, cost of living, tourism and the local government. In saying all that I do not have any sympathy for the homeless that are lazy or addicted to any sort substance. The term homeless & homelessness didn’t become common until after the recession. (Lee, Jones, Lewis.1990.pg 547). Believed to be a debate when it comes to what is the cause of homelessness ,”Research now suggests that the situation may be more accurately portrayed because of many factors including the housing market dynamics, housing and welfare policy, economic restructuring of the labour market and physical disabilities.(Shlay,Rossi.1992.pg.130) The public fails to properly acknowledge the definition of a “homeless” person. I believe the term can be stretched to fit more than those who do not have a place to reside. Our main interpretation of the homeless comes from what we see in the media and/or television. A homeless person can range from anyone who has substantial low income; someone who is on the verge of eviction and even family’s that double up. Sometimes you could point the finger and say that someone living with a roommate can be in an argument where the home is not theirs. It‘s also true for people in these situations that are often doing so to avoid excessive spending and eviction. The main categories of what interprets how the homeless become homeless can be anywhere from emotional instability, chronic substance abuse, unemployment and all the way to possibly having had a family breakdown. The Homeless

The difficulties of job seeking for the homeless are overwhelming and over looming in every nation. The biggest complications arise due to lack of education and/or competitive work skills, and lack of transportation. The government sets up workshops for the homeless with intentions it will help them assimilate in the work force and prosper in society. The downsides to all these workshops are the skills they administer to the homeless are "very thin", rather than expanding their horizons. Meaning the homeless are introduced to jobs of the minimum wage variety. For instance the Winnipeg based Siloam Mission, a shelter for the homeless; have on their website pictures of the homeless working. The work depicted in these pictures often demeaning, shows the homeless picking up garbage by hand or those ‘Picker-uppers’. Although a good entrance into the work force, minimum wage jobs are not enough to take you off the streets let alone pay for rent, food and all of life's other expenses that’s comes with renting or owing a house. In order for society and the homeless to benefit from these workshops we need the government to implement programs that meet higher standards of jobs that pay above minimum wage. In a recent conversation with my father he was discussing with me how he had been discriminated in the workforce for not having an address written on the application. He described that when they see that there is no written address or that the shelters address is on the application they will either tell him to "leave" or ask if it was a joke. When I was told that I was shocked. The goal of society is to have as many people working and making money so they can contribute to the economy. With the workforce discriminating the homeless all it does is tie back into siphoning money from our economy. Between the laws that the government has made and the requirements of the work force it is almost impossible for them to meet these standards and support themselves. This is why the homeless are now more swayed to peruse crimes or an "easy way out ". The homeless are more vulnerable to non-violent crimes than the non-homeless. They peruse these crimes because they want to wake up the next morning. The government needs to make laws that do invite the homeless into our society rather they isolate them. For example there is a law in

The Homeless
Vancouver that prohibits the homeless to sleeping outdoors anywhere within the confines of the city. Violators of that are subject to civil fines and criminal chargers. There is no limit to being homeless. It can range from being kicked out of your house for a of couple days to some being stranded for months. In some cases there are some individuals that stand as chronically homeless. According to Siloam Mission in order for one to be considered chronically homeless “the individual will have a disabling condition that has either been continuously homeless for a year or more, or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.” In the states it is said that 7% of all respondents where homeless at one time. ‘It’s said that half a million of Americans are homeless living within or without the assistance of a shelter (Galea, Vlahov 2002, p.138). Comparing that to back where we are from, Covenanthouse.ca said, “that there are some 33,000 Canadians are homeless with as many as 11,000 are youth”. CBC news Canada reported that in my hometown Winnipeg there are nearly 28,000 people that live in inadequate housing and only 353 can stay in a shelter a night. Many homeless people youth/elderly have also become estranged from their family and friends. Without social support recuperating from any substance addiction would be very challenging. Drug use is alleged to be a significant issue contributing to the homeless. Drugs can often lead to many different types of psychiatric conditions and plenty of overdoses. Although I don’t have sympathy for the homeless who aren’t trying to surpass that addiction, it can often be misunderstood by people like myself. Sometimes addiction can be viewed as an illness and may need an excessive amount of treatment or support to overcome the addiction. The homeless could turn to drugs and alcohol to try and manage their surroundings. I think this could be a way to attain liberation from there difficulties. In reality substance cravings lead to more problems and decrease the chance of them becoming a significant member of society that can go home every day and sleep in their own bed. I think the forms of healing addiction at the shelters are bullshit. They will have selected a consoler from a different addiction program to lead the group in the right path. I talked to my dad and he was telling me that the instructor will lead a group

The Homeless
discussion while eating. Personally I don’t think that’s enough. The homeless only stay in there for one night and lucky if they can get a bed the next night. In one night I highly doubt that some of these citizens can get over their addiction that fast. Other services are out there that they could attend but there are hefty barricades that can get in the way of the homeless attending them. With 99% of the homeless not having money they have no way of transferring them self’s to the session. As I stated before lack of transportation is a major problem in them attending sessions. Who really wants to go walk 4.5 hours to the other side of town for a meeting that they might not even get included in? The homeless that are addicted to drugs will also need a different type of assistance in their program than the ones who are addicted but live in house. These programs need to be addressed to the needs of specific groups. Overall I applaud the workers that are trying to help the homeless, but these drug and alchol programs need to be strengthened considerably. A solution that I have thought up was what if the hospitals hold certain treatment programs. The downside is we now that a lot of people look the other way when they see the homeless. Meaning if we had the homeless attending the hospital some of the citizens might get scared or shy off from there. Witch could lead to multiple problems. In conclusion homelessness is not a topic we should just be discovering and finding ways to fix it. It has been around forever. Unemployment, depression in the economic world, high prices in the housing market are all related to why homeless people become homeless. Our government needs to implement higher job training and find a better way to help the homeless beat their addiction. We need the homeless to break out of there shell and get back to contributing to society just as equally as everyone else. For some owning a home is a dream for others it is a taken for granted.

Done by: Austin G
The Homeless
References
1. Lee, Jones, Lewis. (1990). Public Beliefs about the Cause of Homelessness. In JSTOR (pp.253-265)

2. Gerste, Bogard, McConnell and Schwartz. (1996).The Therapeutic Interaction of Homeless Families. In JSTOR (pp.543-573)

3. Shlay, Ross. (2002). Social Science Research and Contemporary Studies of Homelessness. In JSTOR(pp.129-160).

4. Retrieved from -http://www.usfsm.edu/academics/cas/capstone/2010-2011/interdisciplinary%20social%20sciences/aragon-the%20socio-economic%20effects%20of%20homelessness%20in%20pinellas%20county.pdf

5. Retrieved from -http://slohomeless.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/homelessness-the-social-impact/

No Author in article
6. Retrieved from -http://www.shalomhousestl.org/portal/AboutUs/Overview.aspx

No Author in article
7. Retrieved from -http://www.covenanthouse.ca/public/facts-and-statsb

No Author in article
8. Retrieved from -http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/05/10/mb-homelessness-report-winnipeg.html - No Author in article

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