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How Should We Treat the Homeless?

Oct 08, 1999 461 Words
How Should We Treat the Homeless?

I think that to treat all homeless people in one certain way would be hard for me to do because there are many reasons for a person to be homeless, and some of them should be treated differently from others. I feel that the runaways and drug addicts don't deserve as much as the unemployed and war veteran types. But I feel in my heart that all people with no homes, or lives for that matter, should get some sort of help to survive and get back on their feet so that they can become a pro-ductive member of society.

Lars Eighner, a homeless man, wrote a book entitled "Travels with Lizbeth: Three Years on the Road and on the Streets" in which he describes in one chapter "the process of scavenging Dumsters for food and other necessities." Eighner states that even though he is homeless with not much money, he still eats and sometimes finds money from scavenging Dumpsters. This seems like a form of self-reliance for him.

In his story, Eighner tells us what is safe to eat, how to tell if it is safe, and where to get the food. He states that a lot of people throw away perfectly good food, and when they do he finds it. Eighner says the food "can be evaluated with some confidence largely on the basis of appearance." In my opinion, I don't care if the food looks perfect, I wouldn't eat garbage unless I was dying from hunger.

But eating is only one problem facing the homeless. Their second priority should be shelter. Where will they go if it is freezing or something? Many large cities have homeless shelters, but sometimes they get full and the last to arrive might not be allowed in due to overcrowding according to fire laws. I wish that they would let these people sleep on the floor or something rather than sleep outside and freeze to death. I think that if the government can't help these people get back on their feet, then they should build larger shelters to house all of them. They could even serve more food at the shelters so the homeless won't have to eat garbage. I know my city is building a very large shelter to take in the homeless and I hope other cities follow.

Homeless people have many problems to face. If this country would organize more programs to help the homeless, we might see some really low-class" panhandlers" become productive citizens if they choose to. Then the people who have been helped could help more homeless to get back on their feet. It could be a chain of homeless helping homeless.

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