Being Homeless

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While walking down the street you can see a variety of people that have nowhere to lay their heads; women sleeping on the ground or the disabled that have given up hope; the person that battles an addiction and the teens that have been cast aside by their parents. They fear for their safety and wonder how they will eat. Belongings are gathered as they scurry to a shelter worried that they may not arrive on time, therefore they’ll have to face another evening in the streets and a new day of sadness tomorrow. These people are helpless and emotionally broken; powerless in their situation.

In America the number of homeless people grows everyday.  Studies show that 45% are single men; 15% are single women and the remaining 40% are families that have a single parent with children. Being homeless is usually coupled with difficult circumstances that are beyond a person’s control. Domestic violence, the termination of employment and even children that have been abandoned, are just a few of the reasons that the homeless population increases.

People often think that the homeless prefer to be in that situation. They feel that they are just lazy, uneducated and not worthy of help. However this isn’t always true of the person that hasn’t a place to call their own. The thought of someone waking up in the morning and saying “I’m going to quit my job today and live on the streets” is completely ludicrous. Society says “Well they should just get a job and not rely on other people to help them” but what they don’t realize is it isn’t that easy. In order to complete a job application a home address and telephone number are required. If an interview is scheduled, will their physical appearance be acceptable? They clearly lack the resources to purchase new clothes, so how would they be able to make a good impression? Behind every face is a story and without the knowledge of what brought them to that place, the public is in no position to pass judgment.

I believe that society has become desensitized to those in need. They are so comfortable with their lives that they don’t see the needs of others. The average family has 2 cars in their drive way, their children participate in extracurricular activities that cost a large amount of money and the closets of women are filled beyond capacity. Meals take place at expensive restaurants and family vacations are taken annually. It’s incomprehensible that certain states claim there isn’t enough money to build another shelter or take care of their homeless. However thousands of dollars are spent daily building a new park, another sports arena or awarding a game show contestant with an expensive prize.  If more people would look beyond themselves, they could see the desperation and shame that accompanies the homeless.  Money is fleeting and collectibles lose their appeal, but the welfare of a person should hold the highest value.

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