Who Are the Homeless People of America?

Who Are the Homeless People In the U.S.?

At any given time there are 3.5 million homeless people in the United States.

People who are parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends – or used to be family members and/or friends (before being disowned by embarrassed friends and relatives), make up our homeless population. Some homeless people have university degrees. Homeless people are ordinary people just like everyone else except that they have fallen on hard times.

Who Are the Homeless In the United States of America?

43% of homeless people in the U.S. are famiies and 23% of those are children.
43% of homeless people in the U.S. are famiies and 23% of those are children. | Source
Sadly, older people are disposable in our society.
Sadly, older people are disposable in our society. | Source

Families With Children

Families with children make up 43% of the homeless population. Of that number, 23% -- just over half, are children.

The recent passage through Congress of a bill that will cut Food Stamps by 40 Billion dollars will not improve the plight of homeless families, nor prevent more families from becoming homeless.

One of the results of the passage of this bill that cut 40 Billion dollars from the SNAP program was that 900,000 needy veterans and their families lost their food stamps!

At a time when the economy is still bad for working class people, Congress has cut benefits to the most vulnerable people in our society – children – but have taken no cut in their own salaries of $172,000 a year plus benefits.

How could anyone with even a tiny conscience living a comfortable life, thanks to a generous God, deny food to poor people, and especially children? The majority of our Congress members have done just that – and want to make even more cuts to public assistance programs for the poor. (At least 60% of our Congress members are millionaires and accomplished that condition after being elected to office.)

Some members of Congress make even more than the basic $172,000 a year. For more about the salary and benefits members of Congress receive, see: Can Members of Our U.S. Congress Retire With Full Pay After Just One Term? The Dirty Details!

Cost of All Public Assistance Programs To the Average Taxpayer

In 2012, the average American taxpayer making $50,000 per year paid just $36 towards the food stamps program.

That's just ten cents a day!

That's less than the cost of a gumball.

And when it comes to funding the rest of America's social safety net programs, the average American taxpayer making $50,000 a year pays just over six dollars a year.

The Daily Take, Thom Hartmann Program

Homeless Veterans

Our veterans come back from war to be jobless and homeless.
Our veterans come back from war to be jobless and homeless. | Source
26% of the U.S. homeless population are veterans.  3% of that number are women veterans.
26% of the U.S. homeless population are veterans. 3% of that number are women veterans. | Source

Homeless Veterans

About 26% of the homeless population in the richest nation in the world -- these United States -- are veterans. Female veterans make up 3% of that number. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, “Conservatively, one out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country.”

A high percentage of homeless veterans (including women) suffer from traumatic brain injuries and PTSD (Post Traumatic Distress Syndrome).

The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs reports that most homeless veterans come from poor or disadvantaged communities. Overall, about half suffer from substance abuse problems while nearly that many suffer from mental illness.

Most homeless veterans have served our country for 3 or more years in one of the many wars since World War II. We thank these heroic people for their service to our country with joblessness and homelessness. As Yakov Smirnoff might say, “What a country!”

Our soldiers and military people are heroes when they are following orders in Afghanistan or Iraq, but when they come home to our so-called richest nation on earth, to no jobs, no medical care, and homelessness, they are suddenly lazy, slothful, and most of all, disposable.

A graphic illustration of who SNAP recipients are.
A graphic illustration of who SNAP recipients are. | Source
Tent city in Oregon
Tent city in Oregon | Source


About 44% of homeless people are employed. Some organizations that keep track of who is homeless believe there may be slightly more than 44% employed if you take into consideration the number of homeless people who are self-employed for cash, usually doing odd jobs where they can find them.

SNAP Recipients (food stamps)

Despite what most people seem to want to believe, Forbes.com reported in 2010, that at least 30% of SNAP recipients were working.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) administers the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program of food stamps). The USDA 2011 report (the most recent statistics available) concurred with Forbes.com in that nearly 30% of food stamp recipients have jobs. Many SNAP recipients work minimum pay jobs, which is one of many reasons why the minimum pay rate needs to be raised.

As of June 2011 the USDA reported that 48% of food stamp recipients were children and 8% were elders over 60 years old. About 16% of SNAP recipients are disabled adults. FeedingAmerica.org states that the “average monthly SNAP benefit is $133.79 per person.

Currently taxpayers subsidize businesses that refuse to pay their employees a living wage. Taxpayers provide the low pay workers in these companies with food stamps and often Medicaid too, to supplement their poverty level paychecks.

No one seems to mind giving welfare to businesses (farm subsidies to corporate farms, tax breaks to big oil companies, etc.), but they object loudly to helping real people.

People Who Find It Hard to Fit Into Society


People Who Cannot Seem to Function in Society

About 20% of the homeless population is chronically homeless. Some of the people in this category have mental disorders and/or substance abuse issues. Despite what most people seem to want to believe, some substance abuse problems originate as a result of PTSD, or prescription painkillers for injuries sustained either in the military or as civilians -- injuries that produce pain that has no remedy and never lets up. Some people actually have reasons why they are hooked on drugs, not just excuses.

Yet many people paint all homeless people with the same brush, calling them all lazy, slothful, mentally unstable, junkies, and worse. Often times I even hear that most of the homeless people want to be homeless. Say again? I think no one who has ever been homeless, as in living on the streets or in their car, would ever say such a thing, or even think it.

To say that people are homeless because they want to be is to my thinking an excuse for not doing anything to improve the situation. For some reason these people who say homeless people like being homeless imagine it is an acceptable excuse for doing nothing except bad mouthing them. It is not.

Sometimes people do not want to be in homeless shelters because many homeless shelters are dangerous. Some homeless shelters are great places to get beaten up, raped, to have one’s few meager possessions stolen, or all of the previously listed.

Sometimes the people who run certain shelters are dangerous. It is not just some of the other homeless people staying in a shelter who present a threat. So if not wanting to stay in a homeless shelter is someone’s idea of people wanting to be homeless, think again. Taking cover for the night in a homeless shelter is still technically homeless anyway.

For more information on the dangers of poverty and homelessness check out this article titled: Poverty Kills More People Every Year Than Either of the Top Killers -- Heart Disease or Cancer.

Homelessness Is Dangerous

Violet Phillips, 67, homeless, was set on fire as she slept on a bus stop bench.
Violet Phillips, 67, homeless, was set on fire as she slept on a bus stop bench. | Source

Homeless People Die Long Before Their Time

Sheffield University in England did a study that found homeless people die on average of 30 years before their time.

“Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, [a charity for homeless people based in London] said: 'It is shocking, but not surprising, that homeless people are dying much younger than the general population.

'Life on the streets is harsh and the stress of being homeless is clearly taking its toll.

'This report paints a bleak picture of the consequences homelessness has on people’s health and wellbeing.

'Ultimately, it shows that homelessness is killing people.'”

Gavin Allen, Mail Online

Once a person is homeless it is extremely difficult to get a job and change their situation.
Once a person is homeless it is extremely difficult to get a job and change their situation. | Source

Dangers of Being Homeless In a Country That Does Not Care

In the minds of many people homeless people are disposable. That attitude permeating a community makes it even more dangerous to be homeless, because no one cares about the safety and well being of homeless people as a result. Being one of the few who care about homeless people when most of the people around you do not can be hazardous to fitting in – see the article “Conformity: How Imporant Is It to YOU to Fit In?

When people are dehumanized, as is often done to homeless people, the people in our society who have poor judgment and who often have undiagnosed mental issues of their own, think it is OK to harass, attack, and do horrendous things to those unfortunate, homeless people, who are looked down upon by people who consider themselves better.

The Los Angeles Times reported on January 15, 2013, that 67-year old Violet Phillips was set on fire December 27, 2012 as she slept on a bus bench in Van Nuys California. Phillips, at last report (LA Times January 20, 2013), remained in critical condition with second and third degree burns over more than 20% of her body and required a ventilator to breath. Information as to whether Phillips survived the attack over the long run, or what her status is now several months later, could not be found.

There have been hundreds of attacks on homeless people all across the United States in recent years and months. Most attacks do not involve setting people on fire, but rather simply beating or clubbing them to death – or trying to.

In 2011, 10 hate crimes not involving homeless people were documented. That same year 32 homeless people were criminally killed out of hate and bias. These statistics come from NationalHomeless.org. The National Coalition for the Homeless reports there were many more hundreds of violent attacks that did not result in death. These violent attacks occurred essentially because a lot of people seem to believe it is acceptable to harass, abuse, or attack homeless people.

Even police in some cities harass and abuse homeless people and a few of them are now awaiting trial for murder. In Orange County California, three officers have been charged with killing a mentally disabled homeless man. Brutality and harassment by police is another danger homeless people must face, as if they do not already have enough problems.

Will this woman be arrested, jailed, and her children put in foster care?
Will this woman be arrested, jailed, and her children put in foster care? | Source

What Is the Definition of Homeless?

“An individual who lacks housing, including one whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility that provides temporary living accommodations; an individual who is a resident in transitional housing; or an individual who has as a primary residence a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings [car, cardboard box, doorway, etc.].”

Who Make Up the Homeless Population?

“There is no fair stereotype of homeless persons: they include the young and old, individuals and entire families, and all races and ethnicities. According to 2000 statistics published by the National Coalition for the Homeless in 2002, best estimates indicate that approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population (3.5 million persons) experience homelessness each year—more than one third of them children. The rights of these persons have become important societal and legal issues.”

From the Free Online Law Dictionary

What Are Some of the Causes of Homelessness?

“Unemployment, cutbacks in social service programs, a lack of affordable housing, and the deinstitutionalization of mentally ill patients are some of the circumstances that have led to people living in shelters or on the streets.”

The Free Online Law Dictionary

It Is Against the Law to Be Poor In the United States!

Dozens of cities across the U.S. have passed laws making it illegal to be poor. That would seem to mean that it is against the law to be laid off from one’s job. Against the law to NOT be hired when one has applied for a job. Against the law to suffer a great disaster such as a major accident, a major illness such as cancer, or to have one’s house struck by lightening and burn to the ground.

It is also against the law (if it leads to homelessness and poverty) to be born into this world with a physical or mental handicap. All of these things contribute to poverty and homelessness, and most if not all cannot be controlled by the individual, yet they are sometimes charged with a crime if one or more of these terrible events befalls them because these are the things that lead to most homelessness and poverty.

The crime of being poor! Not only Afghan people are still living in the first century it would seem . . .

Having laws passed making it illegal to be homeless and poor has not been helpful in either getting homeless people employed, or solving their homeless problem. Yes, homeless people get off the main streets or go to jail and stand trial for the egregious crime of being poor, but everyone has to be somewhere, so homeless people are simply pushed from place to place so that the better off (and in their own minds just plain ‘better’ people) -- people incapable of compassion -- do not have to look at them.

The world seems so much nicer when a person can pretend everything is as perfect for everyone else as it is for themselves -- and it saves having to care.

In addition to criminalizing the condition of poverty, jailing the unfortunate victims of this circumstance and giving them a police record, the few meager possessions most of the homeless people have when they are arrested is confiscated and destroyed.

How long before police are not only encouraged, but ordered, to shoot homeless people on sight? If being homeless and poor can be made into a crime, what is to prevent even more egregious and unconscionable behavior towards these unfortunate victims of our society?

Will criminalizing people who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances be the limit of heartlessness? How long before it becomes illegal to be sick? To dye your hair the wrong color? Or to butter your bread on the wrong side? You can laugh if you want to, but who ever imagined being poor would be crimimalized?

Some people care about the way homeless people are needlessly and unfairly condemned, reviled, vilified, and abused. They care about helping and finding long-term solutions, but they are the minority.

If everyone, or even the majority of people in this country truly wanted to end homelessness and the dangers that go with it here in the United States, it would happen. Making poverty a crime is not the answer. Forcing people to move on is not the answer. Starving people or letting them die for lack of healthcare, or shelter from the elements, and the dangers associated with being reviled, is not the answer. In short, hate is not the answer.

Apathy Changes Nothing

One Campaign shared by Upworthy
One Campaign shared by Upworthy | Source

Give a person a fish and they have a good meal. Teach a person to fish and they eat for the rest of their lives – or something like that.

There are currently many people who are unemployed, homeless, and/or on food stamps who have college degrees. It does no good to know how to fish if there are no fishing jobs available. Indeed, no amount of education or skill will make up for no jobs of any kind available.

As my co-hubber and dear friend Aunt Jimi recently said in a conversation we were having, “Instead of obsessing about abortion and gay marriage, why not focus on creating jobs? We can always send people to Hell after we fill their bellies with food and provide them with a means to sustain themselves and their families. It is not as if Satan is going to close up shop and we have to meet a deadline for forcing people to share our religious views or forever gnash our teeth because someone escaped Hell and it was all our fault.”

Except for the grace of God, anyone could find him or herself living in poverty or homeless. Amazing that so many people who call themselves Christians and who insist this country (the U.S.) was founded on Christian principles and values do not seem to know the first thing about Christian principles and values as stated in the Bible and spoken of in the Red Words.

These uninformed people masquerading as Christians seem to truly believe that Jesus went around healing the sick and charging horrendous fees for so doing just like doctors do nowadays – and of course refusing to heal those who could not pay, also like doctors and hospitals do nowadays.

People who encourage violence through words, hate, or the passage of laws that criminalize something people cannot help being (poor, and or disabled in this case), and against people who are the least able to help themselves, are not behaving in any way that is exemplified as Christian in the Bible.

While I am a strong Christian, I must say I have known atheists who behaved more like Christians are expected by God to behave, than people who claim the Christian label.


Sources for This Article

These are the sources used in this article. I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about this issue to read further from the references below.

Free Online Law Dictionary

The Free Legal Dictionary


United States Dept. of Agriculture




Truth-out.org on the Cost of Public Assistance Programs to Average Taxpayer


Bill Moyers on Homelessness


USA Today


Collection of articles on the homeless population


ABC News on violence against homeless people.


Los Angeles Times on setting homeless woman on fire.


Huffington Post on violence against homeless people


Think Progress on violence against homeless people


Mail Online


National Coalition for the Homeless





© 2013 C E Clark

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Comments 133 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for stopping by. It is unfortunate that there are way more homeless people than are reported, mainly because they don't count them all. Most people are just one paycheck away from being homeless and if they were fired, many would join the ranks. Greed and selfishness are the main reasons why there are so many homeless people in the richest nation on earth.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 5 months ago

Au fait, this makes me so sad, being homeless has always been one of my greatest fears. I guess that is why I took such crap when I was working.

I hope that all is well with you.

Blessings and hugs dear friend

Au fait profile image

Au fait 11 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for commenting on this article. I hope people will help their local charities/churches who do so much for the homeless. Wishing you all good things in the New Year!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 11 months ago from Houston, Texas

Since Christmas is right around the corner and people are in the gift giving mode, perhaps they will give thought to the less fortunate and give some aid to the charities that help the homeless. With just a twist of fate, it could be almost any one of us out there needing help. Sharing this again.

Merry Christmas to you and wishing you peace and love.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 11 months ago from North Texas Author

Sharon, thank you for commenting on this article. You are so right in that more cuts are already on the way. Take care . . .

Au fait profile image

Au fait 12 months ago from North Texas Author

Huntgoddess, I hope the New Year that is just over 2 weeks away will see good and BIG changes for you, and for so many other people who must survive from day to day and moment to moment, something anyone who has never been forced to be homeless can never understand.

I wish I could do so much more for the least advantaged. Thank you again for coming by.

Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 12 months ago from Midwest U.S.A.

A floor and a lock do make a huge difference. I don't deserve it.

I will definitely be filing. Don't worry. The federal court seems much better.

Thanks, dear. God bless. Thanks for all you do.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 12 months ago from North Texas Author

Huntgoddess, thank you for taking time to comment. You have my sympathy. It isn't easy being outside this time of year. Agree that even a hard floor and a lock on the door are better than the alternative. Wish you luck with your lawsuit if you decide to file. Take care . . .

Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 12 months ago from Midwest U.S.A.

Au Fait: I've been homeless for five years now, but I am blessed to depend on my adult kids for places to sleep indoors.

Well, they're all poor, as well. Sometimes I'm sleeping on the floor.

Nevertheless . . . it beats sleeping outside in winter. There are shelters here, but many don't want to use them due to problems like violence and sometimes bugs.

Actually, I feel so guilty to have such blessings as I do.

My youngest son and I lived in the same apartment for nine years. We were never even late with the rent one month.

We had a Section 8 subsidy.

A nasty property manager hired an attorney to evict us, for no reason at all. We were in state court for three years, to no avail. They don't even read my case, apparently.

So, now I have to file in federal court. I've been putting it off for two years because I'm so scared.

The deadline is six years, though.

God bless.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 12 months ago

Au fait, this is a wake up hub, but I am afraid that the ranks of the homeless will be growing if the folks who want to cut the programs for poor and middle class, (i.e. SS, MC, MCD, food stamps,) programs that allow people to exist.

Blessing and hugs my dear friend.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 16 months ago from North Texas Author

Huntgoddess, thank you for your continued interest in this issue. I think you must be very kind. Personally, I think the reason people ignore poverty stricken people is that they are afraid they may have to part with a penny. Yes, even one penny is too much to give to help another person in their minds.

Many people are also programmed from small children to believe that anyone who is poor is at fault entirely for their own predicament and therefore deserves it.

Jesus Christ was homeless and poor -- by choice. Even so, He expected his followers to give assistance in the way of food and shelter to Himself and His apostles and others traveling with Him. I guess that makes Him lazy and slothful . . .

Most people who call themselves Christians are not. They haven't read any part of the Bible -- assuming they have one to read. They call themselves Christians to fit in and to take advantage of people to the extent that is possible, not because they have faith in God or hold any of His values.

Think I'd rather have Worf (Star Trek) and his relatives really, really, I mean REALLY angry at me for masquerading as a Klingon, than to have God mad at me for pretending to be a Christian while fleecing and abusing poor people at the same time.

Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 16 months ago from Midwest U.S.A.

Yes, Au Fait, it's scapegoating.

I believe it has more to do with ourselves.

There are things about ourselves that we can't stand to look at, or think about. We pretend that these things are only in that OTHER group, but never in ourselves.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 16 months ago from North Texas Author

Huntgoddess, thank you for shedding some light on this article. I think most people don't like it because they prefer to rationalize the homeless situation, telling themselves all homeless people are lazy, don't want to work, and have drug and alcohol problems. This is far from the truth, but in the small minds of many people it justifies their bad mouthing these unfortunate people, demonizing them in some cases, and most of all, doing nothing to help change the situation.

Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 16 months ago from Midwest U.S.A.

I thank you so much for this extremely important information dear Au Fait.

Once more I say that you are the 21st century Charles Dickens!

God blessdear Au Fait

Au fait profile image

Au fait 16 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for your great comment. You are correct in that it will require time, effort, the will to make a difference, and money. Most of all, it will take a change of heart for many people who think homeless people are no different than other vermin in our midst such as rats.

I wrote this article in hopes of educating people as to exactly who any of the homeless people are, but those people with a hard heart prefer to continue to think all homeless people are the same -- alcohol and drug abusers, lazy, and rife with mental disorders -- as if that is justification for allowing them to suffer.

As I pointed out here, only 20% of all homeless are chronically unable to function in society for whatever reason. Even they need help. I don't see how anyone can call themselves a Christian and then turn around and say ugly things about poor people. Jesus was poor and homeless and He made clear in the Bible that anyone who will not help poor people are not helping Him either.

It isn't our jobs to assist Jesus who is the only person qualified to judge the hearts and actions of other people. It is our job to do what He has assigned us to do -- love and help one another.

Appreciate your comment and your kind heart. Take care . . .

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

Since you just commented on my hub regarding starvation right here in America, I thought that bringing more attention to your excellent hub about the homeless was appropriate. Often both problems are combined. As I said in response to your comment, if we just have the will...certainly we could end most of this!

If we just set our priorities, much can be accomplished. After all...we put a man on the moon! Yes, it will take some coordinated effort, time and money...but it would certainly be worth it!

Sharing this once again.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 18 months ago from North Texas Author

Huntgoddess, so good to see you again! Thank you for your kind words. I don't do nearly enough and I wish I could do more. The need is unbelievable, and growing with current policies and laws in affect.,

Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 18 months ago from Midwest U.S.A.

Dearest Au Fait, Thanks so much for this --- another important, powerful and informative article.

I hope you get the Nobel Peace Prize and the Pulitzer for all the work you have done for good in the world.

It's so sad, I can barely read it right now. I voted up, etc., though. Thanks for all the work you do. God bless.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 20 months ago from North Texas Author

I've noted that more and more people continue to paint all homeless people with the same brush. Only a small percentage are chronically disfunctional -- alcoholics, junkies, mentally unstable, etc. Most people are down on their luck and no one wants to help. This article explains who the homeless people are in this country. Many are veterans and that should never happen.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Marilyn (MDavisatTIERS), thank you for reading and sharing your experiences and thoughts on this subject. I really think a lot of people tell themselves homeless people want to be homeless, are lazy and slothful and deserve to be homeless just so they won't have to lift their little finger to do anything to help and so they won't have to give up so much as a half penny in their lifetimes to helping others. It has to be scary and hard to sleep if one is worrying about some undeserving person getting one of their pennies away from them.

Easier to go to the polls and vote against poor people having healthcare, and everyone who can think must know that people with no access to healthcare die prematurely as a rule.

Yes, I have a bad attitude about these selfish mean spirited people who turn their backs on the less fortunate and that makes me a bad person. If I were selfish and hateful like them I would be accepted and heralded as a hero.

Thanks for the Tweet.

MDavisatTIERS profile image

MDavisatTIERS 22 months ago from Georgia

Good evening, Au fait; thank you for this exceptional piece. You have done an excellent job of research for this as well. I applaud your passion for the topic.

A good friend of mine runs a homeless mission. People are fed daily, but the housing side is still not funded. Over Christmas, we got the much-needed tents, backpacks, socks, gloves, mittens, underwear, toothbrushes, dry shampoo and deodorant ready for delivery. Under the Bridge meant going out and seeing first hand, the absolutely deplorable conditions. Any contribution that I made and make is small compared to the need.

Each person in the US needs to visit a soup kitchen, shelter, or mission, whatever they are called in their area and talk to people, or let them share their stories. They are not all there by choice or because they are addicts. Remember, I worked with the addicted population for over 20 years; not in an expensive rehab; in fact, I opened it to be affordable. My point is that not one woman in 20 years was homeless.

We have more veterans that are homeless, and many of them suffer some form of PTSD or another mental health issue. That is wrong that these men and women end up like this. I could go on, but I'm sharing on Twitter. Maybe that's a better way to support this great piece than adding more to the comment. ~Marilyn

Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for coming by Shyron, and for the votes and share and blessings, etc. Got pretty chilly las' night and won't be much better tonight.

Blessings and hugs right back to you and John. Stay warm.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago

Au fait, I am back to re-read and share this very important article.

I love the quote "Until serious efforts are made to address the underlying caused of homelessness......

This is an exceptional article. Voted thumbs up UAI and shared.

Hope all is well with you, blessings and hubs.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience on this issue. Last year about this time they cut food stamps to military people and veterans. Appalling that they need the food stamps to begin with and more appalling that they are going to let them marinate in poverty while they serve this country. Thanks for the share!

DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 2 years ago from Orange County, California

I remember when the husband of one of our daughters joined the military about 12 years. They had a meeting for the wives to explain to them how to sign up for food stamps and WIC because they were living below the poverty line. I thought it was outrageous that the military pay for new recruits is so low that the families need public assistance. To me, that was just crazy! I think it is important to share and promote this article.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

kaiyan717, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue. Yes, wages are so low in many cases, and hours available to earn those wages so few, that many working people can't save enough for a deposit for an apartment, etc. It's very costly to live on the streets or in one's car, and worse if children are involved.

A lot of people can't get public assistance either, even though they are homeless or trying to support a family on a very meager income -- or both.

Food stamps were cut just a year ago and many of our enlisted military families, as well as veterans, were hurt. Of course the extremely deserving members of Congress still get their base pay of $272,000 a year and then lots of bennies on top of that, but they work hard for their money as opposed to ordinary people or military folks.

Yes, you talk about companies paying better wages, how about our government? Those guys getting shot at for pennies and then denied food stamps too! As Yakov Smirnoff says, "What a country!"

kaiyan717 profile image

kaiyan717 2 years ago from West Virginia

Love this. I was actually thinking Veterans hold a higher percentage. I find it hard to stomach that we as a country send these young men all across the world to witness and even participate in atrocities, only to send them home with no help. I think with many homeless Veterans they can't or don't want to fit back in to society and who can really blame them? I cannot even imagine what they have been through and we thank them with subpar medical and very little help to fit back in. I find that 30 percent of homeless actually working is crazy, you would think that it would be in the country's best interest to make companies pay a good enough wage to actually live on, instead of subsidizing everyone? They ran a story about the cities making homelessness illegal, can you imagine? I know many don't have much sympathy for homeless people, but I think it is easier to distance ourselves and say it will never happen, as opposed to considering that all of us run the risk with the right set of circumstances.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for stopping by and for the share.

The main reason people come across the border is because they, like most people around the world, especially people in 3rd world countries, have been told that our streets are paved with gold and that everyone is rich.

The articles I write about homelessness usually get few comments from people in the various countries who believe those things and invariably they say in their comments that they can't believe these things are true in the U.S.

Indeed, our streets are paved with gold, it's just that people need to take a closer look. It's not the precious metal that coats our streets, it's something softer with a nasty smell . . .

I suppose compared to twigs and mud, morsels from the dumpster seem like high end gourmet and so it is assumed that everyone is wealthy. Wonder do these people who imagine everyone here is wealthy think wealthy people are cleaning other wealthy people's houses, doing their laundry, etc. ? How can their be maids and butlers or workman of any kind in a place where all are wealthy? Who would do that work if they didn't have to?

Hope you're off to a good day . . .

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

This is sad, with all the homeless people in this country, and it is sadder still because of the homeless people coming across the border who think that everyone has a home in the States and they can have one too. All because someone evil told them so.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for Google+ing and sharing this article with followers!

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Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Sharing this informative hub again with my followers and am going to G+ it as well.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Shyron. I looked into what you mentioned about the homeless man being beaten to death and included that report in a recent article about how homelessness is against the law in many cities across this richest nation on earth.

Blessings to you also . . .

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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, I just heard on the radio this morning that a homeless man was beaten to death, I did not catch why. Did you hear or read anything about that this week?

This is a great hub putting the situations of homeless people out for everyone to see what these people have to go through.

There but for the Grace of God, go I.

May Blessings and Grace be yours

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Word55, thank you for reading and taking time to comment on this article. Your praise means so much and I thank you so much for it. I try to keep the situation of the homeless people out there as much as I can because I think they are invisible to too many people. It would seem that poor people in general, not only homeless people, are the disposable, expendable people, in our society. I think that is wrong headed thinking.

Thanks for the vote too! And the follow.

word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Hi Au fait, Glad to know who you are and what you are about. You are an amazing researcher. I'm on your side and this hub tells life, like it is. Thank God for you. Voted up! -:)

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Author Cheryl. Agree, that no one should be homeless, without food, or necessary healthcare in this country.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Patsybell, thank you for stopping by. There is more to pretty much everything and everyone than what we see on the face of it or them.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Shyron. I have tried to find an update about Violet Phillips but have not been able to learn if she lived.

There was baseball sized hail on the North and Northwest part of town, but here it was only about an inch in diameter. We had strong winds and rain came down in sheets, but it was all over within 20 minutes or less here where I live.

Yes, baseball sized hail fell through the skylights at one of our Wal-Mart stores and caused some chaos as you might imagine, and lots of cars in the area where it fell had a lot of their glass broken out. It hit about 6:10 PM and I was sleeping by 6:30 PM as it appeared to be over.

I heard the awful details next day, Friday, and apparently there were 4 tornadoes in the area. Just not my time yet . . . but appreciate you're thinking of me.

I guess ABC News had quite a story on it during Good Morning America Friday morning. Showed some of the damage, the softball sized hail, and the Wal-Mart shoppers trying to take cover from the huge hail stones hitting them from the skylights. It was an interesting night for a lot of people.

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Author Cheryl 2 years ago

In New Jersey where I grew up, they closed down a psychiatric hospital and the elderly that lived there if a nursing home did not take them, they were let loose on the streets to fend for themselves. I think that homelessness should never happen in our country. They are so busy sending money to countries who hate us. This is a never ending issue that I can't fathom why people in America have to be hungry or living on the street. The same goes with euthanasia of animals. Our government cares less about us and more about themselves. Great hub.

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Patsybell 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

Very insitghtful. There is so much more to this issue than most of us realize.

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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, because this is so important I came back to share this with everyone.

Also, because I could not reach you on the phone and was worried that you were hurt in horrible storm yesterday, I heard that you had tornadoes and baseball size hail. We got pea size hail, nothing drastic. Lots of lightening and thunder, that is why my computer was off. Sure hope you are okay.

Voted-up, AI and shared.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for coming by Shyron, and for the votes and share. Lots of people seem to be of the opinion that dying in the U.S. from hunger and/or lack of medical care is somehow prestigious compared to dying of those same things in Africa or India. They think our poor aren't as poor as in the so-called 3rd world countries, yet people are dying here? What more must they do to prove that dying anywhere is not prestigious? Not even in the shadow of the Goldman Sachs Bank.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, this is so sad! I keep reading about how bad it is in every other country but hear. The send food and medicine everywhere, but it seems for those that need it here in the US no body cares.

This needs to be read by everyone, so I sharing this again

Voted up, UAI and shared

I hope your day is going well my dear friend


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane, for sharing your thoughts on this important issue. There are many costs involved in allowing people to go homeless because they are poor. Helping them get back on their feet and get employed and paying taxes again is always the better answer.

Of course some people are not employable. As I reported in this article, about 20% of all homeless people have issues trying to function in society. Some of their problems can be addressed and improved, some can't. Allowing anyone to be homeless because they have psychological issues is not an appropriate solution. It is no solution. Once a person becomes homeless it's very hard to get back out of that situation.

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Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

Now that the weather is warming up, people may see more homeless people in their communities. I want them to understand them better. I recently saw on TV that it is actually cheaper to put many of the homeless in apartments than leave them on the street where they often end up needing expensive medical care or hospitalization. Except for the Grace of God, many of us could find ourselves in this situation.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

rtburroughs2, thank you for stopping by and sharing some of your knowledge about shelters.

I think it would be a great idea for you to write about your experience and knowledge of the various homeless shelters you are familiar with so that people who have no idea about them could learn from you. I look forward to reading about it too, and when it's done I'll be happy to put a link to it in this article.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you CraftytotheCore for reading and commenting on this article.

There will always be a few people who abuse any program or benefit and make things tougher for people who truly need those programs. If we just stop and think things through, it makes no sense to punish all poor people for the wrongs of a few.

Would it make sense to send speeding tickets to everyone who owns a red vehicle just because a few people who own/drive red vehicles break the speed limit?

Many of the people on Food Stamps are in our military. What does it say about us that we don't pay our soldiers enough and so they must file for food stamps to take care of themselves and their families?

Thanks again, for coming by and understanding that everyone who is homeless is not an alcoholic, a junkie, or suffering from a psychological disorder. In fact, they are in the minority, but still need our help.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for reading, sharing your thoughts, voting on and sharing this article, and for your high praise. The only reason we should be concerned with how people become homeless is so that we can figure out a way to prevent it. Criticizing and judging, I believe, will bring the same to us, criticism and judgment.

So many people live just a paycheck (or less!) from disaster. In today's economy it is easy for me to imagine how someone might become homeless simply by losing their job, having an accident, being diagnosed with a major illness like cancer, or any number of other catastrophes. Bad things sometimes happen to good people.

Regardless of why it happens, we should go beyond hanging the Christian label on ourselves and actually do the Christian thing.

Jesus never asked anyone if they were deserving of His healing or food, He simply provided. Jesus never asked anyone if they had brought their illness upon themselves with bad judgment, He simply healed the person. He further directed His followers to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and visit prisoners as when they are doing that they are helping Him. He said so. Presumably to refuse to do this is to refuse a directive from Jesus and to refuse to help Him. If I can sit in a chair in the corner near the Pearly Gates, I'll be interested to hear the excuses offered for disobeying and refusing to help Jesus who gave all for us.

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rtburroughs2 2 years ago

I think I am going to write an expose' from the front lines. There are reasons people don't like shelters, and I don't just mean the random drug test and the breathalyzers. I have been in shelters in Phoenix, Las Vegas, New York, and Pensacola. There are subtle differences from town to town, but the bottom line is that your stay is limited to a few days In Phoenix and Las Vegas this can be extended by paying $3.00 a day in Phoenix and $7.00 a day in Las Vegas. In Pensacola however they want you to get in one of their "Programs". At the Waterfront Mission this means a drug and alcohol program or a discipleship program, in either program they want you to go to be in the program for 7 months before going into the career development program for another 7 months. During the initial 7 months you "Volunteer" at the mission or at the thrift store, and you have to get permission to leave the property. The Salvation Army is a bit different, after being in the shelter for a week they want you to get in their 90 day program, again you are asked to volunteer 40 hours a week. Rules are not the reason people don't like shelters, it is only part of the reason.

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CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

I always appreciate when someone writes about homelessness because awareness is so important.

It is so sad to me when I hear about people getting cut off from funding that need it so desperately when others get it shelled out to them like candy. For example, I know one person who milks the system. Every time I run in to her, she has a new gadget. Be it a cell phone, new tablet, or what have you. Last time I heard from her, she was purchasing a $3,000 floor cleaner. It's this type of scamming that goes undetected while others that really need assistance get left out in the cold.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, I think this is one of the most important hubs you have written.

Usually when someone speaks of homeless and poor, the thought pops into the head of a third world country, most people can't imagine that anyone in this country could be poor or homeless, and some people even think anyone down on their luck is that way because they want to be. Or they think they got that way by having an addiction.

These people who think that, can't imagine that maybe the homeless have given up all Hope, and have given into drink and drugs.

Voted up, UAI, shared and will pin to Awesome HubPages board.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

gypsumgirl, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. I'm glad you took note that I have stated clearly that not all homeless people have social or psychological issues that are the cause of their situation -- not a popular stand to take.

I think most people choose to believe the ugly accusations about homeless people because they think it justifies their apathy about this issue as well as their unwillingness to work towards change and helping the victims of homelessness. After all, if we can conclude that someone has brought their misfortune onto themselves and it is deserved (in our opinion), then we can walk proudly with our decision to not only refuse to help, but to denigrate the unfortunate, or stand by silently while someone else denigrates them.

Unfortunately, once people make up their minds that homeless people are inferior and deserving of their situation, often nothing will change their minds. They won't even consider that they may be wrong about that. They never think to truly examine the reflection in their own mirrors and see the imperfections there too. It doesn't occur to them that they could easily find themselves in a similar situation.

I remember one woman who complained long and loud that she had literally lost everything overnight because she invested all of her assets with Bernie Madoff. She had been a wealthy woman just the day before. There are dozens of ways any person can find themselves suddenly broke and homeless. Having empathy for others and offering a helping hand may mean people will do the same for us if bad luck befalls us. No one is immune to bad luck.

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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, I have to share this again. In Church today we had a Missionary from Cross Catholic Outreach. He spoke of the poverty in Jamica, where he is from, and spoke as if there is no poverty here, and I wanted to scream at him, "WE HAVE POVERTY, RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA." I would love to send this to him this article, but did not get his name.

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gypsumgirl 2 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

A great hub! Informative and interesting to say the very least. Thanks for the wonderful writing. Many people think that the homeless choose to be in their situations. Some think they all have psychological issues. Your hub sheds light on the fact that all sorts of people find themselves homeless. Thank you for that.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for pinning this article! Agree with you completely!

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for sharing your observations on this issue. It's sad that homeless people are shoved around and so little effort is made to help them get back on their feet. They are dehumanized and that opens the door to the violence I wrote about here.

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Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Going to pin this to my Awesome HubPages board. We have far too many homeless in our country!

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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, I forgot when to mention when I was reading before. When Hubby had his fall and was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, I had gone to get some coffee and I saw homeless people, and one man in particular, wearing only pajamas and no shoes. It was cold outside and all the man wanted to do was get warm, and a cop was pushing him toward the door to push him outside.

I have often thought of this man without shoes in the cold. I know a hamburger and coffee would only allow him to stay inside for such a short time. And I still wonder if the heartless cop is warm and comfortable and does he think of the man without shoes.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for adding valuable information and for sharing this article again. Yes, the job situation has been much worse than 'they' would like us to believe for a very long, long time.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Deborah-Diane, thank you for sharing your thoughts and for sharing this article. I think we need to get some new blood into our congress before anything that will help the less fortunate and the jobless will happen.

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Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

According to CNN news this morning while the jobless numbers have actually dipped below 7% this is very misleading! Most of the new hires are high school graduates taking those low minimum wage jobs and 350,000 people have quit looking for jobs INCLUDING many with college degrees. Something has got to change in this country or more and more people are going to be living in poverty one step away from being homeless. Sharing this again.

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Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

I hope this article will help people get over their prejudices against the homeless. In addition, now that Congress is back in session, I hope this info will encourage new laws to help protect the homeless and lift some of them out of this situation. Sharing this again.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Amanda Severn for reading and commenting on this article. Reality can be very depressing if one doesn't have the money to cheer oneself up or provide the necessities for themselves or their families.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for Tweeting this article! I hope people will have a change of heart too.

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Amanda Severn 2 years ago from UK

This is what happens when the gap between rich and poor is so polarised. Greed will be the downfall of the West. Here in the UK the problem is largely contained, although it is beginning to creep up. You've done a great job pulling this article together, but it certainly makes depressing reading........

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Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Happy New Year to you also! Giving this another tweet from my bookmark page. Hope it opens people's eyes and hearts.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for stopping by. Bubblews as I understand it, is time intensive. There are days I don't even manage to get here to HP when I'm working. Right now it's midterm break for the holidays, but once work starts again, I'll be lucky to get anything else done. I may give Bubblews a try next summer . . . Happy New Year!

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for voting on and sharing this article. The Selfish Gene has no connection to this article. As stated above, even Diogenes misunderstood it. Happy New Year!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Diogenes: Try not to be so condescending Bobby. My thinking is very clear and despite your opinion, I do not need a man to tell me what to think, how to think, or when to think, etc. I know you imagine yourself to be superior in that regard, not only to me, but no doubt to women generally. Well maybe you make exceptions for women if they agree with you. In any case, you flatter yourself sweetheart.

Bobby (Diogenes), you don’t really believe that stuff you wrote about the “selfish gene,” do you? Have you even read Dawkins’ book?

Indeed, you need not have read more than the introduction, which he wrote himself, to know that you completely and totally mischaracterized what his book is about. Find it here: http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/selfish...

There is no scientific term to explain how genes are programmed to survive and replicate at all costs, so Dawkins used the word ‘selfish,’ because it was the closest one-word description he could think of.

The word selfish, as most of us know it, means to look out entirely for oneself and care nothing about anyone around us. Of course genes have no ability to think, reason, or connive. They merely do as programmed to insure as best possible, their survival and replication through reproduction of their host (a subject dear to your heart, Bobby).

If the gene’s host dies, the gene dies too. Often, in order for the host to survive, the host must cooperate with other gene hosts in order to survive long enough to reproduce and replicate the host’s genes. Excessive selfishness as we know it doesn’t encourage cooperation or working for the good of the family, group, or species. Selfishness is all about the individual.

Dawkins was speaking entirely to the characteristics of genes, NOT the characteristics of the humans they inhabit. For the genes to survive and replicate it would make sense to make sure as many humans as possible also survive and replicate so that the genes could be passed on over and over again.

Selfishly refusing to share food, shelter, or medical care would not expedite the spreading of these genes, Ut would cut them off short at an early age because of the early death of their host and therefore themselves as well.

Selfishness is not a quality possessed by particular body parts or their makeup (genes, atoms, etc.). Selfishness is human made, an emotion, an attitude. Genes, as Mr. Dawkins points out so well, do not have the ability to think or have emotions.

As explained on Wikipedia, some people get Dawkins’ explanation of these genes confused because he uses the word selfish for lack of a scientific term. Personally, I had no trouble at all understanding what Dawkins was talking about, so I’m curious as to why you purposely tried to mislead.

After reading Dawkins’ forward, you might want to study further by going here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene

Dawkins himself states in his introduction that his book’s title is misleading and confusing to many people and that the book is really more about altruistic behavior of a species.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

I noticed your response to Paul Kuehn and like him I am also spending more time on Bubblews. As many people have said, it is good not to have all of your eggs in one basket. I am enjoying both sites but tend to write more there since it is so easy!

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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, this is an Awesome hub, voted that way. My family has been there, homeless that is. Once we lived on Seal Beach in California for two weeks, until dad got another job and got paid. I stole oranges from a nearby orange grove, that was all we had to eat for that one day. I don't remember if I told you about that when we worked together.

Bob/diogenes mentioned reading "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Hawkins to become enlightened. I could not find a Richard Hawking on HubPaged, but did find "Dawkin's Selfish Gene" by videosgoneviral.

I read "Dawkin's Selfish Gene."

Voted up and sharing

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

To clear your thinking re the selfish versus the unselfish individual and the individual versus the group, please read "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Hawkins.

Of course, there is "selfishness" which helps others - take mother's love, for example. But my point still appears to be true: the gene is programmed in evolution to benefit the individual above all else, including the rest of mankind.

Please don't give me an impassioned argument unless you have read this excellent work on the subject.

xo bob

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Diogenes, thank you for your continued interest in this article.

I disagree that everyone is exactly the same. I do not find it a struggle to share with less fortunate people and I do not believe I am alone in that regard.

Many Asian cultures do indeed consider what is best for their families, their extended families, their communities and their country before they think about themselves. They are just the opposite of most Americans who worship individualism, and who apparently get their selfishness from their mother countries that are not Asian.

Agree with your last paragraph for the most part. However there are a few countries that are superior even to GB. Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and Netherlands for starters.

I think it would be good to see that everyone has their basic needs met, and then they can work for their wants so that they have incentive to accomplish something with their lives. Some people would of course never do anything, but I think most people would want to do something worthwhile. There are many ways of incentivizing people and it need not be with a stick.

Appreciate your input Bobby. Have a good day . . .

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

Us all pulling together: co-operation, sharing, equality, distribution of resources fairly?

Hey, it's not in the genome unfortunately. We are all selfish at heart however much we struggle to be better beings. Evolution didn't wire us to look after the group, only the individual. I mean, all the above has been tried and they called it communism. The result was the noble were eventually hoodwinked by a new ruling class; in Russia's case with the dachas and all, then the Russian Mafia infiltrating world wide. This kind of extreme socialism is good, but people always begin to want more than their neighbors again - look at Cuba. Look at the mess that is modern China.

In a way, the kind of government we have here in Britain is about the best we can aspire to, much as saying these words make my blood overheat. We have to have the captains of industry and the top engineers, artists and the rest. But run-away capitalism has to be severely curtailed and the wealth redistributed by taxation and enlightened bureaucrats...we fall short in many areas I'm afraid.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you WriterJanis for reading and commenting on this article.

It is pretty bad that anyone in the richest nation on earth is homeless or hungry or without necessary medical care, and even more egregious that hard working people, veterans, and children, are in these deplorable circumstances. Maybe it's time to stop giving to the rich who already have more than enough and start helping ordinary people get back on their feet.

WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

It's amazing about how many employed people are homeless. What a sad state of economics we live in.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Jainismus, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for sharing it. It's true that government policy and economics also play a part but most people who will read this will not understand those things.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for sharing this article again. If we would all pull together we could end homelessness and poverty. Like any other affliction, it can strike anyone at any time . . .

Merry Christmas!

jainismus profile image

jainismus 2 years ago from Pune, India

Homelessness is a worldwide problem, and it is related not just to poverty. There are many other factors behind it.

Nice article, shared with followers.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Deborah-Diane, thank you for sharing this article again. There are many ways we can help the needy even if we have no money to give.

It's against the law in many cities to give food, money, or even a bar of soap to homeless people, but one thing everyone can do regardless of income is to get involved with their city governments, get their neighbors and friends involved, and change these ridiculous, and downright cruel and un-Christian laws that make being homeless or poor a crime.

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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

This needed to be said Au fait, so I am sharing this again.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for reading, pinning and tweeting this article! I hope it does open some eyes and soften some hearts. We have more homeless people right now than ever because so many of the people who lost their jobs and their homes in the 2008 crash have not been able to find good paying jobs as of yet. Our economy is still very bad for a lot of people and until it recovers we all need to pitch in and help each other. Appreciate very much your sharing your thoughts on this important issue!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Vespawoolf, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! We need more jobs here mainly for the 'new homeless.' They are homeless because of the Great Bank Heist of 2008, known to some as a recession and bank collapse. They are families and adults with college degrees who used to live in middle class neighborhoods and make house payments like middle class people, but lost their jobs through no fault of their own when the economy all over the world crashed. Once people become homeless it's very hard to dig themselves out of that situation.

Thanks again for reading and commenting. Happy Christmas to you and your family!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Indian Chef for reading, voting on, tweeting and sharing this article! Agree that poor people/homeless people exist everywhere, but in this richest of nations on earth, there is no excuse for allowing anyone here to be homeless, especially children, elderly, and veterans. It is caused purely by greed and selfishness.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

...except themselves, Misty, here at least. Our local councillors at Uttlesford are being censored as I write for voting themselves a sizeable increase in wages and expenses while raising local taxes to pay for it! maybe they're a bit more moral over there.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Diogenes, thank you for visiting this article and commenting. I don't think any city/county/or state government in the U.S. is trying to save money on projects in order to pay higher wages. They're pretty strapped in most cases and not really interested in paying people a living wage.

Hope you are well. Take care . . xx

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Sam (Samowhamo), thank you for reading, voting on, and commenting on this article. It is the city governments that are making it illegal to be homeless. Police only enforce the laws, they don't make them. People could petition their local city governments for change if they wanted to, but most people don't care -- until they find themselves in dire circumstances, and then it's too late. Once a person is in bad circumstances no one cares what they think anymore.

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Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

I also want to thank you for reminding me that the comment section on my article about donating to charities had been disabled. I believe it is working now. Your support is very much appreciated. Happy Holidays!

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Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

Since it is just a week before Christmas, I thought I would re-share this information on homelessness, as this is the time of year when many of the charities that help the homeless receive the bulk of their funding. I hope that people who understand homelessness better will be more generous in contributing to homeless services.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this article! I've just had my hubber score lowered again and the only thing I've done is answer comments. I guess that's a no-no. I love the way HP puts a random fist in your face every once in a while just for fun and never even whispers as to why . . .

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Deborah-Diane, thank you for reading and commenting on this issue. I agree with what you write, and the recent bill in Congress threw over 900,000 veterans and their families off food stamps, while Congress members themselves have no chance of going hungry at $172,000 plus for salaries.

Thank you Deborah, for tweeting and sharing this information too.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DDE, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. A lot of people around the world have somehow been led to believe America is something it is not. Hope you and your family will have a wonderful, peaceful, joyous Christmas!

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Paul Kuehn, thank you for stopping by and sharing what you know of homelessness in Thailand. Also for pinning, and sharing this article on FB and with your followers here.

I have missed you here and I know a lot of other hubbers have too. I'm glad your experience with Bubblews is good as I have heard mixed reviews. It seems like it's necessary to spend a lot of time there to do very well and since I have to work and have no access to a computer for several hours a day, that wouldn't work very well for me, but I think everyone would be interested in hearing your take on Bubblews.

Thanks again for remembering me . . . :)

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

Why is it that we and the US seem to get the same problems at the same moment? Our roads are like battlefields with pot-holes, too. Do you think things are so bad administrations are just hoarding what they can to pay higher wages and not fix the roads? Of course, more traffic every day, too

oxoxox Have a nice weekend and exercise your strong end!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Colleen Swan, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. The poverty here is much worse than even many of the people who have lived here all of their lives realize.

Lots of people from other countries imagine our streets here are paved with gold. Right now many of our streets are full of potholes because money for repairs is limited, and if one thinks they see some gold there, it's probably runoff from the Trickle down economics practiced here -- my dear friend Aunt Jimi calls it golden showers rather than trickle down. I tend to agree. The closer a person is to the bottom the more they get dumped on.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

Yes, smartypants, and especially accurate in my case!

Foggy day, but real pretty as we had a whore frost last night...you spell it then! xoxo

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for reading, sharing your thoughts and experiences, voting on and pinning/sharing this artilcle. People love to hate poor people for some reason, but Jesus said in the Red Words that poor people will be blessed. Those who have much might should be thinking about it because Jesus said the wealthy should enjoy their wealth because it is their full reward. In other words, for them it's as good as it's going to get.

Remember the rich man who asked Jesus what he could do to assure a place in Heaven and Jesus told him, sell everything you have, give the money to the poor, and follow me. The rich man couldn't bring himself to part with his worldly possessions. Both the rich man and Jesus walked away in sadness . . .

It seems to me some people are already on shaky ground with God, so why push their luck by hating the poor? Poor people have no power and to kick them when they're down speaks volumes about the person doing the kicking. Like someone who verbally abuses their servant -- a waitress, or someone else who is serving their needs/wants. It says far more about the abuser than about anyone else.

Thank you for your high praise, Shyron. You are a good friend. Write me a Christmas story . . .

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Jackie Lynnley for reading and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. I agree with what you say about our government and those people who run it -- not all of whom hold office.

It is truly evil to make it a crime to give food or money to homeless and less fortunate people, and more so to make homelessness and poverty a crime. If everyone demands that their city council and mayors remove those laws they will be removed, but somebody, a lot of somebodies, have to care enough to make it happen.

Happy Christmas!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Yes, the whole problem is greed and selfishness, Bobby. There is enough to go around if some people didn't insist on their own share and that of several other people too.

How can your bed be empty is you are in it, Bobby?

Sleep well . . . xoxo

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

Unsurprisingly we both posted at the same time! That's that other language!

Ticket no problem xoxo

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

Yes, Misty, who is to say he is deserving and who nominates those who deserve. The only decency in this world is when the strong stand up for the weak, when we protect our children and the other creatures which share this tiny home. And they do so to the point of their own demise. We need moral bravery and real love, where it comes from to those who lack these qualities I have no idea. Sometimes it comes with maturity and time and then we have to seek a way to be heard and act.

Will there be a tipping point where our populations reach saturation point due to all the culling from warfare, disease, natural disasters, famine and drought? Then will we be able to see an end to the horrors all around today from violence and greed to unchecked viral attack and all the rest...?

Meanwhile, some of us sleep in empty beds...

All the words, all the words, there is another motivator far stronger I am sure...

Night night oxxo

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for reading and cogitating Bobby (Diogenes). It's actually pretty cold up north with temperatures below zero in the winter often times. Here the heat is unbearable in the summer.

I'll keep your offer in mind should bad come to worse -- where will I get a plane ticket? So if I can have your bed where would you sleep? I would feel terrible putting you out of your bed. The couch is good enough for me . . . xox

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Dennis AuBuchon, thank you for voting on and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. If funding food stamps is not the issue in your mind, then why spend so many tax dollars trying to determine who is deserving of help and who is not?

While every program is abused to some extent, is that really a reason to spend millions of dollars to double and triple check every single person who might get a few pennies they are not, in the minds of some people, "entitled" too? Is it a reason to deny everyone in need because a double handful of people have somehow abused the program?

Florida recently had a little experiment to please a few of their stingier, but otherwise perfect citizens. They required drug tests for food stamp applicants. The deal was, if the applicant tested positive for illegal drugs, that applicant had to pay for his/her own drug test and his/her children would simply have to cry themselves to sleep at night because they were hungry and had chosen to be born to the wrong parents.

If, however, the applicant passed his/her drug test the state of Florida would have to pay for the test. Guess what? The state of Florida ran up a huge bill for drug tests! Hardly any applicants were using illegal drugs -- at least they didn't test positive. All that money Florida had to pay for drug tests could have been used to feed hungry people. Even children whose parent(s) do use drugs get hungry when they have nothing to eat, but some people don't care, do they?

It's amazing how many people think everyone should be judged by themselves. That insinuates that they consider themselves to be perfect or as perfect as it is possible to be. If someone falls short of their rigid expectations then they want them to be forced to go hungry and to go without healthcare, and ideally to have no shelter (housing).

I personally know lots of people who should be getting food stamps but they are not. I know that every time a food stamp recipient's situation changes they have 2 weeks to report that change. If the number of hours they work goes up or down, if their pay goes up or down, if they become injured, or recover from an injury, they must report it along with a lot of other changes. They are then reconsidered as to whether they still qualify for food stamps -- but the program is not perfect and some people do fall through the cracks. Yes, a few people do get food stamps through fraud, but they are very few. Far more often people who need help do not get it.

Just one example: if a person is living in a household that makes too much money, they will get no assistance. No matter that they are in no way related other than being a friend of one or more of the other house occupants, no matter they may be unemployed, they still get nothing. The other members of the household are expected to support them -- a great way to discourage friends and other family members from helping someone out in tough times. If the person chooses not to go in out of the cold and stay with their friends they will probably qualify for food stamps, but if they do go in, the household is expected to provide and no food stamps authorized.

Recently 900,000 veterans and their families were thrown off food stamps. They qualified yesterday, but today Congressmen making 172,000 a year or more, in what I would call welfare benefits (their salaries paid for them doing nothing), have decided these veterans do not need help. Lots of other people, some that I know personally, no longer qualify for food stamps as a result of the recent bill that passed in October either.

Yet corporate farms are still getting theirs. Poor corporations that only make a few million dollars a year. Some corporations received increases in their subsidies! I cry when I think of how awful it must be to be a poor corporation. We should all be so unfortunate.

What exactly is a poor corporation anyway? Oh, I know. It's a corporation that says it can't afford to give a political party or a particular Congress person or persons as much as it did last year. THAT is an emergency! Red alert! Congress MUST give corporate farms bigger breaks in taxes and more in subsidies from the tax payers or else that corporation's contribution to their pac or their campaign fund will be short by a hundred dollars or so compared to last year. People rarely contribute so much so they don't need to eat. Poor people don't give kickbacks to Congress members so they are disposable.

We could easily give $200 to every legal man, woman, and child in this country, and the illegal ones too, for what that last government shut down cost tax payers -- 24 Billion dollars! But you say it's not the money it's the principle. Are you suggesting that our Congress members have principles?

What principle allows children to go to bed hungry in the richest country on this planet? What principle allows some people to hog billions of dollars that they will never need or use? Not even their great, great, great, great, grandchildren will ever need or use it either, while other people are starving, without necessary medical care, and homeless?

I think it is a much bigger problem that we have hunger and homelessness in this country, and that people are literally dying for lack of access to healthcare. I think those are much bigger and more important problems than a handful or so of people who may be getting something they don't deserve.

I have never liked that word deserve. Who among us deserves God's mercy and forgiveness? Who among us truly deserves all that God gives us everyday? Which of us is entitled to hog those gifts from our Father and deny them to someone else? Who among us is truly qualified to judge another person? Which of us really and truly 'qualifies' to live?

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is a stellar and eye opening hub! I had no idea that it cost the average person so little in the way of taxes to help those who need a helping hand. It seems even more egregious to be having food stamps cut knowing that.

Why we spend so much money in foreign aid even to countries unfriendly to us rather than helping our own is incomprehensible to me. Because we have always done it is not a good reason to continue doing so. There is also so much waste with pork barrel spending. It could certainly be put to better use!

It is shameful that we have so many men, women and children in this country who are homeless! Naturally they die earlier! That is a most unhealthy way to live.

There are many good charities that work with some of the people offering them shelter and a safe place to live until they can get schooling or whatever it takes to get them back up on their feet financially with the ability to be self supporting. Unfortunately the need is greater than the existing resources.

Reading this makes me very sad. I do not see any share buttons but from my bookmarks, I intend to pin and tweet this.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

MKlow1, thank you for taking time to read this article and share your experience regarding homeless veterans. It is America's shame that our veterans give their all and then come home to -- nothing.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

ChristinS, thank you for reading and voting on and sharing this article and especially for sharing your thoughts on this important issue. We need to end poverty and there's no reason that can't be done.

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

This is a sad picture of American society. The story of the homeless who was set on fire is just tragic. It´s true that creating more jobs might help some of the homeless, although there are many issues causing this as you have shown here. Thank you for making us aware.

Indian Chef profile image

Indian Chef 2 years ago from New Delhi India

there are so many homeless in every country and since they are not big vote bank as they would hardly vote so politicians care least about them. We have lots of problems here too.. very nice hub, sharing it, voting it up, awesome and tweet.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

NateB11, sadly I must agree with you entirely. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Tillsontitan, for reading, voting on, and sharing/pinning this article! Also, for sharing your thoughts. Most companies here in the states do pay the minimum wage. Trouble is, the minimum wage hasn't kept up with other expenses and so people making that wage, even if they work full-time, can't begin to make ends meet for themselves much less support a family. Anyone making less than $12 an hour right now is living in poverty.

Our government subsidizes companies that pay such low wages and that's basically corporate welfare. Most people don't object to that. What they hate is the unfortunates who are stuck working those jobs and who are forced to apply for public assistance. Easier to attack a soft human being that a big company whose head you can't find and that's anonymous in so many ways.

Thank you Mary, for such high praise for this article. Your articles are always so well written that coming from you I feel truly flattered. I was ambivalent about including Aunt Jimi's quote because she generally doesn't mince words and sometimes people are offended. Personally, I like her straight forward approach, but it's not for everyone. I had this article ready for going live for a month before I finally published mainly because I was afraid it might be too strong, so I appreciate your comments regarding that issue.

This economic downturn has lasted so long. I hope for the sake of everyone who is suffering that Santa will bring us an end to it this Christmas so that the New Year will be truly joyful.

Mary, I hope you and those you love will all have a wonderful, joyful, and peaceful Christmas.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

I'm just listening to Charlie Daniels The Devil..on my new 200 watt stereo and frig the neighbors...yippeeeee.

Uh, the bed. Now that's be telling (and lying) wouldn't it?


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

And who is in that queue, Bobby? ;) xx

diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

Well? There's a queue for the bed! ox

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Dolores Monety, thank you for reading, voting on and tweeting this article! Most of all, I appreciate your sharing your thoughts on this important issue. Everything you say here is true, and more!

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samowhamo 3 years ago

It makes my jaw drop to the floor to hear that being poor has been made illegal Seriously don't the police or the government or whoever is making these laws have anything better to do than to make the lives of homeless people more miserable. What is happening to this country.

Voted up and useful Au Fait.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you moonlake, for reading and sharing your thoughts on this important issue, and for voting on and sharing this article.

When the law relating to food stamps that passed this past October went into effect, it not only cut 40 Billion dollars from the SNAP program, including 900,000 veterans and their families, but it also made it harder to qualify for food stamps.

This is what the Tea Party wants to happen. They would like to see all public assistance programs discontinued even though the average household with an income of $50,000 a year pays only $36 a year to support the food stamp program and another $6 to support all other assistance programs as stated in this article. People with a lower income naturally pay less than the figures stated.

Can we not afford $3 a month to make sure our friends, neighbors, and relatives who are in difficult times right now get enough to eat? I know you will say of course we can, but sadly, not everyone agrees with you and me.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

The tea party faction of the Republican Party wants to destroy our way of life. They want to close all Public Schools, as you said in 'Louisiana Public Schools Went Private Fall 2012; Abolish the IRS as I wrote about in Why does Ted Cruz want to abolish the IRS?; The tea party wants to privatize the United States Post Office (which has always been managed but never been funded by the Federal Government) and to top it off they want to END Food Stamps, I updated in one of my hubs with a picture of 1 Republican who was happily flying and dining on taxpayer dollars, but voted to cut SNAP "Food Stamps for children" as I wrote about in one of my hubs. This makes me so angry, I appreciate your writing about this.

And that is just for starters. They also want to end Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This surprises me. Are there no Republicans on any of these programs? Will they continue to vote for the cuts?

Voted up A/I, and shared.

Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

This is so heartbreaking. I have already Tweeted this article, and plan to share it with my followers in other ways. Once people are homeless, it is almost impossible for them to get back on their feet. I was furious about the cut in food stamps. When one of our daughters married a young man in the Navy, she attended a meeting for military wives during which they were told they were all living below the poverty level and should apply for food stamps and WIC. Are you kidding? Even when they are serving, we don't pay the new members of the military enough to feed their families. Not only has Congress not fixed that situation, but now they have cut food stamps. Infuriating!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Seth N Yang, thank you for stopping by. Is what possible? I'm guessing you are wondering if it can really be true that there are homeless people and extreme poverty in the U.S.? The answer is yes. The gold you have been told is flowing in our streets is not the valuable precious metal -- it is the result of golden showers -- what some people here call "trickle down economics."

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The homeless in America surprised me. Helping the world and not seeing first what is required in America is definitely sad from just looking at the photos and the statistics I am speechless! However, you have accomplished an interesting and informative hub on this eye opener.

Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Au Fait, Wow! This is once again an awesome hub which is excellently researched. Anyone who reads it certainly has to feel for all the homeless in America, especially the women and children. I'm sure that there are homeless in Thailand, but no one really talks that much about them. I do know that there are a few homeless ex-pats in Thailand. Most of them are mentally ill or alcoholics. Some were taken to the cleaners by their Thai wives and then dumped. Thanks for sharing a great hub. I have been so busy on Bubblews that I have neglected Hubpages for such a long time. I still will read your articles on Wikinuts. I'm sharing this hub with my followers, Pinning, and also on Facebook.

Colleen Swan profile image

Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

I went to the states a few years ago and was shocked at the poverty. I agree with Diogenes comment about the UK imminent problem.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Au fait, I personally know people who are homeless, what is the saying, except by the grace of God, there goes I. I know someone who was hit by a car and the police officer wanted to give her a ticket for breaking the mirror of the car that hit her while she was walking.

This world is full of evil.

While I am also a strong Christian, and I know atheists who have morals and would never do these things to homeless people.

This is an awesome hub and you are awesome for writing it.

Voted up, U/A/I, shared and pinned to Awesome HubPages.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

So glad to see this written. It makes me so mad too for people and there have been many here to say they are homeless because they want to be and some deny there are any homeless children, especially ones that go to school. Bad enough we feed the world but we can't our homeless and big fees put on anyone trying to feed them; it is obvious our government just want them to die and be gone. Guess there are no votes there. What will they do when we can't even help feed them?

diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hi Precious...great article. Not so bad in the UK as you have to really work at being homeless. Mainly, the climate won't allow for the exposure. But this is changing as more and more migrant workers flood in. Yet the rift between the haves and have nots in Britain is shocking and growing all the time. We are ruled by an overclass of Oxbridge graduates, both Labor and Tory. The old school tie and the upah clawse accent are still de rigeur: only in celebrity show biz do regionals reign supreme. Nothing will ever be solved unless man stops breeding indiscriminately. The impossible quality of the crowded life we eventually create will stabilize our world population I suppose...unless we can make it onto another heavenly body like Mars, etc. At least you have a more benign climate over there to be homeless in!

If you're ever homeless, you can have my bed!


Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this important topic. We as a country must take care of those who need our assistance like the homeless people. I voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. The funding for food stamps is not the issue as I see it but that there are individuals who are getting food stamps that do not meet the critiera but no one bothers to check their eligibility. This happens with other government programs not just food stamps. Those individuals who receive government assistance should be verified that they are eligiblle.

Mklow1 3 years ago

Great Hub. I have seen the homelessness of veterans firsthand in Columbus GA, which is home to Fort Benning. I saw more homeless people in a month there than I did living 3 years in NYC. Very sad situation, so it is fantastic that writers like you are shedding some light on the situation. Keep up the good work.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 years ago from Midwest

An amazing hub that needs to be shared. I have never for the life of me understood the demonization of the working poor. I know people who work two or three part time jobs that still have to get assistance and no one is going to make me believe they are just lazy. Voted, sharing!

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 3 years ago from California, United States of America

Very good and informative piece. And I'm glad you are addressing the issue. Unfortunately we live in a society that does not value human beings, only values money and those who have it and encourages hatred of those considered unworthy of any kind of regard. The hypocrisy is astounding, sending people off to war to mess up their minds, then letting them rot in the street when they come home, all the while giving lip service to supporting troops and being proud of those we send off to war. Fact is, some people are simply regarded as disposable. Thanks for this, very important issue and needs to be addressed.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

This is a true piece of journalism AuFait! You have touched upon every aspect people should be considering when they think of the homeless. Putting them out of your mind because you don't see them doesn't solve the problem. Shaking your head when you see the news doesn't help them either. Volunteering, working to improve their lot, that is how to deal with it.

These people suffer at the hands of our government. You have said it well, we should stop subsidizing any business that pays their works sub-minimum wage and/or stops their health care benefits. It is time to take responsibility...society has created homelessness now it is time for society to fix it!

I loved Aunt Jimi's quote and this hub!

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, shared and pinned.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

What is wrong with a society that hates the poor, that labels them as lazy, that makes being disabled or mentally ill sound evil? What is wrong with a system that admires those that profit hugely on the hard work of people who do not receive a just wage? The whole food stamp controversy is shameful. People who are unable to work, or work for poverty wages should not be punished for being poor, while the elite (often referring to themselves as the hardest working Americans) ship their money overseas to evade taxes and take that money out of circulation. It's pathetic. (Voted up and tweeted)

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Families with children make up 43% that is so awful. Food stamps getting cut because of pet projects that should be a crime. I know that’s not the entire cut but that is part of it.

If wages aren't increased soon there will be more on food stamps, people can't live on the wages many are getting. This economy will not get better if people have no money to spend.

Voted up and shared.

Seth N Yang profile image

Seth N Yang 3 years ago from Bujumbura, Burundi

is it possible

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