What are your thoughts regarding the homeless situation in America? Some people contend that people
are homeless through their own making either through character defects, laziness, negative mindset, &/or not having the prerequisite life survival skills. There are others who vehemently maintain that people are homeless through no fault of their own either through mental illness, being downsized/outsourced from their jobs, the everchanging socioeconomic conditions/circumstances, or by just having an unfortunate strings of events.
Homelessness exists for a lot of reasons- some of which you have pointed out... Racism and Prejudice leave a particular section of society disenfranchised and already facing a steep struggle to live decently...
People are homeless because of the multiple reasons you just mentioned. There is no one single cause. But I would say that mental illness plays a big role in the majority of cases.
There are many reasons for homelessness. I worked for a charity helping homeless people and promptly learned that what I (and most others) assumed was completely wrong.
If I had to break it down to percentages I would say, 30% drugs/alcohol, 30% mental illness, 25% fleeing domestic abuse (physical and/or verbal) or severe neglect and 15% for other reasons such as fire, health problems, accidents, criminal acts against them that injured them to the point they cannot earn a living.
Some homeless people are homeless because of their own choices but a large number of people are responsible and law abiding and horrible things happened to them. Once homeless, it is a very difficult and long road out and back to a place of financial independence for most.
It's easy to assume things about the homeless but many assumptions are wrong. On a side note, I also see how many assumptions about rich people are wrong too. However, I saw firsthand many cases where law abiding and intelligent people who were doing all the right things became homeless.
It's been said that "everyone has a story".
I believe this to be true of every homeless person. One of the difficulties we have as a society with addressing the homeless situation is we cannot protect people from doing things that aren't in their best interest!
Some people have chosen drugs, alcohol, or criminal activities which have (alienated them from family and friends) or cost them employment. Just about every honest (decent person) knows of someone who would allow them to sleep on their sofa or floor until they got on their feet if they were to ask.
You'd be surprised at how many people are unaware they have a family member who is living homeless somewhere. Pride is silent.
Others have mental disorders but refuse to take medication and would rather be "free on the streets" than inside an institution. We can't force someone to commit them self.
There are others who simply are unaware of government and non-for profit organizations that offer programs to assist the homeless. Many people don't like being told what to do or being held accountable.
Long ago I was at a bus stop and overheard two homeless guys talking. One was talking about going to a missionary for dinner and the other said he was going to skip that because: "They won't feed you until after you attend an one hour prayer service!"
The (something for nothing) mentality guarantees poverty.
Lastly there are what I call short-term homeless people. These are people who have family they could move in with but have chosen to sleep in their car instead to (pursue their dreams). Tyler Perry, Jim Carrey, Kelly Clarkson, and Steve Harvey are a few examples. Jennifer Lopez stated her mother kicked her out of the house because she didn't want to go to college and was fixated on becoming a dancer. She slept on cots in the studio.
In the 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, Steve Jobs said, “I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.”
Being homeless doesn't have to be a permanent condition. Only the individual can change their mindset and take the necessary steps.
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