A Room At The Homeless Shelter Essay

A Room At The Homeless Shelter Essay

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After waiting in line for seven hours with a bag that weighs almost as much as her, 62 year old Abigail is the second to last person to receive a room at the homeless shelter. Her legs quiver in pain as she walks up two flights of stairs to a room she will be sharing with eight other people for the night. Tonight, Abigail will be able to wash her clothing, sleep in a heated room, and shower for the first time in a while. She sleeps for as long as she can, despite questionable odor and loud noises, but Abigail must leave the shelter by five AM. All she possesses, besides her clothes, is the styrofoam cup of coffee she is handed as she leaves. She has walked the streets of her city for many years and has given up hope of finding a job. No one seems to be interested in hiring a woman who has dirt under her fingernails and looks a step away from death. She has been in the city for long enough now that people recognize her as an old beggar. She could move to another area in search of work but she is not strong enough and her motivation has been depleted. Abigail has lost hope and will spend the next two hours waiting for her storage unit to open at seven where she pays a couple dollars a month to keep the little belongings that have not been confiscated or stolen. Even though the storage unit is small it is something that Abigail can call her own and it will provide her a warm place to stay for the time being.
The increasing homeless population in the United States should not come as a shock. With high unemployment rates and the shortage of low-income houses available for rent is forcing people to give up their homes and seek what shelter they can find on the streets. What is being overlooked is the perennial increase in amount of hom...


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... get back on their feet.
Living without a residents the homeless have no where to put their belongings so they are often confiscated, when municipal workers or public security carry out sweeps. Panhandling, which is key for the homeless to acquire some money to get by, has been made illegal in many cities. You can even be arrested for being on the giving end as it is illegal to share food with the homeless in public areas. Lastly, and most horrifying, is the “quality of life” ordinance that requires hygiene in public spaces (Building a Movement to End Homelessness). The problem is, many of these people don’t have any spare clothes, or access to bathing facilities at their disposal, so upholding an orderly, hygienic appearance is difficult. Not to mention, motivation is hard to come by when you don’t have a fresh pair of underwear and you are sleeping on the sidewalk!

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