Essay About Homelessness

1425 Words6 Pages
In Washington we have an ever growing problem with homelessness. The mistreatment of vulnerable people by service providers sometimes becomes a barrier to receiving the help needed to retain their housing or recover from an unexpected financial challenge. To solve homelessness, society needs to address the structural oppression and policy failures that contribute to people becoming homeless. Programs designed to prevent homelessness are less costly than the cost of maintaining the homeless. Homelessness is a preventable condition created by systemic oppression and long-standing discrimination. Watching the growth of “The Jungle” in Seattle over the years, followed by the sudden displacement of a long standing residential zone for the homeless,…show more content…
“ So dangerous is this city’s biggest homeless camp, called the Jungle — three ragged miles stitched along the underbelly of Interstate 5 — that if a fire broke out there today, firefighters would not be allowed in without an armed police escort.”(Johnson, 2016) “The police and Fire Department crews have responded to trouble in the camp more than 820 times in the last five years, including 70 violent incidents, 500 emergency medical calls and 250 fires.”(Johnson, 2016) The cost of medical care and crime associated with being homeless far outweighs the cost to provide an adequate housing program for those suffering from homelessness. “A study of more than 10 000 homeless individuals in Los Angeles County found that those placed in supportive housing (1000 of the total) cost the public $605 each per month, compared with $2897 each for similar individuals who were not in such a program, according to a 2011 report from the USICH.”( Kuehn, 2012) Much of the cost of homelessness is in the form of the impact of non-sanitary conditions on the environment, and dangers to society in the form of fires, and the preventable spread of disease. (Johnson, 2016) So why is it that a country as wealthy and resource rich allow people to remain homeless? Reflecting on this study shows sufficient evidence that it is not the financial burden that prevents society from resolving the homeless problem, rather it is institutionalized discrimination that continues the cycle of homelessness supported by chants of “nobody helped me when I needed help” that supports the ideals of differential citizenship and the undeserving
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