Homelessness In Society: Alienation Of The Homeless In America

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At any given time, approximately 600,000 homeless survive at the front door of America. They are sleeping in parks, living in cardboard boxes, sitting on street corners, and resting under bridges. Terrible hunger gnaws at their stomachs as they search for food. Society labels the homeless as useless and worthless, but they are not. They are children, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, and fathers that need a place to sleep, eat, and live. What does society do to help? Nothing. Society hurries home from work, shopping, and leisure, worrying about who will win the next football game. Society is not worried about where their next meal will come from, where they will sleep, or where they will be tomorrow. Although it is difficult for society not to feel discomfort at seeing homeless people, it is the homeless who pay for the way people feel about them. Alienation of the homeless in America is a direct result of injustice, health issues, and societal attitudes; however, solutions are available to society as they are obligated to all of their citizenry, including the homeless. The homeless are alienated by laws passed by government, at the federal, state, and local levels, that restrict them and their survival methods. David Bender, author of Poverty, declares that in Phoenix, laws were passed that “prohibited sleeping, sitting, or lying down in public areas such as parks” (101). In addition, Bender points out that one town considers the trash cans as public property; therefore, digging for food is a violation of public property (101). As a result, the homeless cannot look for food or lie down to rest; therefore, their means of survival is limited. Furthermore, Bender explains that many states have vagrancy laws. These laws deal w... ... middle of paper ... ...voluntary is not a moral duty, but it is an owed duty. On the other hand, the obligation to the involuntary is a definite moral duty; it must be done (119). An individual can make a difference with just a smile, a kind word, or even a hot meal. The homeless are human after all, and they do have feelings. Ridiculed, called animals, blamed for diseases and mental illness by society, the homeless feel alienated. Even though they are thought of as “hobos” and “bag ladies,” the homeless are Americans with feelings that at one time had dreams and goals in life. They need to be given another chance, a chance to fulfill their dreams. If nothing is done by society or government, homelessness will continue to increase. Who will be responsible for the homeless that die every day? Each member of society will be held responsible. May God bless the forgotten citizens of America.

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