Homelessness in america

Powerful Essays
Homelessness in America

Here in Tahoe, we are lucky enough to experience a great quality of life, and only a few have to face the horrible life of poverty and homelessness. However, nationwide, even right outside the basin, homelessness is a growing epidemic across the country. There are many ways one can become homeless; for the most part poverty. There are also different concentrations of homeless in different types of terrain, such as urban or suburban areas. Last, there is the ever- growing homeless population, and how much money it costs us for others to live in poverty. These are the questions we ask ourselves about homelessness, and the only way we can help is to know the facts about this lingering subject.
The biggest reason people are homeless is simply because of poverty. They just can't afford to have a place to live and food in their mouths. As of 2000, 11.3% of the US population lived in poverty.(1) The number of people in extreme poverty has been increasing since 1999, accounting for 39% of people in poverty, and making less than half the amount of income a person considered in poverty makes.(3) With this amount of people living in poverty, it's no wonder why there are so many homeless today. The reason people are in poverty is because of inflation since the 70's, and the loss of affordable housing projects.(4) This accounts for almost all homeless, but there are also other factors that can contribute as well. There are many people with addiction problems that make them homeless. It's not because they are addicted to drugs, because many people live quite well with an addiction problem, but they could be in a hard point financially, and could be driven to the streets because of money issues. The hard part for them is getting off the streets once they're on them. Since so much of their money goes to drugs, most drug addicts can't overcome being homeless once they have been for more than 6 months.(1) Mental illness is also a big issue causing homelessness. Approximately 22% of single white male homeless people are suffering from a severe mental illness.(1) The main reason is because Millions of mental patients were dis-institutionalized in the 50's and 60's, and affordable housing wasn't an issue until the 80's, when many of them were reaching 50 and couldn't work and afford housing. L...

... middle of paper ...

... are seen and treated in our society. The biggest part of the problem is the way people act about and to homeless people. It's ridiculous to treat anyone different because of their social status; it's pretty much racism. Simple things people can do is just treat people equally, no matter who they are, and not just basing it on how they look.Homelessness is one of the fastest growing epidemics in the United States right now. There are over 3.5 million homeless people in the US now. Also, a quarter of people living on the streets are severely mentally ill, and must be admitted to institutions, and have the capability to if they were given or knew they had a chance. The poverty level is constantly rising, and is forcing more and more people onto the streets. We can just sit around and hope someone else does it, or we can take action. Next time you walk by homeless man or family, and before you make a judgement about them, just take a minute and think about how easily it could be you.

Works Cited

1. book H
5. Federal Task Force on Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness website.
Get Access