The Homeless in America


" I never
imagined that I would be homeless." Although I have read this statement
made over and over again, the facts behind it remain astonishing. 
The facts are that there are millions of homeless in America today. 
Many of these people had no choice but to become homeless.

Economic problems such as being laid off work, or the rise in the cost of housing had lead people to live on the streets. Many of the homeless are women that have become divorced or have left home because of physical abuse. These women have no education because they have not been given the chance to go and get the education that it takes nowadays to get the job, so they are forced to live on the streets. They have no family to help them and they are left with no other choice. People with mental illnesses also become homeless quite often. These people are incapable of handling the stress of living on their own. These people get kicked out of their homes and are to ashamed to go to their families because of their illness, so we see them on the streets struggling to stay warm. Teenage mothers are also forced to live on the streets because their families will not help them. The fathers are not there and that forces them to live on the streets. So they must resort to prostitution to pay for the food that their young ones need to stay alive. There are many other people that become homeless for many different reasons. Some of these people can not help becoming homeless. Some of these people are the illegal immigrants that come here from other places to get a better life but end up not having enough money to make it in this hard world that we live in. Teenage runaways have different reasons for leaving home but all have the same reason for becoming homeless. They simply just do not have enough money. Others are drug and alcohol abusers and disabled people. With this list of people there must be some way that we can help these people.

There has been many programs that have been available to help these homeless, but only have only succeeded in the short run and have failed in the long run. There has been homeless in America ever since the colonial times and not much progress has been made in the 200 plus years in helping these people. We have adopted programs such as FDR's New Deal in which the government produced more jobs that took little skill, and made these jobs available to the poor. Social Security, which is not welfare, was adopted and is still going. It is where you pay into it while you work and when you for some reason become unable to work you will have this money. HUD housing has been available also to the homeless and the poor. We also have AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) and Welfare which gives federal money to homeless and poor and helps them get back on their feet. But these programs seem more to help the poor with homes and not the poor without homes. We must think of ways to help the poor without homes - the homeless.

There are many shelters were the homeless can go to get out of the cold and sleep on a cot instead of a bench or the hard ground, but families sometimes find it dangerous to sleep there in fear that the few possessions that they do own will be stolen. We should make these places safer for the homeless, and set up programs within these shelters that will help the homeless find jobs and homes. We could have the vacant apartment buildings opened and have the homeless stay there so that they have an address to get their selves a job. We could take some of the money that we are using to set up these little shelters, and set up larger ones in the cities that need them the most. We could all volunteer a little of our time to serve dinners to these people and to help build homes for the homeless. We could give a little of our money to those who have none. A little of our time will go a long way.

Homelessness is a big problem in our country today, but there are very few programs set up to help them. We all need to work together to help those less fortunate because you would want someone to help you if you where in that position, so we should do our best to help them.

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