HOMELESSNESS Defining where the homeless stand in our society scale is one of hardest aspects in conducting a study of the population and understanding the definitions used in research is one of the most challenging tasks for people who want to use its results. Most would agree that people in Shelters or literally living on the street are homeless, but there is less agreement regarding people in the following circumstances: Youth on their own, with no permanent residence or even an usual place to sleep; children who have been separated from their homeless parents and are in foster care or are living with relatives; People living in stable but physically inadequate housing (having no plumbing, no heating, or major structural damage, for example) Which of these people should be consider homeless There is no right answer; there can only be agreement on a convention. Homelessness is a term that covers a big territory. It seems that homelessness is at best an odd-job word, pressed into service to impose order on a hodgepodge of social dislocation, extreme poverty, seasonal or itinerant work, and unconventional ways of life. Homelessness, One of the largest growing concerns in New York is the constantly increasing number of citizens who are finding themselves living on the streets. Economic conditions, personal choice, deinstitutionalization, and other factors could be the main contributions of homelessness in this world.
With the decrease in the number of available jobs, the population of homeless people has literally boomed. My questions are not as simple to answer as they may appear. Homelessness is a symptom of much deeper and more serious changes in America society. Homelessness is a serious public health issue in its own right. In addition, homeless people suffer from associated conditions such as mental illness, alcoholism, tuberculosis, and a substantial increase in deaths. To understand homelessness today, one must understand not only why people are poor but also why their poverty takes the distinctive form of having nowhere to live.
Homelessness must be approached as one manifestation of the housing crisis at large". The decisive issue is whether homeless should be understood as something confined to "problem populations" or as a surface manifestation of deeper difficulties. Homeless on the scale we see it today reveals serious deficiencies in the mechanism available in this society to meet basic needs deficiencies that have notably worsened and taken on a distinctive cast in the past few years. Paramount among such deficiencies is the failure to provide sufficient affordable housing. Homeless people are more numerous, visible, and geographically concentrated in cities; so, too, are the institutions designated to serve them. In rural areas, by contrast, we are still at the early stages of understanding how to identify and serve homeless people.
With the economical wealth attributed to the name "New York", one would have to wonder why there is a homeless situation at all. The government, both at the federal and municipal levels, is currently working on new spending cuts. These cuts also include spending on welfare, unemployment and social services that are geared towards helping the homeless. Spending cuts can be seen as a necessity to maintain the country economically, but the reason for having a government in the first place is to take care of the people. Although there is no quick and easy answer to solve this difficult problem, New York City has the means to attempt economical ways to research and come up with ideas to solve it.
Homeless people are homeless because they do not have a place to live. People are not homeless because there are physically disabled, mentally ill, abusers of alcohol or other drugs, or unemployed. However destructive and relevant these conditions may be, they do not explain homelessness; most physically disable people, most mentally ill or physically disable or alcoholic homeless persons do get a place to live. Moreover, when mentally ill or physically disable or alcoholic homeless persons do get a place to live, they are no longer homeless but they remain, as they were before, physically or mentally disabled, drug addicts. Clearly, then, there is no necessary connection between these conditions and homelessness.
Homelessness is rooted hard and deep in poverty. Homeless people are poor people, and they come, overwhelmingly, from poor families. This holds that homelessness is no longer a matter, if it ever was, of a few unfortunate winos or crazy people falling through the cracks of our vaunted safety net. The connection between homelessness and poverty points to major system failures at the lower and sometimes middle levels of our wage-labor hierarchy. The major failure is the inability of the system, even in the best of times, to provide jobs for all who are able and willing to work. Every day, many millions of would be workers are told that our society has nothing for them to do, they are not needed, they and their dependents are surplus.
Here in New York we have many excellent universities and colleges with equally excellent students who are taking course in the political sciences. If the government were to cooperate with these universities and colleges and have them work in conjunction with the current research groups, then the answer to decrease the homeless population would be effectively answered. Also an appropriate and affordable housing for individuals and families-houses, apartments, single room occupancy hotels, group homes would do more than simply reduce the number of homeless persons. Appropriate and affordable housing would also contribute importantly to the treatment and privation of a variety of social ills and individual tragedies, including homelessness itself. Surely homeless children who are moved into decent housing are less likely to become parents of homeless children than children who grow up homeless. Surely people who are mentally ill or alcoholic or drug-addicted and have a place of their own are more likely to stand still long enough to profit from a program of treatment than someone living in shelters and on the street.
An employment strategy that will effectively prevent homelessness must ensure job placement as well, through government-created jobs, hiring incentives, homelessness can be prevented through the provision of housing, but many of those vulnerable to homelessness have other serious problems that must be addressed if they are to live productive lives. Reform of our welfare and social service systems is badly needed. In conclusion I think that our homeless problem could eventually be rooted out entirely if everyone were to take part in the care of their fellow neighbors. A few advertisements on the television and radio, a little push from our society's leaders and we would be off on the right track. That worked for the recycling program. Now we should try employing this idea for even better reasons and become a better society.
I doubt that I will be around to see this idea in use all around the world, but I do hope that I can one day see it use here in New York. To assist all the homeless here in New York would be a very nice thing to see. The best part of it all would be to know what we, as a society, would be able to work together despite all the barriers created by racism and our native nature when it comes to other heritage's. 31 f.