March 1, 2012
Another step down on the ladder; Homelessness

She never thought that her son, whom she is embracing tightly, would be the only thing she owned. In her wildest dreams she never thought begging was her only option. Now she knows, that her life is based on another person’s charity. Homelessness is a nightmare of isolation. A homeless person lives without a home, and therefore typically lives on the streets. This is exactly how Jasmine lives her life, underprivileged and homeless. If everyone donates a little bit of their time, money, food or household items, then we can make a difference in the lives of homeless people.

Homelessness has been documented for many centuries. As early as the 1800’s, homelessness was caused because of the men fighting in war and becoming wounded or just simply being overloaded by debt, which led to them being homeless. In history the United States added rights for the unfortunate by enacting the Housing Act of 1949. This act implies the “realization as soon as feasible of the goal of a decent home for every American family”, but unfortunately the United States government did not follow through. Homelessness is an issue everywhere, not just in the United States. An example of homelessness in another country is the history of homelessness in Great Britain. As long as the historical records have been kept, Britain had a “vagrant” (homeless) problem dating as far back as the seventh century.

Currently, in the twenty-first century, homelessness has gotten worse. An ever-growing homeless population is apparently becoming a permanent feature in the post-industrial America that we live in. Poverty and economic issues are also affecting homeless students today. Kids need an education to succeed, but the government only allows the homeless students to have a bus ride to school as part of the McKinney-Vento Act. There is a new campaign that’s being called Beds not Buses”. This campaign calls for lower housing options so that students who become homeless don’t have to be bused back to their original school. The idea is that it’s cheaper to house a family than to provide transportation back to a student’s original school if they have to move out of the district.

It is predicted that in the up coming years, homelessness will continue to increase due to economic slow down in America. The government will have less money to spend on assisting homeless people and individuals will likely donate less to the homeless and charities. Therefore, it’s imperative that everyone does what he or she can to assist this growing population. Some examples that can help reduce homelessness are to raise welfare rates so there is more government money to use, provide training to students so that they are able to be employed, provide additional low-income housing options, and provide more extensive addiction and psychological treatment.
Therefore, every individual can have a positive impact on the homeless. One little thing can make a huge difference. Think of Jasmine as an example, of her desperation and complete hopelessness when you are donating. Your smallest gift regardless of monetary or voluntary could mean everything to Jasmine. The government can only do so much, so we all must chip in and help in our own caring way.

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