Homelessness In Chicago Essay

2068 Words 9 Pages
The steadily increasing rate of homelessness in Chicago is a social justice issue that is difficult to ignore. It is nearly impossible to walk down Michigan Avenue without noticing the countless shivering, hungry people begging for spare change. But the people we see on our everyday route to school and work are only a very small portion of the thousands of people suffering throughout the city. The National Health Care for the Homeless Council defines homelessness as “…an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other instable or non-permanent situation”(1). Chicagoans may think they know about the issue of homelessness …show more content…
Studies done by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless show that from 2013-14 there were roughly 138,575 people living homeless in the city of Chicago alone. This is an increase of 19.4% in just one year. Chicago Public Schools identified 22,144 homeless students in 2013-14 which is an 18.6% increase from the prior school year. With steadily increasing rates it would seem only logical that the city would work to increase the amount of shelters provided for these people in need. Unfortunately, the number of homeless people in need of shelter far exceeds the number of shelters provided. The rise in the number of permanent supportive housing slots only went up 3.4% in the last year while transitional housing beds rose only 2.4% and we saw a measly 2.2% rise in emergency shelter beds. Why is it that the city isn’t taking the necessary actions to make sure its citizens have a place to sleep at night? It can be argued that by simply handing out food and shelter, we are enabling the homeless. It has been said that people will only continue to beg for money and avoid having to work so long as they don’t have to. If provided a place to sleep, something to eat and proper health care these people will have a much better chance at pulling themselves out of the hole they are currently living in. Providing help does not mean just handing out money to anyone that needs it. If we can provide individuals …show more content…
Our society preaches the idea of equality, freedom and happiness but is not willing to make the sacrifices needed for this to happen. In order to successfully diminish the issue of homelessness, help is needed form each member of society. There is not one simple solution that will eradicate poverty overnight, but there are many different ways in which a difference can be made. By putting a focus on healthcare directed specifically at the homeless, by working to provide permanent housing and by taking the time to listen or give anything within your means to the homeless we can make a difference. Homelessness should not be ignored just because it does not directly affect you. It is important for everyone that is able to work to eradicate homelessness and by doing so we will create a better society for

Related Documents