How To Improve Homelessness Essay

2386 Words 10 Pages
Homelessness is not new to our nation, and it has greatly increased over the past ten years. (Baum, 1-4) For growing numbers of people, work provides little, if any, protection against homelessness. Low national un-employment levels do not mean that all working people are well-off. (Baum, 21-24)
What is homelessness? According to the definition stated by Stewart B. McKinney, for purposes of the 1987 McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, “a homeless person (homelessness) is one who lacks a fixed permanent nighttime residence, or whose nighttime residence is a temporary shelter, welfare hotel, or any public or private place not designed as sleeping accommodations for human beings.” (Baum, 8) A rather deceptive definition when one considers
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Stagnating wages, lack of health insurance, domestic violence, changes in social services and welfare programs, cuts in benefit programs, such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Food Stamps and Elderly Assistance, single parent families, drug addiction, mental health problems, natural disasters, job displacement due to military actions, and affordable housing shortages account for increasing poverty among American families. It is also believed that “the distance between the middle and lower classes has begun to shrink dramatically; middle-class households now experience the problem as an inability to afford owning a home, just as homelessness has increased dramatically.” (Christian)
In the United States, one of the most economically wealthy nations on earth, our government has organized our public and private institutions in such a manner that mass homelessness is one of the “normal” outcomes. For example, because of the gap between the cost of housing and what people with low incomes can afford to pay for it, a growing number of people are excluded from having an adequate and secure place

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