Understanding Homelessness Essay

2267 Words 10 Pages
An old man was curled up, sleeping on a grate on the side walk. Hisclothes were layered and dirty. His face looked weathered and was covered with dirt. He used a piece of cardboard for a blanket. Lying beside him was a plastic grocery bag which contained his belongings. I will never forget this sight. This was the first homeless person I had ever seen. I felt scared and helpless at the same time. I had never been in his world and he was probably dreaming about being in mine. I left Washington D.C. a few days later to return home to a warm house and a loving family. Meanwhile, he was probably searching for a way to find what I have.

America is filled with many people and many stereotypes. Homelessness is treated like a disease. Most
…show more content…
Has America turned its back on itself? Have we forgotten that when our ancestors came to America they were homeless? Now the homeless are shunned and avoided. Something needs to be done.

Since 1976, homelessness has been on a steady rise ("Test on Homelessness Semi Advanced"). It has spread from the large cities into small towns all across America, even to Minnesota, in fact in our own city. The Bemidji community began seeing more and more homeless people sleeping on street corners and in parking lots. They wanted to do something. On January 15, 1988, the House of Hospitality opened in Bemidji (Meyerding). It was started by a husband and wife with the support of the community (Adelmann 1). This is a private nonprofit shelter, that provides a warm bed, counseling, and referrals for anyone who wants help ("A Temporary Emergency Shelter For The Homeless").

Homelessness is not a disease. It can not be spread from person to person. Anyone can become homeless. There are many causes for homelessness. Most often it is associated with alcoholism (Ahrens/Rauchberg). This is one cause, but there are many more. The wage erosion that has happened in America has made it impossible to survive on a minimum wage job (Ahrens/Rauchberg). This problem is being combated with the new increases in the minimum wage. Another cause is insufficient affordable housing ("Homeless America"). Many families can not afford six-hundred dollars a month for rent, which is the average cost for a

Related Documents