Free The Root Of Homelessness In American Cities Essay Sample
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The homeless are defined to have no permanent home. They resort on living in the streets, building shanties or makeshift houses, or shelters. Aside from their struggles in living, they are also degraded because they are seen as those who are lazy, immoral, and dirty. They lack good education, proper nutrition and health care, and sufficient everyday needs.
Second, it was believed that personal disability causes homelessness. Being homeless is said to be directly related to being an alcoholic, mentally disordered, or emotionally disturbed. It was a myth after all. There may be some who does, but most do not. Researches have proven that an estimate of ten to fifteen percent of those living on the streets have mental illness in a way. This should not be used to generalize the homeless. Also, judgements towards them are affected by the setting or the situation. Given that these so-called alcoholics, drug-addicts, and mentally-ill people were in a situation where they have jobs, they will not be called so hastily as such. This is seen as “class bias”.
Moreover, it is still a question whether the roots of being homeless is because of personal disability, or the other way around. To reiterate Michael Sosin’s study included in this essay, it is stated that the individual’s flaw is not exactly the reason of them being homeless, but because of uneven structural arrangement in a society. The lack of housing for households with low income and the marginal difference in economy, results to urban homelessness. It points out that the proximate causes of homelessness in the city is the changing structure of the economy and society.
Third, homelessness is a problem in housing. Homeless people are those people living at the extreme ends of impoverishment and housing problems. The range expands from those who are housed sufficiently, ill-housed, and those with no houses at all. Fundamentally, the problem with the homeless is about housing. It comes down to paying rent, mortgage, and buying houses. Around the late 1900s, the inflation rate of rent cost rose to triple, while the incomes of renters are upped only by two. Over that time, low cost renting disappeared because of gentrification, house conversion, or warehousing which caters mostly the middle class. Although there are housing assistances, shortage of funds just cannot support the growing number of individuals and families needing it.
All in all, homelessness is not only a problem of affordability, but also a problem of limited supply. It is the result of drastic decrease in the supply of housing. Dramatic changes in the economy, failed policies, changing family structure, and continued cutbacks in employment and support of public-sector add to this. Those who are at lowest level are those who are affected first by these problems.
Timmer, Doug A., Eitzen, Stanley, and Talley, Kathryn D. “The Root Causes of Homelessness in American Cities”. Experiencing race, class, and gender in the United States 6th ed. New York: Mcgraw-Hill, 2013. 306-310. Print.
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