Essay about Poverty and Homelessness - 721 Words

Like the villages in the following tale, America’s first response to homelessness was to mobilize and confront the threat by targeting the immediate needs of the homeless:

and drug addiction can accelerate people’s slide into poverty, and for some, eventual homelessness.

Nationwide, . They are removed from their homes when the courts determine that they’ve been abused or neglected by their parents, or when poverty, death, illness or other circumstances prevent their biological parents from properly caring for them. Although the government must provide foster children with basic needs, all those benefits end with a birthday. In the United States, the age at which foster youth “age out,” that is, stop receiving benefits from the state, varies from 18 to 21. And that’s often when foster care youth start seriously falling behind.

FREE Essay on The Poverty and Homelessness

Introduction Thesis America is from a study by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

America’s walk to the river’s edge began in the early 1980s, when people of the United States awoke to find that masses of homeless people had appeared in their midst, seemingly overnight. Homelessness was not a new phenomenon, of course. Periods of pervasive homelessness had checkered our nation’s history, most recently in a post-World War II population consisting largely of single, older, white males who inhabited the skid row neighborhoods of our largest cities, where they drew upon a network of private sector resources, including missions, cubicle flophouses, and single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels. However, the new homelessness that we awoke to was a different, far more jarring phenomenon. Whereas homeless individuals during that prior period had remained safely ghettoized in the isolated urban niches ceded to them, these new homeless people were everywhere, occupying spaces throughout the city, spilling into the suburbs, and appearing even in rural areas. Moreover, they looked different from the homeless people we had become accustomed to. They were younger, more ethnically diverse, and more likely to include parents with dependent children. Even worse, whereas the vast majority of “homeless” individuals of decades past had been housed, albeit marginally, this new population was literally homeless, bedding down in large congregate shelters or on the streets and in other locations not meant for sleeping. More visible and far greater in number, they invaded our public consciousness and daily existences in a way that had not occurred since the Great Depression.

Poverty and Homelessness - Term Paper

One approximation of the annual number of homeless in America is from a study by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, which estimates between 2.3 and 3.5 million people experience homelessness.


RELEASE: Addressing Poverty and Homelessness in …

In place of these opposing perspectives has emerged a widely held, more integrative framework—a structural explanation of homelessness that gives the individual limitations argument its due. Within this framework, the answer to the questions of why homelessness exists now and why it manifests itself as houselessness draws on the structural context in which contemporary homelessness emerged. This context was defined by a complex set of interwoven demographic, social, economic, and policy trends that increasingly left poor people—particularly the impaired among them—facing a growing set of pressures that included a dearth of affordable housing, a disappearance of the housing on which the most unstable had relied, and a diminished ability to support themselves either through entitlements or conventional or makeshift labor. Households and individuals barely making do increasingly found themselves under financial and interpersonal stresses that made a bad situation worse, culminating, by the early 1980s, in the pervasive homelessness that now seems to be an enduring part of our social lives.

Academic Essay Sample On Homelessness For College …

Who actually becomes homeless in such a structural environment is not random, of course. Given that by the early 1980s, low-cost housing had become a scarce resource, it stands to reason that the first group to fall off the housing ladder would disproportionately include those people least able to compete for housing, especially those vulnerable individuals who had traditionally relied on a type of housing that was at extremely high risk of demolition and conversion. Viewed in this context, it is not surprising to find high numbers of people with mental illness and substance abuse among contemporary homeless populations—not just any mentally ill and substance-abusing individuals, it should be noted, but rather disproportionate numbers of those who came from backgrounds of poverty and/or who had diminished support resources to fall back on. For the same reason, it is hardly surprising to find high numbers of individuals with other sorts of personal vulnerabilities and problems among the homeless. This is not to say that mental illness, substance abuse, and other individual limitations in and of themselves cause homelessness, as witnessed in the fact that such individuals had remained housed in prior periods when low-cost housing and day labor suited to their occasionally chaotic lives were widely available. It is to say, rather, that such factors impaired the ability of people to compete with less vulnerable individuals for the scarce resource that affordable housing had become and thus left them at much greater risk for homelessness. People with problems are disproportionately numerous among the homeless, it becomes clear, because in a housing arena characterized by fierce competition, they are more vulnerable and, as a result, less likely to prevail.