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Normally, homeless people may be living in cardboard boxes, domestic violence shelter, a homeless shelter, or other temporary housing situation. In this essay, I will show the different life of homelessness between past and present in the world, why people are homeless, the history of homelessness, social science of homelessness, government policy of homelessness and solution for homelessness problem (National Alliance to End Homelessness 2).
Homelessness had a different definition in the early century than now. In the 1640s, homelessness was seen as a moral deficiency or a character flaw. It was generally believed that a good Christian under God’s grace would naturally have his or her needs met. During that time, people did not need to pay extra cost on their rent, electricity, water, or other costs that reduced their income as it is today. People would build houses in the village and set up a farm by themselves without paying taxes ((National Alliance to End Homelessness 2). Most of the people could use their talent to support their life. Homeless people were becoming an icon of giving up by the god. In addition, during that time, homelessness was likely an individual issue and it had little impact to the other people (Heidi 1).
During the industrial Revolution in the 1820s-‘30s, people began migrating from the farm to the city in search of jobs. For example, Philadelphia and New York had many people walking the streets causing the country’s first panhandling ordinances. City jails became de facto shelter systems. In addition, poor safety regulation caused a lot of physical disability and death. Those disabled and widows, many with dependent children had no means to provide for themselves and nowhere to turn. The 1850s brought the first documented cases of homeless youth, many of whom were kicked out of their homes because their providers could no longer afford to raise and take care of them (Baumohl 24).
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However, other researchers believe homelessness is much more complex and difficult to define. For example, Chamberlain and Mackenzie (1992) claim that there is also ‘secondary homelessness’ in which people reside in temporary accommodation such as emergency and refuge facilities.
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