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Homelessness in the United States: causes and possible solutions - Essay Example

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Homelessness represents one of the most important social issues the United States faces these days. According to the Stewart B. McKinney Act, 42 U.S.C. 11301 (1994) "An individual is considered homeless when he "lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence; and…
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Homelessness in the United States: causes and possible solutions
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Download file to see previous pages The recent increase in the homeless population has negatively affected the quality of life and has lowered down the economic growth. Due to this burning social issue thousands of people have got excluded from the status of being equal in participating in the economic growth of the country.
According to the NCH fact sheet, "The ongoing crisis of homelessness has been caused by economic recession in the 1980s. Such factors as lack of affordable rental housing, larger numbers of persons with poverty and near poverty income levels (including the unemployed and those who work full-time), increased incidence of domestic violence, and reductions in federally funded programs also contributed to the growth of homeless population"
One major fact that causes homelessness is joblessness. Joblessness can be attributed to a frail economy. The number of unemployed workers is escalating. As a result of this they go bankrupt and have no choice but to live either with their relatives or on the streets. Some homeless people, in hope of a job are leading their lives in their cars along with their families.
Often the homeless who once used to live in their own homes until they lost everything are blamed for their condition but the authorities should be equally blamed for these people's pathetic lives. Many homeless people become substance abusers in frustration but they are blamed that it is their habits that is the main culprit of their condition. However in many situations the story is other way round i.e. homelessness is not the result but the cause of substance abuse and other disregarded habits.
Though it is unfortunate, but the fact is that those families, which have children, top the category of homeless people. The numbers of homeless families are increasing day by day. This gives rise to another issue i.e. failure of the authorities to provide proper care and protection to children.
There is an upsurge in home prices and there are many people who are underpaid in their current jobs. These two factors are responsible for homelessness to a great extent.
Apart from lack of jobs and rising home prices there is one cruel aspect of humanity. Many physically and mentally disabled people are forced to leave their homes by their own family members who are unwilling to take care of them. Many old people too, are made homeless by their own family members. Their family members either dump these old people on the streets or leave them in the community care centers.
There are a number of private and government organizations, which aim to bring this problem to an end. But the magnitude of this problem is greater than the number of institutions providing shelter to the homeless.
The authorities do not have exact idea of total number of homeless people to be able to successfully combat this problem. The urban homeless population gets counted in the census but a number of rural homeless populations remain uncounted all the time. Also there are many homeless people especially children who due to lack of home are living with their relatives or neighbors. They too remain uncounted during the census for homeless. If the government has no idea about the extent of homelessness then how can we expect to remove this problem completely
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