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Ten Facts About Being Homeless in USA, Essay Example

Pages: 10

Words: 2648

Essay

As most people are aware, the gap between rich people and poor people in the United States is steadily increasing. Rich people have jobs that pay very well and they work hard every day. The choice to lie in bed all day has become a way to relieve stress for these people while people in the lower class do not have money to purchase or even rent a house, and many of them are homeless. Homeless people make up a large portion of the population in the United States whose lives are difficult since governmental help is insufficient. The pursuit of happiness is a movie directed by Gabriele Muccino. It is based on a true story of an African-American investor, performed by Will Smith. It is a story of a single parent family who were homeless, the family had no money to pay the rent and they have to move from place to place to keep a roof over their heads.

The father was a salesman and he tried hard to find a job with that paid him more than what he was originally making to support his family. The large gap between the rich and the poor is shown in the trailer, and the single parent homeless family is forced to spend their lives in poor living conditions. This poor family environment may cause problems of the kids.

The poor family had a hard time getting the money they needed to survive, this clearly illustrated that they lived in a world completely different from rich people. The father was 40 years old and his main job was selling medical equipment.

The father needed to sell at least three of them in order to pay all of his bills including rent, traffic and his son’s tuition. However, few people wanted the product. Most doctors believed that those medical items were not only expensive, but also useless.

The poor man was refused thousands of times. The father then tried hard to get other jobs that paid good or very well or well enough for him, and his family to live on.

However, the gap between the rich and the poor is too large to overcome for people like him. In the trailer, the man was unable to afford the security deposit and the first month’s rent. The guy painted the apartment as payment for the landlord, he painted the wall until midnight and some white varnish dropped. The varnish formed white spots on his shirt.

The next day, he wore this same shirt to a job interview. When interviewers saw him, they looked surprised and confused. They could never imagine a man would come to an interview in unprofessional clothes, all four interviews required business professional clothes. They had white dress shirts with ties and solid dark suits with link cliffs, which must be expensive. The difference between the two separate people were the clothes that they were wearing which speaks volumes about the inequality in the United States, the economy has been developing quickly. Well-educated people with high educational skills are able to get jobs easily; then job opportunities for common people decrease and their incomes decrease at the same time.

With the development of technology, agriculture and the manufacturing sectors are changing to automation. The work and skill requirement changed from need of quantity to need of quality. Workers need to know how to use computers, but it is really hard for homeless people to have computers because of their dire living situation. Children in poor families are unable to know to use technology, while kids in the same age can use electronic devices to do everything.

When other kids are using iMac to do homework, homeless kids are walking along the street to find a place to rest their heads. When other kids are using air conditioners in winter, homeless kids are curling up around the fire to get warm.

In the article Defining the One percent, Mankiw pointed out that educational attainment and income level could decide family environment. Kids in poor families do not receive the right investment in human capital, the educational and career opportunities are not available to children in the lower class. When they grow up, they will find that the world has changed quickly into a high-tech world. Tons of scientific research help teach people more things and new inventions help people deal with a lot of things such as homelessness. Meanwhile, for children from poor families, the lack of knowledge and skills can deprive them of all opportunities for high paying jobs. They may have no idea how to use simple devices, and live like the ancients when technology didn’t exist. The large gap between the rich and the poor will cause problems today and in the future.

The man was an example of millions of poor people living below the poverty line in America. In the trailer, the man wore the same suit. The brown suit consisted of a white shirt with winkles with a brown pants, he carried a canvas shoulder bag everywhere. The guy had a wallet, an old one with only five dollars inside. The man tried to rent the apartment at first, but he could not pay the bill. The landlord asked the poor man for the rent for the past two months because those bills were still unpaid. The man and his son had no money to pay for that, and have to move to a motel. The guy had paid for only one night, and the balance on the account was 21.33 dollars. On the second night, when the poor man was walking home with his son, he found the door to his room was locked and all of their stuff were outside.

An old suitcase and a cardboard box were able used to gather all of the things that the poor family had. In reality, this poor man is not alone. Many other people are unable to afford the expensive rent of a house and have no place to live as well. A lot of homeless people stand on the side of the road or sit on the ground, and ask for change when someone comes by. Homeless parents with children are common, children sometimes carry newspaper or flowers and they smile to people passing by and prompts people to buy one.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has published “The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAP) to Congress” in year 2013. Many figures of homeless people are listed inside. There were 610,042 homeless people reported in January 2013. 65% of them lived in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs and 35% of them lived in unsheltered locations. Nearly one-quarter (25 percent or 138,149) of all homeless people were children under the age of 18. Ten percent (or 61,541) were between the ages of 18 and 24, and 67 percent (or 410,352) were 25 years or older. (Meghan, Cortes, and Morris).

The large amount of people in the lower class possibly makes the society unstable. Most of the homeless people look unkempt and when other people see them, they walk far away; treating them like the plague so to speak. This kind of action can annoy poor people especially young kids in homeless families who are aggressive, and have low self-esteem. Little action can cause abuse or fight with others.

Meanwhile, the impoverished kids are unable to afford tuitions to colleges and find it hard to get jobs because of having little or no education, they have a lot of spare time. They may become addicted to tobacco, marijuana, or sell it which affect the society in the negative way. The number of homeless people in the United States is huge and these people may cause problems for the society. “23 percent of homeless youth are reported each year for stealing.”

“14 percent of homeless youth commit burglary to get by” “20 percent of homeless youth are reported dealing drugs.” “Runaway and homeless youth experience rape and assault that rates 2 to 3 times higher than the general population of youth.”

“It costs $53,665 to take care of a child in the criminal justice system for one year, but only $5,887 to permanently remove a homeless child off the streets.” The article, consequences of youth homelessness pointed out all these problems. The article also mentioned some mental health problems for young homeless people. Homeless kids especially with a single parent, feel lonely and undeserving most of the time. Some parents may even control all the things that the kids do saying that it’s for the good of kids. Kids in this position will feel rebellious and do things on impulse, depression is a common trait for homeless kids; it can generate physical disorder and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Meanwhile, the percentage of youth suicide is much higher for homeless kids than the kids raised in normal families. Homeless kids can easily develop mental health problems and their families ignore these illnesses and cries for help.

Having been evicted from the motel, the poor man and his son walked to a subway station trying to find some place to sleep; they find a restroom. It was so small that the man could only back up against the wall without straightening his legs. There was only one light hanging on the ceiling, the room looked dark and unclean. The poor family used tissue to make a “bed” on the ground, and the little boy slept quietly near his father; they locked the door. Someone knocked on the door who had to use the restroom. The father used one hand to carry the son so that the little boy would not wake up, and used the other to hold the door. The guy used all his energy to hold the door, he did this as a way to reduce the sound of noise while his son was sleeping.

The poor family in the trailer found a restroom at a temporary shelter, and many other homeless people in the United States are trying to find theirs. Benches in parks, roadside under streetlights and places under bridges, all these places are good choices to spend a whole night and get rest. In January, most cities in the eastern part of the United States are covered by snow and the temperature is really low.

When people cannot find places to stay, they are forced to remain outside for a long period of time with very few clothes covering their bodies. The low temperature can keep them in cold, and frostbitten all night long or even kill them.

The government of the United States is working to improve the living environment of homeless people. The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report has included some of the government’s actions on the matter. “Between 2012 and 2013, the total inventory of beds in the United States increased by 27,063 beds.” (Meghan, Cortes, and Morris) The report indicated that the government had done research on all of the homeless people and had identified the types of beds homeless people need as well as how the distribution is to be done. However, it is far less than the number of people sleeping outside. Many people have not received government help and the reason is that some of them may not have heard about it.

“Across the country, severe winter weather conditions have led to more homeless people dying of hypothermia or suffering from severe frostbite because they have no shelter and are unable to receive medical care” (Blunck). In the article “The homeless and their health care needs”, Robin Blunck used homeless children as an example. When schools closed in winter, homeless children were required to leave school and they could not find shelter to stay warm. Robin also pointed out that homeless people were six times more likely to be constantly ill than those who have shelter, and because homeless people are unlikely to get good nutrition, good hygiene or basic first aid; their chances of survival is even smaller.

Although the government had provided medical help for the homeless populations in the various cities throughout the U.S., many homeless people had no idea where to get treatment. Many homeless people regard the emergency room as the place to get primary health care because they have no money to pay the hospital bills, they come to the emergency room first to know what illness they have then decide whether go to a doctor or not. Poor people are living in terrible conditions, and their physical health is threatened at the same time.

In my opinion, the problem of gap between rich people and poor people is important especially for homeless kids. They notice the differences between them and others and feel that it is unfair. They have very few opportunities to get an education and access to technology, this causes huge problems for them in finding jobs in the future when the importance of technology and skills with technology is superior. The development of technology can gradually enable machines to do the jobs that these people can do.

Employers will always choose the cheaper option and machines are always the better choice considering the long run operation. This could and, in some way, will affect people where they’ll lose their jobs one day and not have money for food or be able to afford any. Also, the inequality of the situation will cause unstable emotions within homeless young children because they can get disappointed about their situation easily. When they can’t afford food, they have to hang out on the streets at night because they cannot find places to sleep; homeless youths and people alike feel separated from the society when the contemptuous eyes of those who have look them.

Homeless youths can easily develop mental health problems and not realize it, these kids may have no idea of the existence of psychologists. Meanwhile, the poor living conditions for homeless people can be the cause of a lot of diseases.

Although the government in the United States claim that they are doing their best to take care of homeless people, the effort is always not enough to meet the demand. Winter comes earlier than help. Some homeless people die in the winter due to the low temperatures, and most of them are being hopeful that no serious illness comes over them. When homeless get ill, they can only go to emergency room to find help. If a large amount of money is required for the treatment, they would rather go back to the streets and wait to die; their lives sound hopeless.

In conclusion, people in the upper class organize their lives well. They hardly notice people lying in the streets, and they do not know anything about these people’s lives. Homeless people can only dream of getting the government’s help including public service and supported living homes. I think the problem of the homeless needs more attention from society because only when people know about these people can the problems be noticed and solved.

References

The Pursuit of Happyness Trailer [HQ]. Dir. Gabriele Muccino. Perf. Will Smith. 2013. Film.

Blunck, Robin. “The Homeless and Their Health Care Needs.” Carrington. 16 Feb. 2014. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.

“Consequences of Young Homeless.” Nn4youth. Nn4y, 6 Nov. 2014. Web. 7 Nov. 2015.

Henry, Meghan, Alvaro Cortes, and Sean Morris. “The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress Part 1 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness.” The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.

Quigley, Bill. “Ten Facts about Being Homeless in USA.” Common Dreams. 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.

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