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Homeless People Are People Too

Don
homeless
Courtesy of oded gebert (Flickr CC0)

The homeless population in the United States of America is one of the most uncared for and disrespected portions of society. The homeless are treated as less than human, and as second-class citizens. Displaced people are treated as stains upon the city instead of a nation’s greatest victims. These people need help, not collective disdain.

The bottom line is that homeless people shouldn’t exist. It is absolutely preposterous that in the modern day there are human beings without homes. The reason these people don’t have a home isn’t that there aren’t enough dwellings. They are displaced for reasons that are just as ridiculous as the existence of homeless people. There needs to be something done about it.

Contradictions in the Modern World

Displaced people on a basic level should not exist because there are enough homes for everyone. According to Endhomelessness.org, there were about 580,466 homeless people in 2020. The New York Times states there are more than 16 million vacant homes. If one were to do the math, each homeless person could have 27 homes if they were distributed evenly between them.

The answer isn’t as simple as just putting them in homes. All it would take is the government deciding that homeless people shouldn’t exist, and then doing something about it. All it takes is the American government deciding that homeless people are human beings and should receive systemic help Not just affordable housing, but more places that help homeless people get back on their feet. The homeless need an extended hand, not from people as individuals, (although that can be helpful) but from society and the state.

Systemic Causes

The only way homeless people disappear is by getting rid of the conditions that create them. The displaced are a visible and tangible sign of societal collapse. The reason why is that there are many ways to create a homeless person. The systemic causes of homelessness are vast, diverse, and sometimes complicated. Stagnant wages within a country that has ever-increasing rent prices and inflation could create a displaced person. A nation could send men overseas and then not take care of them when they get back. No matter what the situation was that caused the situation for that person, they need help regardless.

Apathy

When the homeless are brought up in conversation, there is a general air of disgust and disdain. Apathy is the state of feeling nothing in the face of suffering. This is the best way to describe many people’s feelings towards homeless people: Apathy. This general lack of empathy towards the homeless makes the situation so much worse. In so many people’s minds, the homeless aren’t worthy of empathy or human kindness.

Homeless
Courtesy of Maureen Barlin (FlickrCC0)

Some people believe that they are simply entities to ignore rather than living breathing human beings who are almost always in an immense amount of suffering. This apathy is strange because a lot of people live paycheck to paycheck. If people miss a paycheck they may also be threatened by the looming darkness of homelessness and the social death that comes with it. A lot of people don’t realize this, but most people are closer to homelessness than they are to becoming a millionaire or a billionaire.

What Can Be Done for the Homeless?

The homeless population exists for a variety of reasons. However, the main reason is that they don’t have access to homes or shelter in general. There are a variety of means to mediate or eradicate this issue. Rather than using structural or physical violence to remove homeless people from an area, other more effective means are available.

Things like free job training, universal basic income, more affordable housing, rent price fixing, and so many more things could reduce the displaced population in every city. There can be an America without homeless people, it depends on how much its people want to fight for it. With great power comes great responsibility.

Written by Kenneth Mazerat

Source: 

End homelessness: State of Homelessness: 2021 Edition 

New York Times: Vacant Homes Everywhere by Michael Kolomatsky

CNBC: 58% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck after inflation spike — including 30% of those earning $250,000 or more

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of oded gebert’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Maureen Barlin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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