Homeless in America
Itis tragic that the United States still has a population that is toopoor to pay for a roof over their head. The society deems thehomeless to be lazy and irresponsible hence, incapable of affordinga roof over their head (Schweid 12). Throughout the American history,incidences of individuals living in the streets are common. Theinstances of vagrancy mainly increased after the Cold War. Themajority of casualties were women, children, the old, and thedisabled. There is, likewise, a misguided thought that helping thehomeless urges their unwillingness to work (Schweid 12). Some of thefactors that contribute to the state of impoverishment includesubstance abuse, domestic violence, mental instability and, in someoccurrences, lack of economical housing.
Thesisstatement.Homelessness in Philadelphia is a major problem that is attributed tolack of affordable housing, government funding, and escalatedsubstance abuse. The vagrant population poses a challenge ofinsecurity, business loss, and discouraging tourism in the cityattraction sites.
Enterprisesare losing clients at the SEPTA`s Suburban Station. According to JeffCole, the FOX29investigator, several businesses located at the terminus are losingcustomers because there are many homeless individuals hanging around.Jeff Lincoln, an investor specializing in the sales of steaming cups,reported that he had lost 15% of the shoppers due to the increase ofunsheltered population (Cole para. 9). Besides, the Philadelphia ShoeOutlet owner also grumbled that he had lost 35 percent of hiscustomer base (Cole para. 10). The local administration in charge ofcontrolling street families claimed that it had already launched aplan to lessen the 6,100 vagrants (Cole para. 1). Unfortunately, theeffort has borne no fruits. The tenants are now lobbying thelandlords to decrease rental fee by at least 50 percent sinceinvestments have been adversely affected (Cole para. 21). Some of thebiggest challenges they attributed with the homeless individualsincluded random defecation, some sex, and substance abuse, whichscare off the clients of the premises situated in the region (Colepara. 23).
Homelessnessfosters insecurity. It is unfortunate that those with intents tocommit crimes disguised themselves among the dispossessed populace.They robbed the public of their belongings and did other heinousoffenses such as rape. TheFOX29 Investigatesteam reported,“We`retold a criminal element moved in among the homeless, and nearly allcontrol was lost” (Cole para. 19).Furthermore, the street families also posed challenges such asengaging in public drug dealing, drinking, and street fights (Colepara. 20). The few criminal elements spreading violence while posingas needy people make the society to consider the individuals withouthomes as violent hooligans.
Severalpeople sleep out in the cold due to lack of affordable shelters. According to Terrusso,a journalist at PhiladelphiaMedia Network,approximately 700 people spend their nights on the pavements,footways, and park benches in Philadelphia (para. 1). Ms. ElizabethHersh, the director of theOffice of the Homeless Servicesin Philadelphia, observed that most people reside in the streetsbecause they cannot afford residences. She stated,
It`snot a sweep. It`s not just yanking people into a van and shoving themoff. It`s a process of working with human beings who have experiencedtremendous trauma and loss, and slowly rebuilding trust so that theycan get the services they need(Terrusso para. 3).
Consequently,their principle objective involves working humanely with the affectedindividuals as opposed to just driving them out of the recreationcenters without offering the necessary support the victims need toovercome the impoverished lifestyle(Terrusso para. 3).
Hershalso expressed the concern that the city needs to come up withhelpful strategies for sharing the streets with the homeless. One ofher recommendations included the provision of outreach programs thatare composed of addiction specialists, mental-health counselors andsocial workers, as well as previously homeless individuals(Terrusso para. 7). Theteam would aid in the relocation of street families in acompassionate manner.
Familieson the streets have invaded popular tourists’ attraction sites inPhiladelphia such as the Convention Center. Varied reasons have beenattributed to the drastic increase of the individuals at the place.Firstly, many people were staying at LOVE Park, but it has beenclosed since it is under construction. The families that weredisplaced opted to seek shelter at the convention (Orso para. 4).According to Aubrey Whela and Mensah M. Dean, the recession impactand intensive substance abuse have also led to the high population ofimpoverished people residing at the Convention Center (Whela and Deanpara. 10).
Inconclusion, homelessness in the United States of America cannot beignored. Lack of shelter is mostly associated with lack of steadyincome, recession impacts, and housing inadequacy. In the city ofPhiladelphia, the problem is caused by the lack of affordable shelterand limited funding from the relevant administrative bodies. Many ofthe affected people live in the streets and other sheltered placessuch as the Philadelphia Convention Center. The US federal governmenthas established settlement programs in which these people are givenresidents as soon as they are identified. The underlying issues suchas unemployment and lack of affordable houses should be addressed tosolve this problem.
Cole,Jeff. “FOX29 Investigates: Homeless at SEPTA`s Suburban Station.” Fox29 News, 02March 2017.fox29.com/news/local-news/fox-29-investigates/239287061-story.Accessed 31 March 2017.
Orso,Anna. “How Did Scores of Homeless Come to Live at the ConventionCenter?”BillyPenn,30 June, 2016.billypenn.com/2016/05/16/why-youre-seeing-more-homelessness-in-center-city-and-how-philly-is-responding/.31 March 2017.
Schweid,Richard. InvisibleNation: Homeless Families in America. Oakland:University of California Press. 2016. Print.
Terruso,Julia. “CityTargets Homeless with New Outreach Plan.” PhiladelphiaMedia Network, 16May2016.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20160517_City_targets_homeless_outreach.html.31March 2017.
Whela,Aubrey and Mensah M. Dean. “How Did Scores Of Homeless Come To LiveAt The Convention Center?” PhiladelphiaMedia Network,June 30, 2016.philly.com/philly/news/20160630_How_did_scores_of_homeless_come_to_live_at_the_Convention_Center_.html.31March 2017.
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