Essay by isaysoA-, June 2005

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Homelessness has been a growing concern globally. I was internally disturbed whenever I saw a homeless person. I always perceived a homeless person to be only men in dirty clothes with long white hair and beards asking for food and money. Nowadays, homeless individuals can either be men, women, and especially children. It was even harder to see kids in this condition. My heart just poured out to them whenever they cried. The scenario was not any different from other parts of the world. The only difference is that homeless people were found only in certain parts of the city in the United States. We tend to take for granted the lives that we live by ignoring this problem. Every year, there seems to be a general increase in the problem of homelessness. By being a health care provider, this makes the problem even more visible.

Many attempts have been made by the government to help solve this issue; but there has never been a satisfactory grip on the matter.

It is difficult to address this problem due to several social, political, and cultural issues. First, I wonder whether or not homelessness is a choice. Homelessness can be caused by a variety of problems. The main cause is unaffordable housing for the poor. Secondary causes include mental illness, physical illnesses, substance abuse, lack of incentives to work, and poor work ethics. Many choose to be homeless in order to run away from their social responsibilities. In many cases people are in and out of the homeless system, which includes shelters, hospitals, the streets, and prisons. It is these chronic users of the system that utilize up to 90% of the nations resources devoted to the problem. I raise the issue of choice because many individuals that become homeless have...