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The Homeless Crisis: Its Social, Economic, and Moral Dimensions

Updated: Feb 7

Blog writer: Ian from Winston Churchill International Baccalaureate Middle School

Editor: Kimmy Wan



The Human Side of Homelessness


Imagine the struggles of living on the streets without money, food, or shelter, compounded by the challenge of maintaining personal hygiene. People experiencing homelessness often face circumstances that can lead to drug use, involvement in crimes, and difficulties with cleanliness. In many cities, the growing number of homeless individuals can make it challenging for pedestrians to navigate the streets. When we think about homelessness, we are confronted with the harsh realities of a life that seems almost too overwhelming to change. The concept of homelessness is not just about the absence of physical warmth and cleanliness, but also about the number of people it affects. This situation also results in financial and economic impacts on our society, serving as a reminder of the urgent need for compassionate solutions and support for those who are homeless.


The Social Dilemma


The homeless population is often surrounded by dirt and trash. Globally, "at least 150 million people are homeless, with a total of 1.6 billion lacking adequate or appropriate housing" (Rajpari 1). The situation has become so dire that it may not be feasible to provide housing and jobs for all these individuals. Additionally, their situation indirectly supports drug dealers financially, helping them stay in business. Merely giving homeless people money or small shelters will not solve the problem. They need to learn to earn a living through employment rather than pleading. A column states, "The state faces mounting questions about why billions of dollars spent in recent years haven't reduced the number of people living in cars and encampments" (Ludden 1). This indicates that even with substantial funding, homelessness persists, suggesting that we either need to utilize funds more effectively or allocate much more. To date, money spent on this issue has been largely ineffective, and it will continue to be so until significant resources are invested to address it.


The Escalating Costs


The homeless population has significantly increased over the years, reaching a point where addressing it may cost millions or even billions of dollars. As Rajpari states, "Homelessness is defined as 'the state of having no home.' In the 1950s, the idea of homelessness was just that, an idea" (Rajpari 1). This suggests that in the 1950s, homelessness was not as prevalent and was considered more of a concept. However, the issue has since escalated across the United States, potentially requiring a substantial investment from the government to address it effectively. Delaying action will only allow the homeless population to grow further, increasing the difficulty of finding a solution. It is crucial to invest the necessary resources to tackle this problem, regardless of the cost, as the situation will likely worsen over time.


Crime and Desperation


Over the years, numerous homeless individuals have broken various laws, driven by desperation to commit robbery, assault, and drug abuse. California Governor Newsom of California emphasized the lack of resources and planning, stating, "No plan, no money" (1). The use of drugs among the homeless often leads to unpredictable behavior and actions that can frighten others. They also pose a threat to public safety through criminal activities and disturbances. For instance, in downtown Sacramento, the presence of hundreds of homeless people, some of whom have overdosed on drugs, is a common sight. This situation not only endangers their lives but also diverts police resources from other critical issues. Some homeless individuals may intentionally commit crimes to gain access to shelter in prison. To break this cycle, it is important to provide these individuals with education and support. Additionally, laws should be reassessed to ensure they tackle the underlying causes of homelessness.


A Global Perspective


Homelessness has primarily been a problem in the United States, rather than a global issue. While homelessness does exist in other countries, it is not as pervasive or severe as global challenges like climate change or widespread hunger. It's considered a natural occurrence that affects every living being on Earth. Kyle Cassiday notes, "Homelessness is natural to every living being that walks the earth" (Cassiday 1). This implies that homelessness is part of a natural cycle experienced by all living beings. It is an issue that requires addressing, but it's also important to recognize its complexity and multifaceted nature.


Financial and Economic Impact- The problem of homelessness in the United States isn't just about people having no homes; it also brings big money challenges. Cities face high expenses in emergency healthcare, police services, and shelters due to homelessness. The inability of many homeless individuals to work leads to a loss in potential economic contributions and workforce skills. Local businesses suffer as homelessness can deter tourists and customers, negatively impacting sectors like hospitality and retail. Property values in areas with high homelessness often decrease, leading to lower property tax revenues, essential for community resources. The lack of affordable housing exacerbates the problem, as rising housing costs push more people into homelessness. Additionally, healthcare costs are high for the homeless, who frequently use costly emergency room services instead of regular medical care, placing a strain on both financial resources and the healthcare system.


The Way Forward


The homeless crisis is a multifaceted problem that cannot be dismissed as a mere statistic. It impacts society, poses economic challenges, and, most importantly, threatens the well-being of those experiencing homelessness. As we strive to find comprehensive solutions, it's crucial to recognize the economic implications of homelessness, including the costs of services, lost workforce productivity, and its impact on local businesses and property values. By addressing this crisis, not only do we alleviate human suffering, but we also contribute to economic growth and prosperity for all.


In conclusion, the homelessness crisis must be addressed, as it encompasses overpopulation, crime, and inhumane living conditions on the streets. It is cruel for people to suffer their entire lives without hope for a better life. Homelessness is a destructive problem that strains communities and relationships. A society without homelessness is an ideal one, and we must work toward that goal to create a better country for all.



2023 KW Wealth Management LLC. All rights reserved.


 

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Please note that this blog's content represents a minor author's views, opinions, and experiences. As such, it is important to approach the material with the understanding that the author is still in the process of learning and growing. The information provided here should not be considered expert advice or professional guidance. Instead, it should be viewed as a young individual's perspective, shared with the intent to inspire, inform, or entertain. While the author strives to provide accurate and reliable information, readers should be aware that the author's knowledge may be limited in certain areas due to their age and life experience. Therefore, any information obtained from this blog should be independently verified and, if necessary, cross-referenced with other sources. The author and the blog administrators will not be held responsible for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the content, or for any actions taken based on the information provided. Comments and feedback from readers are welcomed and encouraged. Any inappropriate, offensive, or harmful comments will be removed, and the commenter may be blocked from accessing the blog in the future.


Thank you for your understanding and support as we embark on this blogging journey together. Your readership and encouragement are greatly appreciated.


Work Cited:

Cassiday, K. J. (2023b, August 21). Why is homelessness not a problem? CAUF Society. https://caufsociety.com/why-is-homelessness-not-a-problem/. Accessed 22 October 2023.

Gov. Newsom Signs 7 Laws Aimed At California’s Homeless Crisis. (2021, September 30). CBS News. Accessed 22 October 2023.

Ludden, J. (2023, July 12). Why can’t we stop homelessness? 4 reasons why there’s no end in sight. NPR.

Oladipo, G. (2023, January 5). Alarm as US states pass ‘very concerning’ anti-homeless laws. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/january/05/us-states-homelessness-laws-alarm. Accessed 22 October 2023.

Rajpari, A. A. (2020, March 9). What is Homelessness and Why is it an Issue? – UAB Institute for Human Rights Blog. Accessed 22 October 2023.



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