Poverty and Homelessness
No one knows what can happen in the future and what kind of tricks can the fate play on us. No one is secured of becoming homeless as most of homeless were once successful, had houses and families. Poverty is closely related to homelessness as those who become homeless have a real problem of poverty. In the same way poor people cannot pay for services like health care, education, food, and housing.
It is housing that usually takes the greatest part of income, so being poor means being ill and without shelter. Poverty and homelessness are considered to be the issues of the unfortunate and underprivileged people of the developing or Third World countries. This predicament is really very alarming as every day hunger takes away lives. People who are on the line of poverty become involved into hooliganism, thefts and other crimes, and that, of course, finds its reflection in the crime range (Homelessness and Poverty, Social Ills That Need Treatments). In Medieval times it was believed that the poor were the missionary of the God. In order to be blessed the rich gave money to beggars.
After the merchants counted the number of beggars, the population rethought the attitude and decided that not all poor can be missionaries of the God. In the days of the Knights it was stated that a poor person was lazy. In the Elizabethan time the attitude was not different. Even in the cave man time misspending of the tiger tooth skins was punished. Poverty and homelessness are results of human misery as humans place market value higher than human worth.
Views and attitudes to homelessness and poverty have changed over time. Since the twenty-first century they are recognized as results of structural flaws in society (The Nature of Homelessness – Historical Attitudes Toward the Homeless – People, Programs, Poverty, and Laws). Millions of people become homeless each year and almost half of them are children. More than 50 percent of the income is paid for rent. The situation leads to financial crisis, missed paycheck, and live in the street. Above 10,000 people die of hunger every day, more than two billion malnourish, thousands become blind due to poor diet, over two-thirds of the world population are on the verge between hunger, sickness, and death.
The problem of poverty and homelessness are growing even in the so called affluent societies. For example, the countries of Latin America, especially Brazil, are full of poor and homeless people. More than 2000 homeless look for shelter in the Park Station (Johannesburg, South Africa). Poland houses about 40000 homeless people whereas Germany has appoximately 860,000 people who are homeless. Since 1980s the number of homeless and poor Americans had dramatically grown. The research shows that two million people per year become homeless in the USA.
In total there are over 100 million homeless all over the world. This number is constantly growing because of global recession. The report made in 1996 stated that 500 million people on the planet are homeless or live in unsanitary conditions. Thus, these people due to absence of appropriate shelter must live in abandoned building, under bridges, train stations, benches and in the parks (Homelessness and Poverty, Social Ills That Need Treatments).As the issues of poverty and homelessness are growing and they are issues number one in many countries, there is a number of various organizations that seek to provide help to hungry, poor, and homeless.
Among them the Center on Hunger and Poverty, the Global Food Banking Network, the European Anti-Poverty Network, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity, the Aman Foundation, the Association of Kenyan Housewives Against HIV/AIDS, the Friends Welfare Association, the Human Ever Work Abut Development, the Institute of Peace and Development, the Nurses Across Borders, the Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger and many others. These organizations are involved into support and coordination of food banks, education of society, expansion and protection of programs that help homeless (Homelessness). The above mentioned organizations have developed special programs as meal distribution, emergency shelters, permanent housing, mobile food, migrant housing and others. It is believed that homelessness in caused by a breakdown in support systems of traditional families, natural disasters, wars, unemployment, poverty, social and public policies, and urbanization. Lack of ability to pay for the housing and poverty increase are considered to be the main factors that contribute to the increases number of homeless.
Mental illnesses, domestic violence, gambling, family fragmentation, unaffordable health care, and addictions also contribute to the rise of homelessness. The number of poor is also pervasive. The research conveyed in 2001 showed that one billion people lived in poverty which led to hunger problems. In spite of the fact that in most cases homelessness is a connecting factor to poverty, not all poor people are homeless. At the same time poverty is caused by the lack of income and resources sufficient for sustainable livelihood.
Unsafe environnments, homelessness, ill health, lack of access to education, social discrimination, and inadequate housing. In order to solve the problem of poverty and homelessness the government of each country should make an emphasis on these issues alleviation programs. Poor and homeless people should get support from the government (Homelessness and Poverty, Social Ills That Need Treatments). The issues require ‘international and country-specific partnership’ to fulfill the needs of homeless and low income members of society. Detailed record of the population, education and health facilities, and the level of income would allow directing the funds in the appropriate way.
As most of those who experience homelessness are immigrants, their issues should be resolved. They should be provided with insurance and adequate fulfillment of needs. The main thing that should be changed in order to make an influence on poverty and homelessness society must change the attitude to the people who belong to these levels of society and respect people regardless their material status. The phenomenon of poverty has existed since the times of cave people. As homelessness and poverty are closely linked, the decrease in poverty will inevitably lead to the homelessness decrease (Homelessness).
Attitudes towards these problems began to change in the 20th century when sociologists began to study them more profoundly. This, there are several steps which may lead a person to living on the street and becoming poor. The first and the most usual one is losing a job and savings. Both poverty and homelessness are social problems. Poverty involves lack of access to goods, services, health care, education, sanitation and even water.
Poverty has lots of historical causes like colonialism, wars and conquests. Devastating wars caused the fact that people were to live on handouts and charity. Poverty consists of several factors among them disease, apathy, dependence, dishonesty, and ignorance. Elimination of poverty is impossible without elimination of its factors. However, secondary social factors line bad governance and capital, poor leadership and infrastructure.
The problem of poverty and homelessness is a constantly growing one in the modern world. The illumination of the problems should be dome at the national and international levels as they need immense resources. The main thing we have to remember is to respect people in spite of their special and material status and understand how deep the problem is.