Monday, February 04, 2008

City vs. Suburban Life

So I have lived in the city for 6 months now. One of the things about living in the city that differs from suburban life is the amount of homeless people that you see on a regular basis. This is a very sad sight. And on Saturday, I saw my first homeless person going through a dumpster, he had a dog.

Here are some causes of homelessness:
  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Substance abuse and lack of needed services
  • Mental illness and lack of needed services
  • Domestic violence
  • Poverty, caused by many factors
  • Prison release and re-entry into society
  • Lack of affordable health care
  • Natural Disaster
  • Lack of strong support system
There are 847,000-3,470,000 chronically homeless people (those with repeated episodes or who have been homeless for long periods) in America right now. I think this is incredibly sad, and I try to donate to shelters as much as I can, but I find it too heartbreaking to work in one. It's just too much.

But I urge you to do as much as you can to help anyone that you see on the streets. I gave all my change to a man on the streets on New Year's day, he looked about my age and had the saddest, but most hopeful eyes I had ever seen.


At 5:25 PM , Blogger Merlicious said...

And that is only counting the documented ones. Those who have never sought state funded help remain off the radar in untold numbers. Those numbers only apply to those who have visited shelters or have othewise been counted in some way.

At 5:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have very sensitive children. MOM

At 6:27 PM , Blogger chinchilla said...

Dever started a program this year called parking meters for the homeless to encourage people to stop giving money to panhandlers.
It's just like a parking meter but no parking spot and the money goes straight to shelters.
It's based on a study that claimed that if we took the money donated to panhandlers in denver every year, and doubled it (so if you gave $2 in stead of $1) it would be enough to take all homeless people off the streets and into shelters.

I know this doesn't help those that have addictions and therefore not willing to check into those facilities, but it's a cool program none the less.

At 10:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel what you mean. I didnt know anything about homelessness when I moved to the city. In my small town if someone was out panhandling.. a church group, social worker, or mental health went and picked them up. One night I went out and ended up giving to every person who asked... When it was time to go home my bus transfer was expired and I didnt have enough change to get back to campus. I had to walk and it sucked... But I dont blame the homeless... I blame the bar for over priced drinks.


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