March 11, 2013
America the Beautiful
Homeless are nonexistent in America the beautiful. All are fed. All are clothed. All have shelter. All is well. This is true, so long as the homeless are out of sight and out of mind. The real truth is that homelessness blemishes the face of America, and many staunchly wish it (or they) were not so out of moral convenience. Acknowledgment, understanding, and action are the only ways America can remove the unsightliness of the homelessness that is ever so present.
Some neglect to acknowledge the issues of homelessness: some for fear of obligation, others for lack of understanding. Barbara Ascher is determined that “we cannot deny the existence of the helpless as their presence grows” (Ascher). Yet, people do for fear that the lining in their pocket might be lightened, and their conscience burdened with heaviness of moral obligation manifested by acknowledgement. Those that do not understand often cannot fathom the severity, or do not know how to help. They file the mental note of good intention to the back of the cabinet. Acknowledgement of homelessness will encourage progress by fostering understanding and action.
It is common for people to believe the homeless to be at fault. They assume mismanaged income, drug addiction, or laziness on their part must be the cause. Believing the homeless merit their suffering as a result of their own faults is a chief injustice to these American citizens. Such finger-pointing is the result of ignorance and misunderstanding.
Beginning to understand homelessness brings its harsh reality to light. The three main causes are mental illness, domestic violence, and inability to pay one’s rent (Test Your Knowledge of Homeless Issues). Realization that the homeless population is not comprised solely of vagrant addicts and sloths is a key to understanding. There are battered victims seeking reprieve that have nowhere to go when they leave their abusive partners, those that...