contemporary problems by amy35810


									Running head: CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS              1

                         Contemporary Problems

                             Amy Brewer


                            January 23, 2010

                             Dr. Mancuso
CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS                                                                              2

                                     Contemporary Problems

       Homelessness is a problem America faces that that seems to be a nearly impossible

epidemic to overcome. People can be affected by homelessness for various life difficulty-based

reasons, but the main reason is the umbrella of poverty that many low income families fall under

every day, week, month, and year in America (University of Richmond, 2003). Furthermore, a

number of factors, like psychological or physical illness, addictive disorders, and inability to

work also tend to be key factors in many homeless situations. A common false stereotype that

individuals often assume about the homeless in their community that they are sluggish or lazy.

This is not true, and for those homeless individuals willing to work, the problem is often that

although they have a respectable work ethic, their lack of education and professional work

training put them on a lower ranking compared to other perspective employees and what an

employer may need (University of Richmond, 2003). While all factors, like mental and physical

illness as well as substance abuse issues should be addressed when determining ways to reduce

and preferably eliminate homeless in this country, it would seem as though financial distress is

the main reason for the majority of homeless situations (University of Richmond, 2003).

       In recent history, business downscaling, demoting managerial positions to budget payroll,

and outsourcing to foreign companies who pay their workers a fraction of what American

employees make has begun to effect those families who were above poverty levels, and because

of insecurity of jobs across the country, virtually no one is safe from facing homelessness

(Mahoney, 2006). Undoubtedly, homelessness, despite past public or financial standing can have

severe community in addition to mental consequences on everyone either directly or indirectly

affected by homelessness (University of Richmond, 2003). People often disregard homeless

individuals with foolish thought processes, such as, if a mentally ill person is homeless, someone
CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS                                                                               3

may unwisely assume that he or she are the luckiest of the homeless population because in many

cases their illness can cloud his or her reality of living homeless. Plus, it is often heard that

someone may ignorantly assume that the homeless in their situation for no other reason other

than a domino effect of misfortune and no support system must be facing karma for the wrongs

in their lives (Mahoney, 2006). These assumptions are not further from the truth, and

furthermore, everyone, if the homeless deserve quality of life.

         What must be looked at are possible solutions to homelessness and how to improve the

current solutions to be able to assist as many homeless people as possible (University of

Richmond, 2003). Especially in this recession, clearly there is a lack of inexpensive living

accommodation; however, this challenge needs to be evaluations so as to find ways to fix this

issue. Most apartment complexes and rental houses are available with the goal for the Real Estate

Company or landlord to make revenue, in addition, low-income or federally funded housing is

often poorly managed, and many times the atmosphere may not be acceptably safe for families

with children (JumpStart Productions, 2010). Homelessness is a not specific to certain genders or

races, it is a public plague to which every one of every race and gender is susceptible to

(Jumpstart Productions, 2010). By definition, the public sees anybody who is lacking a steady

home to live, and eat as well as sleep as homeless (JumpStart Productions, 2010). One report

described the homeless as individuals with no place to live looking for housing and have no

option but to find shelter by turning to a community or nonprofit program (,

2009).    This is an extremely tightfisted description because it disregards those who do not or

will not seek housing, and wind up sleeping on a different couch every night.

         Maybe a setback of homelessness is that authorities do not use a broad enough spectrum

and place too much emphasis on who should be categorized as homeless instead of why
CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS                                                                                4

individuals are homeless to begin with (Mahoney, 2006). Many homeless individuals in

America also suffer from substance abuse problems (Mahoney, 2006). One category which is

frequently ignored is homeless adolescents. Many times teens are escaping from abusive

situations and facing homelessness as their way out. This is a contemporary problem that the

communities general seem unwilling to intervene. In several states, somewhat limiting laws have

been voted for so as to eradicate homelessness (JumpStart Productions, 2010). Regular citizens

are unable to as much as they may want to do but maybe show compassion, for individuals in

homeless situations (University of Richmond, 2003). Another challenge that faces Americans

who want to address the homeless problem in America-and that challenge is human rights. A

great deal of debate of where that line is crossed regarding the homeless population and this is a

common obstacle seen when trying to address homelessness in many Human Service

organizations (Mahoney, 2006). Nonetheless, ignoring the homelessness problem is also not the

answer. The majorities of homeless Americans want assistance but do not know where to look,

of those who do not want help, if their underlying problem (mental illness, addiction, etc.) were

addressed, the majority of those individuals would want assistance, as well.

       In an effort to lower the nation does debt lines spending allowance for federal

government programs politicians recently introduced budget cuts that would surely affect various

human service organizations; the cuts equal more than two trillion dollars (Hayes, 2011). While

the nation’s debt is another vital concern in If even a small fraction of those budget cuts were cut

back and allowed to address the problem of homelessness in America undoubtedly, a

remarkable positive step to eliminating the problem and help teach life skills and obtain the help

they need to go back to being productive members of society. Inexpensive accommodations,

while it seems a logical step will not resolve the homeless problem, and improvements to current
CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS                                                                                5

federal funding for housing will surely not be rapidly attained, once again because of the recent

proposals of budget cuts (Mahoney, 2006). Communities need to be enlightened and educated

about the homelessness problem; it seems most opinions view the homeless as an unattractive

part of their communities, and disregard the homeless people as unworthy freeloaders who need

to be out of view.

       Homelessness is an epidemic that should not be ignored or stereotyped. Moreover, if

goals of eliminating epidemics like AIDS and cancer are making strides in research, it almost

seems an effortless to eliminate the epidemic of homelessness. Simple steps communities can

take like educating the homeless on where to apply for local state assistance programs and

passing out information about local job fairs, but sadly, this is not enough to make a dent in the

problem (University of Richmond, 2003). Social and Human Services organizations should be

allowed the proper funding to be in the community on a regular basis, to help individuals to find

if even short-term living arrangements with community programs that offer individuals steps to

living independently and help make goals for individuals by helping them obtain job interviews,

basic job interview etiquette and professional attire, proper mental, physical, and dental care.

The short term goal must be to address homelessness to reach the goal of eliminating

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Hayes, K. (2011, January 20). Republicans propose budget cuts: $2.5 trillion in 10 years.

       Retrieved from


JumpStart Productions. (2010). Facts and Figures: The Homeless. Retrieved from

Mahoney, D. (2006, March). Addressing homelessness and substance abuse. Retrieved from (2009). What is the HUD definition of homelessness? Retrieved from


University of Richmond. (2003). PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA. Retrieved


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