Have you ever been downtown and see someone sleeping on the street or begging for money? Well, these people are what make up a group we call the homeless. They are the unfortunate individuals who have lost everything, a bed, food, money, or shelter. It can be any one of these that we take for granted every day. Our government has seemed to neglect the homeless and we need to make some improvements to our country to help improve our society. Little improvements can go a long way, but a few of our big issues is unemployment. housing, and health insurance.
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I believe that we as a country can improve homelessness by giving jobs to the homeless. The government should require fortune 500 companies to give out a certain number of jobs to the homeless. These entry-level jobs could allow for people to make money, gain experience, and allow them to work up the ranks to maybe a management position. However, they should have to prove that they are homeless to the government first. Maybe an agency that verifies anyone who is homeless and makes a list or registry. Then give the list to the company's so they can know who is truly homeless. Next, we need to tackle the issue of housing.
Our housing systems for the homeless in America are not working. Our government needs to find a system where the homeless can live without a time limit so they can find a way to get back on their feet. What about more housing units for the homeless, not temporary but no time limit for people who are trying to get back to a stable life. They should have to prove that they are trying to get a job or that they are saving for a house/apartment. The money for this program could be taken from donations partly. The other part could be from taxes. The government could tax the wealthy more and people who are on the lower side for income should be taxed less so they don’t end up like the homeless. Then for the homeless who are in these programs should not be taxed at all until they have stable finances. Now the issue of things like healthcare, legal assistance, and education arises.
Targeted assistance could drastically improve homelessness. These are things like financial assistance, housing location, legal assistance, and in my opinion the most important health insurance. Health insurance is a big part of our financial society. Health insurance is what helps cover your medical expenses when you receive treatment at places like a hospital or a doctor's office. If you are living out on the streets for a long period you could develop any number of health issues. One big problem would be malnutrition since most people who are homeless would not have money to spend on food. Even if they don’t have any health problems it would be beneficial to go see a doctor make sure, which is where health insurance plays a major role. When people enter these shelters they should be given free health insurance to start with. As they become more financially independent the government could require that they start to pay a portion of the normal bill. Then they can become financially stable enough to pay their whole bill or get a plan through a private insurance company.
If we improve unemployment. housing, and health insurance, I believe that our levels of homelessness would drastically decline. Our society looks down upon people who are homeless, but it could happen to the best of us. We need to quit looking at the homeless as lazy and dirty. We need to make a change in our country to support each other and it begins with you.
- National Coalition for the Homeless. (2021). Homelessness in America. Retrieved from https://nationalhomeless.org/homelessness-facts/
- United States Department of Labor. (2021). Unemployment. Retrieved from https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/unemployment-insurance
- National Alliance to End Homelessness. (2021). Housing. Retrieved from https://endhomelessness.org/homelessness-in-america/housing/
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2021). Health Insurance. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/health-care/index.html
- The Homeless Hub. (2021). Homelessness and Unemployment: An Overview. Retrieved from https://www.homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/topics/employment-and-homelessness
- American Public Health Association. (2021). Homelessness and Health. Retrieved from https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2017/01/20/homelessness-and-health
- National Coalition for the Homeless. (2021). Healthcare and Homelessness. Retrieved from https://nationalhomeless.org/health-2/
- National Low Income Housing Coalition. (2021). Homelessness. Retrieved from https://nlihc.org/homelessness
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council. (2021). Resources. Retrieved from https://nhchc.org/resources/
- National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. (2021). Legal Advocacy. Retrieved from https://nlchp.org/what-we-do/legal-advocacy/