Understanding Society-Soci 1015/Dr. Kauppi
January 28, 2012
Amid an economic crisis, debt consumes what little assets people have and slowly drives them towards becoming "homeless". Pay check after pay check spent on paying debt which is accumulated as a means to live while paying of other debt; it’s an endless cycle. People encounter a homeless person every day without taking a second to think about or acknowledge them. Sometimes you get the odd person who will just turn their head in disgust and in some cases give them change. In my personal experience I have been with my friends when they either put them down or sometimes yell at them directly. The two most common sayings I have heard is “Get a job you bum”, “Go to school you bum”. People fail to look at the homeless as an oppressing issue rather they often view it as a weakness. Homelessness effects public safety, cost of living, tourism and the local government. In saying all that I do not have any sympathy for the homeless that are lazy or addicted to any sort substance. The term homeless & homelessness didn’t become common until after the recession. (Lee, Jones, Lewis.1990.pg 547). Believed to be a debate when it comes to what is the cause of homelessness ,”Research now suggests that the situation may be more accurately portrayed because of many factors including the housing market dynamics, housing and welfare policy, economic restructuring of the labour market and physical disabilities.(Shlay,Rossi.1992.pg.130) The public fails to properly acknowledge the definition of a “homeless” person. I believe the term can be stretched to fit more than those who do not have a place to reside. Our main interpretation of the homeless comes from what we see in the media and/or television. A homeless person can range from anyone who has substantial low income; someone who is on the verge of eviction and even family’s that double up. Sometimes you could point the finger and say that someone living with a roommate can be in an argument where the home is not theirs. It‘s also true for people in these situations that are often doing so to avoid excessive spending and eviction. The main categories of what interprets how the homeless become homeless can be anywhere from emotional instability, chronic substance abuse, unemployment and all the way to possibly having had a family breakdown. The Homeless
The difficulties of job seeking for the homeless are overwhelming and over looming in every nation. The biggest complications arise due to lack of education and/or competitive work skills, and lack of transportation. The government sets up workshops for the homeless with intentions it will help them assimilate in the work force and prosper in society. The downsides to all these workshops are the skills they administer to the homeless are "very thin", rather than expanding their horizons. Meaning the homeless are introduced to jobs of the minimum wage variety. For instance the Winnipeg based Siloam Mission, a shelter for the homeless; have on their website pictures of the homeless working. The work depicted in these pictures often demeaning, shows the homeless picking up garbage by hand or those ‘Picker-uppers’. Although a good entrance into the work force, minimum wage jobs are not enough to take you off the streets let alone pay for rent, food and all of life's other expenses that’s comes with renting or owing a house. In order for society and the homeless to benefit from these workshops we need the government to implement programs that meet higher standards of jobs that pay above minimum wage. In a recent conversation with my father he was discussing with me how he had been discriminated in the workforce for not having an address written on the application. He described that when they see that there is no written address or that the shelters address is on the application...
References: 1. Lee, Jones, Lewis. (1990). Public Beliefs about the Cause of Homelessness. In JSTOR (pp.253-265)
3. Shlay, Ross. (2002). Social Science Research and Contemporary Studies of Homelessness. In JSTOR(pp.129-160).
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