Do you ever find that there’s nothing to eat at your house? You ” re not alone, but at least you ” re lucky you ” ll eventually get something in your refrigerator. There are many people that don’t eat for months because they live on the street. People are starving as we speak. We use the term “starving’ loosely, but do we actually know what it’s like to starve? We have approximately 35 million poverty-stricken people in America. How many does that make in the world? Too many! Poverty has been described as the number one health problem for many poor nations as they do not have the resources to meet the growing needs. Half the world, nearly three billion people, live on less than two dollars a day (Human Development Report, 1998).
That just shows how much money the government is putting into this worldwide problem. For example, there are approximately 150, 000 homeless people in Britain, yet the government helped build the Millennium Dome, which cost over a billion US dollars (I PPR).
That could have easily been used to help many families with children who need the food to survive. The money could also be used to help the third world countries that are over come with poverty. To satisfy the world’s sanitation and food requirements, it would cost only $13 billion, hardly as much as the people of the United States and the European Union spend each year on perfume. (Human Development report, 1998) In fact, the total wealth of the world’s three richest individuals is greater than the combined gross domestic product of the 48 poorest countries – a quarter of all the worlds states (Overall National Production of Goods and Services).
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I feel that a lot of money is being put to waste in this world. Many people say that it’s the homeless people’s fault for living on the street, but even a job at McDonalds could not earn them enough money to pay for an apartment. In the median state a minimum-wage worker would have to work 87 hours each week to afford a two-bedroom apartment at 30% of his / her income. The remaining 70% of the income, would then go to their child (if they had one), groceries, gas (and that’s if they have a car), bus fare, and miscellaneous items (National Low Income Housing Coalition, 1998).
Many factors contribute to the problem of poverty and homelessness. The lack of employment has a great effect on the people because they cannot earn enough money to get out of their rut and onto a better life.
Lack of affordable housing is also a principle cause to homelessness. Children who are born homeless tend to stay homeless as adults due to of lack of education. The families are constantly moving, therefore don’t have a permanent address to be enrolled in school without transferring often. Since they do not acquire a well enough education, they cannot go out into the real world and get a satisfying job so that they can support themselves. (NCH, 1999) It seems to me, that the real thing people need is a home. They don’t need all this money given to them, but just a home.
Sometimes people aren’t born to the streets, but instead forced to turn to them. Often, women are forced to turn to the street because of domestic violence. In a study of 777 homeless parents (the majority of whom were mothers) in ten U. S. cities, 22% said they had left their last place of residence because of domestic violence (Homes for Homeless, 1998).
Many steps are being taken to try and help families in need.
There are over 100 million homeless shelters in the United States; they provide food, shelter, and clothing. Sometimes the shelter will provide counseling if it is wanted, but a lot of the homeless shelters have a certain number of days that a person can stay. The shelters help the people until they can get back on their feet. There are many foundations willing to help with this problem of poverty, such as the Job Training for the Homeless Demonstration Program (JTH DP).
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It provides the homeless with training that will help them learn a trade of a well paying job. Welfare is still in major effect and is still helping families all over. The government also has Legislative Acts that are being used to the help the homeless. The McKinney Act was the first and remains the only major federal legislative response to homelessness.
It’s not that much, but it’s a start. Poverty will never just go away, that’s too difficult for the world to deal with. They don’t look at it as an easy solution, but it’s not a very hard one either. A lot of money does need to be invested in helping this problem, and some may look at it as a waste of our tax money, but do you know how much valuable money does go to waste? Money that could be used to help the world’s economy is being used for cheap entertainment and / or money going to billionaire’s who don’t need anymore and are selfish about their needs and no one else’s. No social or economic problem facing the world today is more urgent than that of hunger. In order for the problem to be absolved from the earth, we need a lot of cooperation from the government to fund the shelters and companies money to help the homeless out.
It’s not going to be an easy problem to solve, but the world can fix it. There’s not that much one-person can do to help the starving third world countries, but we can try and get involved to help the homeless in our area. Volunteering at homeless shelters would be a good experience for anyone. If someone really wants to make a difference, they can go to the boards of the law and try and get them to pass laws to support the homeless and help them. Many people just ignore the fact that there are people who actually don’t have homes, unlike them, they don’t have the shelter and security they need.
They ” re oblivious to the homeless that live around the corner in the Dumpster by them. “She calls out to the man on the street ‘ Sir can you help me? It’s cold, I’ve nowhere to sleep, is there somewhere you can tell me?’ He walks on, doesn’t look back, he pretends he can’t hear her, starts to whistle as he crosses the street, seems embarrassed to be there. Oh think, twice, it’s another day for you and me in paradise…’ -Phil Collins, Another day in Paradise.
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