Homeless and Poverty within Our Society
The homeless live in tents, on benches, under bridges, alleys, box-cars, abandoned homes, and shelters to name just a few. I personally have met individuals who choose or have not chosen that method of living and have offered my home with a few of them over the years, when the nights are below freezing, giving my husband and I a chance to intrude into their personal lives and acquire a better view of how or why they became homeless. From these individual experiences I have learned a connection between being a homeless person and the social impact of how poverty in society played a part in that role.
For instance, one of the individuals lost his job in 1983 and instantly became a statistic of poverty while scraping, with the use of unemployment benefits, to pay bills and keep his head above water for 11 months but shortly after he ended up losing everything with nowhere to go he has been homeless since 1984. This extremely kind man has adapted very well to society as if he were born in a tent next to the freeway for easy access to find cans to recycle for his income so he can eat and panhandles for necessities such as dish soap, coins for laundry, and shampoo.
Another individual is extremely wealthy and could live anywhere he chooses but went through a very traumatic situation where his wife and three children were killed in a car wreck and feels there is no place for him in society because the only important thing to him was his family and they are not there to share his wealth with him so he chooses to live in a sleeping bag and stare at the stars. In 2000 the poverty level was 12. 2 percent or 33.3 million people while in 2012 it had increased to 15. 9 percent or 48. 8 million of the U. S. population that had an income below the poverty threshold (Bishaw, 2013). Socially this impacts children because when they grow up in poverty they have a higher rate of missing school days due to frequent health problems than children in a more fortunate financial position with fewer opportunities for higher education (CliffsNotes, 2013).
Poverty can affect any race or ethnicity group and can cause extremely stressful situations with violence, theft, drugs and alcohol, and sometimes even death caused by suicide or illness. Women in poverty has increased approximately 50 percent due to an increase in divorce or separation along with the men not upholding there part in child support because they are not able to or avoid it all costs (CliffsNotes, 2013).
In conclusion being homeless is extreme poverty where individuals either are forced into the lifestyle or fight their way out with assistance from advocates, the community, family or friends, and the government. Then there are the individuals that choose that style of living due to mental illness, drugs, or just making the choice to live freely per say. Poverty is an ongoing problem that has been on the rise for over a decade that has had the attention of the government to come up with solutions to bring the levels back down.