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Who Are the Homeless People of America?

Updated on August 28, 2017
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Ms. Clark hopes to help bring better understanding and an end to hurtful, downright wrong stereotypes about poverty and homelessness.

Who Are the Homeless People In the U.S.?

At any given time there are 3.5 million homeless people in the United States.

People who are parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends – or used to be family members and/or friends (before being disowned by embarrassed friends and relatives), make up our homeless population. Some homeless people have university degrees. Homeless people are ordinary people just like everyone else except that they have fallen on hard times.

Who Are the Homeless In the United States of America?

43% of homeless people in the U.S. are famiies and 23% of those are children.
43% of homeless people in the U.S. are famiies and 23% of those are children. | Source
Sadly, older people are disposable in our society.
Sadly, older people are disposable in our society. | Source

Families With Children

Families with children make up 43% of the homeless population. Of that number, 23% -- just over half, are children.

The recent passage through Congress of a bill that will cut Food Stamps by 40 Billion dollars will not improve the plight of homeless families, nor prevent more families from becoming homeless.

One of the results of the passage of this bill that cut 40 Billion dollars from the SNAP program was that 900,000 needy veterans and their families lost their food stamps!

At a time when the economy is still bad for working class people, Congress has cut benefits to the most vulnerable people in our society – children – but have taken no cut in their own salaries of $172,000 a year plus benefits.

How could anyone with even a tiny conscience living a comfortable life, thanks to a generous God, deny food to poor people, and especially children? The majority of our Congress members have done just that – and want to make even more cuts to public assistance programs for the poor. (At least 60% of our Congress members are millionaires and accomplished that condition after being elected to office.)

Some members of Congress make even more than the basic $172,000 a year. For more about the salary and benefits members of Congress receive, see: Can Members of Our U.S. Congress Retire With Full Pay After Just One Term? The Dirty Details!

Cost of All Public Assistance Programs To the Average Taxpayer

In 2012, the average American taxpayer making $50,000 per year paid just $36 towards the food stamps program.

That's just ten cents a day!

That's less than the cost of a gumball.

And when it comes to funding the rest of America's social safety net programs, the average American taxpayer making $50,000 a year pays just over six dollars a year.

The Daily Take, Thom Hartmann Program

Homeless Veterans

Our veterans come back from war to be jobless and homeless.
Our veterans come back from war to be jobless and homeless. | Source
26% of the U.S. homeless population are veterans.  3% of that number are women veterans.
26% of the U.S. homeless population are veterans. 3% of that number are women veterans. | Source

Homeless Veterans

About 26% of the homeless population in the richest nation in the world -- these United States -- are veterans. Female veterans make up 3% of that number. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, “Conservatively, one out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country.”

A high percentage of homeless veterans (including women) suffer from traumatic brain injuries and PTSD (Post Traumatic Distress Syndrome).

The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs reports that most homeless veterans come from poor or disadvantaged communities. Overall, about half suffer from substance abuse problems while nearly that many suffer from mental illness.

Most homeless veterans have served our country for 3 or more years in one of the many wars since World War II. We thank these heroic people for their service to our country with joblessness and homelessness. As Yakov Smirnoff might say, “What a country!”

Our soldiers and military people are heroes when they are following orders in Afghanistan or Iraq, but when they come home to our so-called richest nation on earth, to no jobs, no medical care, and homelessness, they are suddenly lazy, slothful, and most of all, disposable.

“The homeless are aging. In 1990, just 11 percent of the homeless were over 50, but now half are that age, and growing older.”

— Medical Daily — Susan Scutti of The Grapevine (Newsweek Media Group)
A graphic illustration of who SNAP recipients are.
A graphic illustration of who SNAP recipients are. | Source
Source
Tent city in Oregon
Tent city in Oregon | Source

Employed

About 44% of homeless people are employed. Some organizations that keep track of who is homeless believe there may be slightly more than 44% employed if you take into consideration the number of homeless people who are self-employed for cash, usually doing odd jobs where they can find them.

SNAP Recipients (food stamps)

Despite what most people seem to want to believe, Forbes.com reported in 2010, that at least 30% of SNAP recipients were working.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) administers the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food stamps). The USDA 2011 report (the most recent statistics available) concurred with Forbes.com in that nearly 30% of food stamp recipients have jobs. Many SNAP recipients work minimum pay jobs, which is one of many reasons why the minimum pay rate needs to be raised.

As of June 2011 the USDA reported that 48% of food stamp recipients were children and 8% were elders over 60 years old. About 16% of SNAP recipients are disabled adults. FeedingAmerica.org states that the “average monthly SNAP benefit is $133.79 per person.

Currently taxpayers subsidize businesses that refuse to pay their employees a living wage. Taxpayers provide the low pay workers in these companies with food stamps and often Medicaid too, to supplement their poverty level paychecks.

No one seems to mind giving welfare to businesses (farm subsidies to corporate farms, tax breaks to big oil companies, etc.), but they object loudly to helping real people.

People Who Find It Hard to Fit Into Society

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People Who Cannot Seem to Function in Society

About 20% of the homeless population is chronically homeless. Some of the people in this category have mental disorders and/or substance abuse issues. Despite what most people seem to want to believe, some substance abuse problems originate as a result of PTSD, or prescription painkillers for injuries sustained either in the military or as civilians -- injuries that produce pain that has no remedy and never lets up. Some people actually have reasons why they are hooked on drugs, not just excuses.

Yet many people paint all homeless people with the same brush, calling them all lazy, slothful, mentally unstable, junkies, and worse. Often times I even hear that most of the homeless people want to be homeless. Say again? I think no one who has ever been homeless, as in living on the streets or in their car, would ever say such a thing, or even think it.

To say that people are homeless because they want to be is to my thinking an excuse for not doing anything to improve the situation. For some reason these people who say homeless people like being homeless imagine it is an acceptable excuse for doing nothing except bad mouthing them. It is not.

Sometimes people do not want to be in homeless shelters because many homeless shelters are dangerous. Some homeless shelters are great places to get beaten up, raped, to have one’s few meager possessions stolen, or all of the previously listed.

Sometimes the people who run certain shelters are dangerous. It is not just some of the other homeless people staying in a shelter who present a threat. So if not wanting to stay in a homeless shelter is someone’s idea of people wanting to be homeless, think again. Taking cover for the night in a homeless shelter is still technically homeless anyway.

For more information on the dangers of poverty and homelessness check out this article titled: Poverty Kills More People Every Year Than Either of the Top Killers -- Heart Disease or Cancer.

Homelessness Is Dangerous

Violet Phillips, 67, homeless, was set on fire as she slept on a bus stop bench.
Violet Phillips, 67, homeless, was set on fire as she slept on a bus stop bench. | Source

Homeless People Die Long Before Their Time

Sheffield University in England did a study that found homeless people die on average of 30 years before their time.

“Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, [a charity for homeless people based in London] said: 'It is shocking, but not surprising, that homeless people are dying much younger than the general population.

'Life on the streets is harsh and the stress of being homeless is clearly taking its toll.

'This report paints a bleak picture of the consequences homelessness has on people’s health and wellbeing.

'Ultimately, it shows that homelessness is killing people.'”

Gavin Allen, Mail Online

Once a person is homeless it is extremely difficult to get a job and change their situation.
Once a person is homeless it is extremely difficult to get a job and change their situation. | Source

Dangers of Being Homeless In a Country That Does Not Care

In the minds of many people homeless people are disposable. That attitude permeating a community makes it even more dangerous to be homeless, because no one cares about the safety and well being of homeless people as a result. Being one of the few who care about homeless people when most of the people around you do not can be hazardous to fitting in – see the article “Conformity: How Imporant Is It to YOU to Fit In?

When people are dehumanized, as is often done to homeless people, the people in our society who have poor judgment and who often have undiagnosed mental issues of their own, think it is OK to harass, attack, and do horrendous things to those unfortunate, homeless people, who are looked down upon by people who consider themselves better.

The Los Angeles Times reported on January 15, 2013, that 67-year old Violet Phillips was set on fire December 27, 2012 as she slept on a bus bench in Van Nuys California. Phillips, at last report (LA Times January 20, 2013), remained in critical condition with second and third degree burns over more than 20% of her body and required a ventilator to breath. Information as to whether Phillips survived the attack over the long run, or what her status is now several months later, could not be found.

There have been hundreds of attacks on homeless people all across the United States in recent years and months. Most attacks do not involve setting people on fire, but rather simply beating or clubbing them to death – or trying to.

In 2011, 10 hate crimes not involving homeless people were documented. That same year 32 homeless people were criminally killed out of hate and bias. These statistics come from NationalHomeless.org. The National Coalition for the Homeless reports there were many more hundreds of violent attacks that did not result in death. These violent attacks occurred essentially because a lot of people seem to believe it is acceptable to harass, abuse, or attack homeless people.

Even police in some cities harass and abuse homeless people and a few of them are now awaiting trial for murder. In Orange County California, three officers have been charged with killing a mentally disabled homeless man. Brutality and harassment by police is another danger homeless people must face, as if they do not already have enough problems.

Will this woman be arrested, jailed, and her children put in foster care?
Will this woman be arrested, jailed, and her children put in foster care? | Source

What Is the Definition of Homeless?

“An individual who lacks housing, including one whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility that provides temporary living accommodations; an individual who is a resident in transitional housing; or an individual who has as a primary residence a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings [car, cardboard box, doorway, etc.].”

Who Make Up the Homeless Population?

“There is no fair stereotype of homeless persons: they include the young and old, individuals and entire families, and all races and ethnicities. According to 2000 statistics published by the National Coalition for the Homeless in 2002, best estimates indicate that approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population (3.5 million persons) experience homelessness each year—more than one third of them children. The rights of these persons have become important societal and legal issues.”

From the Free Online Law Dictionary

What Are Some of the Causes of Homelessness?

“Unemployment, cutbacks in social service programs, a lack of affordable housing, and the deinstitutionalization of mentally ill patients are some of the circumstances that have led to people living in shelters or on the streets.”

The Free Online Law Dictionary

It Is Against the Law to Be Poor In the United States!

Dozens of cities across the U.S. have passed laws making it illegal to be poor. That would seem to mean that it is against the law to be laid off from one’s job. Against the law to NOT be hired when one has applied for a job. Against the law to suffer a great disaster such as a major accident, a major illness such as cancer, or to have one’s house struck by lightening and burn to the ground.

It is also against the law (if it leads to homelessness and poverty) to be born into this world with a physical or mental handicap. All of these things contribute to poverty and homelessness, and most if not all cannot be controlled by the individual, yet they are sometimes charged with a crime if one or more of these terrible events befalls them because these are the things that lead to most homelessness and poverty.

The crime of being poor! Not only Afghan people are still living in the first century it would seem . . .

Having laws passed making it illegal to be homeless and poor has not been helpful in either getting homeless people employed, or solving their homeless problem. Yes, homeless people get off the main streets or go to jail and stand trial for the egregious crime of being poor, but everyone has to be somewhere, so homeless people are simply pushed from place to place so that the better off (and in their own minds just plain ‘better’ people) -- people incapable of compassion -- do not have to look at them.

The world seems so much nicer when a person can pretend everything is as perfect for everyone else as it is for themselves -- and it saves having to care.

In addition to criminalizing the condition of poverty, jailing the unfortunate victims of this circumstance and giving them a police record, the few meager possessions most of the homeless people have when they are arrested are confiscated and destroyed.

How long before police are not only encouraged, but ordered, to shoot homeless people on sight? If being homeless and poor can be made into a crime, what is to prevent even more egregious and unconscionable behavior towards these unfortunate victims of our society?

Will criminalizing people who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances be the limit of heartlessness? How long before it becomes illegal to be sick? To dye your hair the wrong color? Or to butter your bread on the wrong side? You can laugh if you want to, but who ever imagined being poor would be crimimalized?

Some people care about the way homeless people are needlessly and unfairly condemned, reviled, vilified, and abused. They care about helping and finding long-term solutions, but they are the minority.

If everyone, or even the majority of people in this country truly wanted to end homelessness and the dangers that go with it here in the United States, it would happen. Making poverty a crime is not the answer. Forcing people to move on is not the answer. Starving people or letting them die for lack of healthcare, or shelter from the elements, and the dangers associated with being reviled, is not the answer. In short, hate is not the answer.

Apathy Changes Nothing

One Campaign shared by Upworthy
One Campaign shared by Upworthy | Source

Give a person a fish and they have a good meal. Teach a person to fish and they eat for the rest of their lives – or something like that.

There are currently many people who are unemployed, homeless, and/or on food stamps who have college degrees. It does no good to know how to fish if there are no fishing jobs available. Indeed, no amount of education or skill will make up for no jobs of any kind available.

As my co-hubber and dear friend Aunt Jimi recently said in a conversation we were having, “Instead of obsessing about abortion and gay marriage, why not focus on creating jobs? We can always send people to Hell after we fill their bellies with food and provide them with a means to sustain themselves and their families. It is not as if Satan is going to close up shop and we have to meet a deadline for forcing people to share our religious views or forever gnash our teeth because someone escaped Hell and it was all our fault.”


Except for the grace of God, anyone could find him or herself living in poverty or homeless. Amazing that so many people who call themselves Christians and who insist this country (the U.S.) was founded on Christian principles and values do not seem to know the first thing about Christian principles and values as stated in the Bible and spoken of in the Red Words.

These uninformed people masquerading as Christians seem to truly believe that Jesus went around healing the sick and charging horrendous fees for so doing just like doctors do nowadays – and of course refusing to heal those who could not pay, also like doctors and hospitals do nowadays.

People who encourage violence through words, hate, or the passage of laws that criminalize something people cannot help being (poor, and or disabled in this case), and against people who are the least able to help themselves, are not behaving in any way that is exemplified as Christian in the Bible.

While I am a strong Christian, I must say I have known atheists who behaved more like Christians are expected by God to behave, than people who claim the Christian label.

Source

Sources for This Article

These are the sources used in this article. I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about this issue to read further from the references below.




Newsweek Media Group on homeless elders

http://www.medicaldaily.com/homeless-aging-social-services-375339


Free Online Law Dictionary


The Free Legal Dictionary

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Homeless+Person


United States Dept. of Agriculture

http://blogs.usda.gov/2011/06/24/fact-vs-fiction-usda’s-supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program/


FeedingAmerica.org

http://feedingamerica.org/how-we-fight-hunger/programs-and-services/public-assistance-programs/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program/snap-myths-realities.aspx


Truth-out.org on the Cost of Public Assistance Programs to Average Taxpayer

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/19844-food-stamps-are-affordable-corporate-welfare-is-not


Bill Moyers on Homelessness

http://billmoyers.com/2013/04/21/america-is-ignoring-homeless-families/


USA Today

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/01/homeless-homelessness-housing/2730301/


Collection of articles on the homeless population

http://www.google.com/#q=Who+are+the+homeless+people+in+america&tbm=nws


ABC News on violence against homeless people.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/hate-crimes-law-senators-add-attacks-homeless/story?id=11754964


Los Angeles Times on setting homeless woman on fire.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/01/homeless-woman-fire-family-van-nuys.html


Huffington Post on violence against homeless people

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/anti-homeless-hate-crimes_n_2346350.html


Think Progress on violence against homeless people

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/09/10/2592991/homeless-violence-increasing/


Mail Online

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2076949/Homeless-people-expect-die-30-years-average-person.html


National Coalition for the Homeless

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/veterans.html

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/families.html

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/who.html

http://nationalhomeless.org/WordPress/2012/12/violence-and-hatred-risky-for-homeless/

© 2013 C E Clark

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    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 months ago from North Texas

      Shyron, thank you for commenting on this article and bringing the fact that homelessness can happen to anyone to light. I doubt most homeless people ever imagined that would or could happen to them a few years ago. Seems to me there are getting to be more and more homeless people as our politicians lower taxes for the rich and cut services for the poor. Many homeless people, nearly half of all, have jobs, but those jobs don't pay enough for the exorbitant rent that is charged right now, and that was true even before the obscene raise in rent across the board.

      I can't imagine that you would ever be homeless Shyron, but with the way the economy is going, thanks to stingy, mean spirited, heartless people who are making the decisions to cut assistance programs, along with the outrageous rent and house payments that are currently required, I guess anything can happen. When enough people start caring to resolve the homeless problem and start putting people ahead of things, then it may be possible, as in parts of Europe, to end homelessness. The main thing in this article is for people to understand that the homeless people in this country often don't fit the stereotypes they have in their minds, and that in fact in can happen to anyone.

      I think most of us learned in school that stereotypes hurt people because most people don't fit the stereotype. Yet when it comes to homelessness, most people apply stereotypes without a second thought. There are so many homeless people nowadays that most people don't even recognize them when they see them -- because they DO NOT fit the stereotype.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, homelessness is still one of my greatest fears. It seems that the Republicans want to take everything from the poor and give it to the already rich.

      Hope all is well with you.

      Blessings my dear friend

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

      Shyron, thank you for stopping by. It is unfortunate that there are way more homeless people than are reported, mainly because they don't count them all. Most people are just one paycheck away from being homeless and if they were fired, many would join the ranks. Greed and selfishness are the main reasons why there are so many homeless people in the richest nation on earth.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, this makes me so sad, being homeless has always been one of my greatest fears. I guess that is why I took such crap when I was working.

      I hope that all is well with you.

      Blessings and hugs dear friend

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 22 months ago from North Texas

      Peggy W., thank you for commenting on this article. I hope people will help their local charities/churches who do so much for the homeless. Wishing you all good things in the New Year!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 22 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Since Christmas is right around the corner and people are in the gift giving mode, perhaps they will give thought to the less fortunate and give some aid to the charities that help the homeless. With just a twist of fate, it could be almost any one of us out there needing help. Sharing this again.

      Merry Christmas to you and wishing you peace and love.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 22 months ago from North Texas

      Sharon, thank you for commenting on this article. You are so right in that more cuts are already on the way. Take care . . .

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 22 months ago from North Texas

      Huntgoddess, I hope the New Year that is just over 2 weeks away will see good and BIG changes for you, and for so many other people who must survive from day to day and moment to moment, something anyone who has never been forced to be homeless can never understand.

      I wish I could do so much more for the least advantaged. Thank you again for coming by.

    • Huntgoddess profile image

      Huntgoddess 22 months ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      A floor and a lock do make a huge difference. I don't deserve it.

      I will definitely be filing. Don't worry. The federal court seems much better.

      Thanks, dear. God bless. Thanks for all you do.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 22 months ago from North Texas

      Huntgoddess, thank you for taking time to comment. You have my sympathy. It isn't easy being outside this time of year. Agree that even a hard floor and a lock on the door are better than the alternative. Wish you luck with your lawsuit if you decide to file. Take care . . .

    • Huntgoddess profile image

      Huntgoddess 22 months ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Au Fait: I've been homeless for five years now, but I am blessed to depend on my adult kids for places to sleep indoors.

      Well, they're all poor, as well. Sometimes I'm sleeping on the floor.

      Nevertheless . . . it beats sleeping outside in winter. There are shelters here, but many don't want to use them due to problems like violence and sometimes bugs.

      Actually, I feel so guilty to have such blessings as I do.

      My youngest son and I lived in the same apartment for nine years. We were never even late with the rent one month.

      We had a Section 8 subsidy.

      A nasty property manager hired an attorney to evict us, for no reason at all. We were in state court for three years, to no avail. They don't even read my case, apparently.

      So, now I have to file in federal court. I've been putting it off for two years because I'm so scared.

      The deadline is six years, though.

      God bless.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, this is a wake up hub, but I am afraid that the ranks of the homeless will be growing if the folks who want to cut the programs for poor and middle class, (i.e. SS, MC, MCD, food stamps,) programs that allow people to exist.

      Blessing and hugs my dear friend.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Huntgoddess, thank you for your continued interest in this issue. I think you must be very kind. Personally, I think the reason people ignore poverty stricken people is that they are afraid they may have to part with a penny. Yes, even one penny is too much to give to help another person in their minds.

      Many people are also programmed from small children to believe that anyone who is poor is at fault entirely for their own predicament and therefore deserves it.

      Jesus Christ was homeless and poor -- by choice. Even so, He expected his followers to give assistance in the way of food and shelter to Himself and His apostles and others traveling with Him. I guess that makes Him lazy and slothful . . .

      Most people who call themselves Christians are not. They haven't read any part of the Bible -- assuming they have one to read. They call themselves Christians to fit in and to take advantage of people to the extent that is possible, not because they have faith in God or hold any of His values.

      Think I'd rather have Worf (Star Trek) and his relatives really, really, I mean REALLY angry at me for masquerading as a Klingon, than to have God mad at me for pretending to be a Christian while fleecing and abusing poor people at the same time.

    • Huntgoddess profile image

      Huntgoddess 2 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Yes, Au Fait, it's scapegoating.

      I believe it has more to do with ourselves.

      There are things about ourselves that we can't stand to look at, or think about. We pretend that these things are only in that OTHER group, but never in ourselves.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Huntgoddess, thank you for shedding some light on this article. I think most people don't like it because they prefer to rationalize the homeless situation, telling themselves all homeless people are lazy, don't want to work, and have drug and alcohol problems. This is far from the truth, but in the small minds of many people it justifies their bad mouthing these unfortunate people, demonizing them in some cases, and most of all, doing nothing to help change the situation.

    • Huntgoddess profile image

      Huntgoddess 2 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I thank you so much for this extremely important information dear Au Fait.

      Once more I say that you are the 21st century Charles Dickens!

      God blessdear Au Fait

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Peggy W, thank you for your great comment. You are correct in that it will require time, effort, the will to make a difference, and money. Most of all, it will take a change of heart for many people who think homeless people are no different than other vermin in our midst such as rats.

      I wrote this article in hopes of educating people as to exactly who any of the homeless people are, but those people with a hard heart prefer to continue to think all homeless people are the same -- alcohol and drug abusers, lazy, and rife with mental disorders -- as if that is justification for allowing them to suffer.

      As I pointed out here, only 20% of all homeless are chronically unable to function in society for whatever reason. Even they need help. I don't see how anyone can call themselves a Christian and then turn around and say ugly things about poor people. Jesus was poor and homeless and He made clear in the Bible that anyone who will not help poor people are not helping Him either.

      It isn't our jobs to assist Jesus who is the only person qualified to judge the hearts and actions of other people. It is our job to do what He has assigned us to do -- love and help one another.

      Appreciate your comment and your kind heart. Take care . . .

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Since you just commented on my hub regarding starvation right here in America, I thought that bringing more attention to your excellent hub about the homeless was appropriate. Often both problems are combined. As I said in response to your comment, if we just have the will...certainly we could end most of this!

      If we just set our priorities, much can be accomplished. After all...we put a man on the moon! Yes, it will take some coordinated effort, time and money...but it would certainly be worth it!

      Sharing this once again.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Huntgoddess, so good to see you again! Thank you for your kind words. I don't do nearly enough and I wish I could do more. The need is unbelievable, and growing with current policies and laws in affect.,

    • Huntgoddess profile image

      Huntgoddess 2 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Dearest Au Fait, Thanks so much for this --- another important, powerful and informative article.

      I hope you get the Nobel Peace Prize and the Pulitzer for all the work you have done for good in the world.

      It's so sad, I can barely read it right now. I voted up, etc., though. Thanks for all the work you do. God bless.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      I've noted that more and more people continue to paint all homeless people with the same brush. Only a small percentage are chronically disfunctional -- alcoholics, junkies, mentally unstable, etc. Most people are down on their luck and no one wants to help. This article explains who the homeless people are in this country. Many are veterans and that should never happen.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Marilyn (MDavisatTIERS), thank you for reading and sharing your experiences and thoughts on this subject. I really think a lot of people tell themselves homeless people want to be homeless, are lazy and slothful and deserve to be homeless just so they won't have to lift their little finger to do anything to help and so they won't have to give up so much as a half penny in their lifetimes to helping others. It has to be scary and hard to sleep if one is worrying about some undeserving person getting one of their pennies away from them.

      Easier to go to the polls and vote against poor people having healthcare, and everyone who can think must know that people with no access to healthcare die prematurely as a rule.

      Yes, I have a bad attitude about these selfish mean spirited people who turn their backs on the less fortunate and that makes me a bad person. If I were selfish and hateful like them I would be accepted and heralded as a hero.

      Thanks for the Tweet.

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good evening, Au fait; thank you for this exceptional piece. You have done an excellent job of research for this as well. I applaud your passion for the topic.

      A good friend of mine runs a homeless mission. People are fed daily, but the housing side is still not funded. Over Christmas, we got the much-needed tents, backpacks, socks, gloves, mittens, underwear, toothbrushes, dry shampoo and deodorant ready for delivery. Under the Bridge meant going out and seeing first hand, the absolutely deplorable conditions. Any contribution that I made and make is small compared to the need.

      Each person in the US needs to visit a soup kitchen, shelter, or mission, whatever they are called in their area and talk to people, or let them share their stories. They are not all there by choice or because they are addicts. Remember, I worked with the addicted population for over 20 years; not in an expensive rehab; in fact, I opened it to be affordable. My point is that not one woman in 20 years was homeless.

      We have more veterans that are homeless, and many of them suffer some form of PTSD or another mental health issue. That is wrong that these men and women end up like this. I could go on, but I'm sharing on Twitter. Maybe that's a better way to support this great piece than adding more to the comment. ~Marilyn

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for coming by Shyron, and for the votes and share and blessings, etc. Got pretty chilly las' night and won't be much better tonight.

      Blessings and hugs right back to you and John. Stay warm.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, I am back to re-read and share this very important article.

      I love the quote "Until serious efforts are made to address the underlying caused of homelessness......

      This is an exceptional article. Voted thumbs up UAI and shared.

      Hope all is well with you, blessings and hubs.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      DeborahDian, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience on this issue. Last year about this time they cut food stamps to military people and veterans. Appalling that they need the food stamps to begin with and more appalling that they are going to let them marinate in poverty while they serve this country. Thanks for the share!

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      I remember when the husband of one of our daughters joined the military about 12 years. They had a meeting for the wives to explain to them how to sign up for food stamps and WIC because they were living below the poverty line. I thought it was outrageous that the military pay for new recruits is so low that the families need public assistance. To me, that was just crazy! I think it is important to share and promote this article.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      kaiyan717, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue. Yes, wages are so low in many cases, and hours available to earn those wages so few, that many working people can't save enough for a deposit for an apartment, etc. It's very costly to live on the streets or in one's car, and worse if children are involved.

      A lot of people can't get public assistance either, even though they are homeless or trying to support a family on a very meager income -- or both.

      Food stamps were cut just a year ago and many of our enlisted military families, as well as veterans, were hurt. Of course the extremely deserving members of Congress still get their base pay of $272,000 a year and then lots of bennies on top of that, but they work hard for their money as opposed to ordinary people or military folks.

      Yes, you talk about companies paying better wages, how about our government? Those guys getting shot at for pennies and then denied food stamps too! As Yakov Smirnoff says, "What a country!"

    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 2 years ago from West Virginia

      Love this. I was actually thinking Veterans hold a higher percentage. I find it hard to stomach that we as a country send these young men all across the world to witness and even participate in atrocities, only to send them home with no help. I think with many homeless Veterans they can't or don't want to fit back in to society and who can really blame them? I cannot even imagine what they have been through and we thank them with subpar medical and very little help to fit back in. I find that 30 percent of homeless actually working is crazy, you would think that it would be in the country's best interest to make companies pay a good enough wage to actually live on, instead of subsidizing everyone? They ran a story about the cities making homelessness illegal, can you imagine? I know many don't have much sympathy for homeless people, but I think it is easier to distance ourselves and say it will never happen, as opposed to considering that all of us run the risk with the right set of circumstances.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for stopping by and for the share.

      The main reason people come across the border is because they, like most people around the world, especially people in 3rd world countries, have been told that our streets are paved with gold and that everyone is rich.

      The articles I write about homelessness usually get few comments from people in the various countries who believe those things and invariably they say in their comments that they can't believe these things are true in the U.S.

      Indeed, our streets are paved with gold, it's just that people need to take a closer look. It's not the precious metal that coats our streets, it's something softer with a nasty smell . . .

      I suppose compared to twigs and mud, morsels from the dumpster seem like high end gourmet and so it is assumed that everyone is wealthy. Wonder do these people who imagine everyone here is wealthy think wealthy people are cleaning other wealthy people's houses, doing their laundry, etc. ? How can their be maids and butlers or workman of any kind in a place where all are wealthy? Who would do that work if they didn't have to?

      Hope you're off to a good day . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      This is sad, with all the homeless people in this country, and it is sadder still because of the homeless people coming across the border who think that everyone has a home in the States and they can have one too. All because someone evil told them so.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Peggy W, thank you for Google+ing and sharing this article with followers!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Sharing this informative hub again with my followers and am going to G+ it as well.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for stopping by Shyron. I looked into what you mentioned about the homeless man being beaten to death and included that report in a recent article about how homelessness is against the law in many cities across this richest nation on earth.

      Blessings to you also . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, I just heard on the radio this morning that a homeless man was beaten to death, I did not catch why. Did you hear or read anything about that this week?

      This is a great hub putting the situations of homeless people out for everyone to see what these people have to go through.

      There but for the Grace of God, go I.

      May Blessings and Grace be yours

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Word55, thank you for reading and taking time to comment on this article. Your praise means so much and I thank you so much for it. I try to keep the situation of the homeless people out there as much as I can because I think they are invisible to too many people. It would seem that poor people in general, not only homeless people, are the disposable, expendable people, in our society. I think that is wrong headed thinking.

      Thanks for the vote too! And the follow.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Au fait, Glad to know who you are and what you are about. You are an amazing researcher. I'm on your side and this hub tells life, like it is. Thank God for you. Voted up! -:)

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Author Cheryl. Agree, that no one should be homeless, without food, or necessary healthcare in this country.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Patsybell, thank you for stopping by. There is more to pretty much everything and everyone than what we see on the face of it or them.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for stopping by Shyron. I have tried to find an update about Violet Phillips but have not been able to learn if she lived.

      There was baseball sized hail on the North and Northwest part of town, but here it was only about an inch in diameter. We had strong winds and rain came down in sheets, but it was all over within 20 minutes or less here where I live.

      Yes, baseball sized hail fell through the skylights at one of our Wal-Mart stores and caused some chaos as you might imagine, and lots of cars in the area where it fell had a lot of their glass broken out. It hit about 6:10 PM and I was sleeping by 6:30 PM as it appeared to be over.

      I heard the awful details next day, Friday, and apparently there were 4 tornadoes in the area. Just not my time yet . . . but appreciate you're thinking of me.

      I guess ABC News had quite a story on it during Good Morning America Friday morning. Showed some of the damage, the softball sized hail, and the Wal-Mart shoppers trying to take cover from the huge hail stones hitting them from the skylights. It was an interesting night for a lot of people.

    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      In New Jersey where I grew up, they closed down a psychiatric hospital and the elderly that lived there if a nursing home did not take them, they were let loose on the streets to fend for themselves. I think that homelessness should never happen in our country. They are so busy sending money to countries who hate us. This is a never ending issue that I can't fathom why people in America have to be hungry or living on the street. The same goes with euthanasia of animals. Our government cares less about us and more about themselves. Great hub.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      Very insitghtful. There is so much more to this issue than most of us realize.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, because this is so important I came back to share this with everyone.

      Also, because I could not reach you on the phone and was worried that you were hurt in horrible storm yesterday, I heard that you had tornadoes and baseball size hail. We got pea size hail, nothing drastic. Lots of lightening and thunder, that is why my computer was off. Sure hope you are okay.

      Voted-up, AI and shared.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for coming by Shyron, and for the votes and share. Lots of people seem to be of the opinion that dying in the U.S. from hunger and/or lack of medical care is somehow prestigious compared to dying of those same things in Africa or India. They think our poor aren't as poor as in the so-called 3rd world countries, yet people are dying here? What more must they do to prove that dying anywhere is not prestigious? Not even in the shadow of the Goldman Sachs Bank.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, this is so sad! I keep reading about how bad it is in every other country but hear. The send food and medicine everywhere, but it seems for those that need it here in the US no body cares.

      This needs to be read by everyone, so I sharing this again

      Voted up, UAI and shared

      I hope your day is going well my dear friend

      Shyron

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Deborah-Diane, for sharing your thoughts on this important issue. There are many costs involved in allowing people to go homeless because they are poor. Helping them get back on their feet and get employed and paying taxes again is always the better answer.

      Of course some people are not employable. As I reported in this article, about 20% of all homeless people have issues trying to function in society. Some of their problems can be addressed and improved, some can't. Allowing anyone to be homeless because they have psychological issues is not an appropriate solution. It is no solution. Once a person becomes homeless it's very hard to get back out of that situation.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      Now that the weather is warming up, people may see more homeless people in their communities. I want them to understand them better. I recently saw on TV that it is actually cheaper to put many of the homeless in apartments than leave them on the street where they often end up needing expensive medical care or hospitalization. Except for the Grace of God, many of us could find ourselves in this situation.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      rtburroughs2, thank you for stopping by and sharing some of your knowledge about shelters.

      I think it would be a great idea for you to write about your experience and knowledge of the various homeless shelters you are familiar with so that people who have no idea about them could learn from you. I look forward to reading about it too, and when it's done I'll be happy to put a link to it in this article.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you CraftytotheCore for reading and commenting on this article.

      There will always be a few people who abuse any program or benefit and make things tougher for people who truly need those programs. If we just stop and think things through, it makes no sense to punish all poor people for the wrongs of a few.

      Would it make sense to send speeding tickets to everyone who owns a red vehicle just because a few people who own/drive red vehicles break the speed limit?

      Many of the people on Food Stamps are in our military. What does it say about us that we don't pay our soldiers enough and so they must file for food stamps to take care of themselves and their families?

      Thanks again, for coming by and understanding that everyone who is homeless is not an alcoholic, a junkie, or suffering from a psychological disorder. In fact, they are in the minority, but still need our help.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for reading, sharing your thoughts, voting on and sharing this article, and for your high praise. The only reason we should be concerned with how people become homeless is so that we can figure out a way to prevent it. Criticizing and judging, I believe, will bring the same to us, criticism and judgment.

      So many people live just a paycheck (or less!) from disaster. In today's economy it is easy for me to imagine how someone might become homeless simply by losing their job, having an accident, being diagnosed with a major illness like cancer, or any number of other catastrophes. Bad things sometimes happen to good people.

      Regardless of why it happens, we should go beyond hanging the Christian label on ourselves and actually do the Christian thing.

      Jesus never asked anyone if they were deserving of His healing or food, He simply provided. Jesus never asked anyone if they had brought their illness upon themselves with bad judgment, He simply healed the person. He further directed His followers to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and visit prisoners as when they are doing that they are helping Him. He said so. Presumably to refuse to do this is to refuse a directive from Jesus and to refuse to help Him. If I can sit in a chair in the corner near the Pearly Gates, I'll be interested to hear the excuses offered for disobeying and refusing to help Jesus who gave all for us.

    • rtburroughs2 profile image

      Robert Burroughs 3 years ago

      I think I am going to write an expose' from the front lines. There are reasons people don't like shelters, and I don't just mean the random drug test and the breathalyzers. I have been in shelters in Phoenix, Las Vegas, New York, and Pensacola. There are subtle differences from town to town, but the bottom line is that your stay is limited to a few days In Phoenix and Las Vegas this can be extended by paying $3.00 a day in Phoenix and $7.00 a day in Las Vegas. In Pensacola however they want you to get in one of their "Programs". At the Waterfront Mission this means a drug and alcohol program or a discipleship program, in either program they want you to go to be in the program for 7 months before going into the career development program for another 7 months. During the initial 7 months you "Volunteer" at the mission or at the thrift store, and you have to get permission to leave the property. The Salvation Army is a bit different, after being in the shelter for a week they want you to get in their 90 day program, again you are asked to volunteer 40 hours a week. Rules are not the reason people don't like shelters, it is only part of the reason.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      I always appreciate when someone writes about homelessness because awareness is so important.

      It is so sad to me when I hear about people getting cut off from funding that need it so desperately when others get it shelled out to them like candy. For example, I know one person who milks the system. Every time I run in to her, she has a new gadget. Be it a cell phone, new tablet, or what have you. Last time I heard from her, she was purchasing a $3,000 floor cleaner. It's this type of scamming that goes undetected while others that really need assistance get left out in the cold.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, I think this is one of the most important hubs you have written.

      Usually when someone speaks of homeless and poor, the thought pops into the head of a third world country, most people can't imagine that anyone in this country could be poor or homeless, and some people even think anyone down on their luck is that way because they want to be. Or they think they got that way by having an addiction.

      These people who think that, can't imagine that maybe the homeless have given up all Hope, and have given into drink and drugs.

      Voted up, UAI, shared and will pin to Awesome HubPages board.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      gypsumgirl, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. I'm glad you took note that I have stated clearly that not all homeless people have social or psychological issues that are the cause of their situation -- not a popular stand to take.

      I think most people choose to believe the ugly accusations about homeless people because they think it justifies their apathy about this issue as well as their unwillingness to work towards change and helping the victims of homelessness. After all, if we can conclude that someone has brought their misfortune onto themselves and it is deserved (in our opinion), then we can walk proudly with our decision to not only refuse to help, but to denigrate the unfortunate, or stand by silently while someone else denigrates them.

      Unfortunately, once people make up their minds that homeless people are inferior and deserving of their situation, often nothing will change their minds. They won't even consider that they may be wrong about that. They never think to truly examine the reflection in their own mirrors and see the imperfections there too. It doesn't occur to them that they could easily find themselves in a similar situation.

      I remember one woman who complained long and loud that she had literally lost everything overnight because she invested all of her assets with Bernie Madoff. She had been a wealthy woman just the day before. There are dozens of ways any person can find themselves suddenly broke and homeless. Having empathy for others and offering a helping hand may mean people will do the same for us if bad luck befalls us. No one is immune to bad luck.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, I have to share this again. In Church today we had a Missionary from Cross Catholic Outreach. He spoke of the poverty in Jamica, where he is from, and spoke as if there is no poverty here, and I wanted to scream at him, "WE HAVE POVERTY, RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA." I would love to send this to him this article, but did not get his name.

    • gypsumgirl profile image

      gypsumgirl 3 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

      A great hub! Informative and interesting to say the very least. Thanks for the wonderful writing. Many people think that the homeless choose to be in their situations. Some think they all have psychological issues. Your hub sheds light on the fact that all sorts of people find themselves homeless. Thank you for that.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Peggy W for pinning this article! Agree with you completely!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for sharing your observations on this issue. It's sad that homeless people are shoved around and so little effort is made to help them get back on their feet. They are dehumanized and that opens the door to the violence I wrote about here.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Going to pin this to my Awesome HubPages board. We have far too many homeless in our country!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, I forgot when to mention when I was reading before. When Hubby had his fall and was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, I had gone to get some coffee and I saw homeless people, and one man in particular, wearing only pajamas and no shoes. It was cold outside and all the man wanted to do was get warm, and a cop was pushing him toward the door to push him outside.

      I have often thought of this man without shoes in the cold. I know a hamburger and coffee would only allow him to stay inside for such a short time. And I still wonder if the heartless cop is warm and comfortable and does he think of the man without shoes.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Peggy W for adding valuable information and for sharing this article again. Yes, the job situation has been much worse than 'they' would like us to believe for a very long, long time.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Deborah-Diane, thank you for sharing your thoughts and for sharing this article. I think we need to get some new blood into our congress before anything that will help the less fortunate and the jobless will happen.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      According to CNN news this morning while the jobless numbers have actually dipped below 7% this is very misleading! Most of the new hires are high school graduates taking those low minimum wage jobs and 350,000 people have quit looking for jobs INCLUDING many with college degrees. Something has got to change in this country or more and more people are going to be living in poverty one step away from being homeless. Sharing this again.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I hope this article will help people get over their prejudices against the homeless. In addition, now that Congress is back in session, I hope this info will encourage new laws to help protect the homeless and lift some of them out of this situation. Sharing this again.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Amanda Severn for reading and commenting on this article. Reality can be very depressing if one doesn't have the money to cheer oneself up or provide the necessities for themselves or their families.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Peggy W for Tweeting this article! I hope people will have a change of heart too.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 3 years ago from UK

      This is what happens when the gap between rich and poor is so polarised. Greed will be the downfall of the West. Here in the UK the problem is largely contained, although it is beginning to creep up. You've done a great job pulling this article together, but it certainly makes depressing reading........

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Happy New Year to you also! Giving this another tweet from my bookmark page. Hope it opens people's eyes and hearts.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Peggy W, thank you for stopping by. Bubblews as I understand it, is time intensive. There are days I don't even manage to get here to HP when I'm working. Right now it's midterm break for the holidays, but once work starts again, I'll be lucky to get anything else done. I may give Bubblews a try next summer . . . Happy New Year!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for voting on and sharing this article. The Selfish Gene has no connection to this article. As stated above, even Diogenes misunderstood it. Happy New Year!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Diogenes: Try not to be so condescending Bobby. My thinking is very clear and despite your opinion, I do not need a man to tell me what to think, how to think, or when to think, etc. I know you imagine yourself to be superior in that regard, not only to me, but no doubt to women generally. Well maybe you make exceptions for women if they agree with you. In any case, you flatter yourself sweetheart.

      Bobby (Diogenes), you don’t really believe that stuff you wrote about the “selfish gene,” do you? Have you even read Dawkins’ book?

      Indeed, you need not have read more than the introduction, which he wrote himself, to know that you completely and totally mischaracterized what his book is about. Find it here: http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/selfish...

      There is no scientific term to explain how genes are programmed to survive and replicate at all costs, so Dawkins used the word ‘selfish,’ because it was the closest one-word description he could think of.

      The word selfish, as most of us know it, means to look out entirely for oneself and care nothing about anyone around us. Of course genes have no ability to think, reason, or connive. They merely do as programmed to insure as best possible, their survival and replication through reproduction of their host (a subject dear to your heart, Bobby).

      If the gene’s host dies, the gene dies too. Often, in order for the host to survive, the host must cooperate with other gene hosts in order to survive long enough to reproduce and replicate the host’s genes. Excessive selfishness as we know it doesn’t encourage cooperation or working for the good of the family, group, or species. Selfishness is all about the individual.

      Dawkins was speaking entirely to the characteristics of genes, NOT the characteristics of the humans they inhabit. For the genes to survive and replicate it would make sense to make sure as many humans as possible also survive and replicate so that the genes could be passed on over and over again.

      Selfishly refusing to share food, shelter, or medical care would not expedite the spreading of these genes, Ut would cut them off short at an early age because of the early death of their host and therefore themselves as well.

      Selfishness is not a quality possessed by particular body parts or their makeup (genes, atoms, etc.). Selfishness is human made, an emotion, an attitude. Genes, as Mr. Dawkins points out so well, do not have the ability to think or have emotions.

      As explained on Wikipedia, some people get Dawkins’ explanation of these genes confused because he uses the word selfish for lack of a scientific term. Personally, I had no trouble at all understanding what Dawkins was talking about, so I’m curious as to why you purposely tried to mislead.

      After reading Dawkins’ forward, you might want to study further by going here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene

      Dawkins himself states in his introduction that his book’s title is misleading and confusing to many people and that the book is really more about altruistic behavior of a species.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I noticed your response to Paul Kuehn and like him I am also spending more time on Bubblews. As many people have said, it is good not to have all of your eggs in one basket. I am enjoying both sites but tend to write more there since it is so easy!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, this is an Awesome hub, voted that way. My family has been there, homeless that is. Once we lived on Seal Beach in California for two weeks, until dad got another job and got paid. I stole oranges from a nearby orange grove, that was all we had to eat for that one day. I don't remember if I told you about that when we worked together.

      Bob/diogenes mentioned reading "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Hawkins to become enlightened. I could not find a Richard Hawking on HubPaged, but did find "Dawkin's Selfish Gene" by videosgoneviral.

      I read "Dawkin's Selfish Gene."

      Voted up and sharing

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

      To clear your thinking re the selfish versus the unselfish individual and the individual versus the group, please read "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Hawkins.

      Of course, there is "selfishness" which helps others - take mother's love, for example. But my point still appears to be true: the gene is programmed in evolution to benefit the individual above all else, including the rest of mankind.

      Please don't give me an impassioned argument unless you have read this excellent work on the subject.

      xo bob

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Diogenes, thank you for your continued interest in this article.

      I disagree that everyone is exactly the same. I do not find it a struggle to share with less fortunate people and I do not believe I am alone in that regard.

      Many Asian cultures do indeed consider what is best for their families, their extended families, their communities and their country before they think about themselves. They are just the opposite of most Americans who worship individualism, and who apparently get their selfishness from their mother countries that are not Asian.

      Agree with your last paragraph for the most part. However there are a few countries that are superior even to GB. Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and Netherlands for starters.

      I think it would be good to see that everyone has their basic needs met, and then they can work for their wants so that they have incentive to accomplish something with their lives. Some people would of course never do anything, but I think most people would want to do something worthwhile. There are many ways of incentivizing people and it need not be with a stick.

      Appreciate your input Bobby. Have a good day . . .

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Us all pulling together: co-operation, sharing, equality, distribution of resources fairly?

      Hey, it's not in the genome unfortunately. We are all selfish at heart however much we struggle to be better beings. Evolution didn't wire us to look after the group, only the individual. I mean, all the above has been tried and they called it communism. The result was the noble were eventually hoodwinked by a new ruling class; in Russia's case with the dachas and all, then the Russian Mafia infiltrating world wide. This kind of extreme socialism is good, but people always begin to want more than their neighbors again - look at Cuba. Look at the mess that is modern China.

      In a way, the kind of government we have here in Britain is about the best we can aspire to, much as saying these words make my blood overheat. We have to have the captains of industry and the top engineers, artists and the rest. But run-away capitalism has to be severely curtailed and the wealth redistributed by taxation and enlightened bureaucrats...we fall short in many areas I'm afraid.

      Bob

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you WriterJanis for reading and commenting on this article.

      It is pretty bad that anyone in the richest nation on earth is homeless or hungry or without necessary medical care, and even more egregious that hard working people, veterans, and children, are in these deplorable circumstances. Maybe it's time to stop giving to the rich who already have more than enough and start helping ordinary people get back on their feet.

    • WriterJanis profile image

      Janis 3 years ago from California

      It's amazing about how many employed people are homeless. What a sad state of economics we live in.

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Jainismus, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for sharing it. It's true that government policy and economics also play a part but most people who will read this will not understand those things.

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for sharing this article again. If we would all pull together we could end homelessness and poverty. Like any other affliction, it can strike anyone at any time . . .

      Merry Christmas!

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      Mahaveer Sanglikar 3 years ago from Pune, India

      Homelessness is a worldwide problem, and it is related not just to poverty. There are many other factors behind it.

      Nice article, shared with followers.

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Deborah-Diane, thank you for sharing this article again. There are many ways we can help the needy even if we have no money to give.

      It's against the law in many cities to give food, money, or even a bar of soap to homeless people, but one thing everyone can do regardless of income is to get involved with their city governments, get their neighbors and friends involved, and change these ridiculous, and downright cruel and un-Christian laws that make being homeless or poor a crime.

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      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      This needed to be said Au fait, so I am sharing this again.

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Peggy W, thank you for reading, pinning and tweeting this article! I hope it does open some eyes and soften some hearts. We have more homeless people right now than ever because so many of the people who lost their jobs and their homes in the 2008 crash have not been able to find good paying jobs as of yet. Our economy is still very bad for a lot of people and until it recovers we all need to pitch in and help each other. Appreciate very much your sharing your thoughts on this important issue!

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Vespawoolf, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! We need more jobs here mainly for the 'new homeless.' They are homeless because of the Great Bank Heist of 2008, known to some as a recession and bank collapse. They are families and adults with college degrees who used to live in middle class neighborhoods and make house payments like middle class people, but lost their jobs through no fault of their own when the economy all over the world crashed. Once people become homeless it's very hard to dig themselves out of that situation.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting. Happy Christmas to you and your family!

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Indian Chef for reading, voting on, tweeting and sharing this article! Agree that poor people/homeless people exist everywhere, but in this richest of nations on earth, there is no excuse for allowing anyone here to be homeless, especially children, elderly, and veterans. It is caused purely by greed and selfishness.

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      diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

      ...except themselves, Misty, here at least. Our local councillors at Uttlesford are being censored as I write for voting themselves a sizeable increase in wages and expenses while raising local taxes to pay for it! maybe they're a bit more moral over there.

      xo

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Diogenes, thank you for visiting this article and commenting. I don't think any city/county/or state government in the U.S. is trying to save money on projects in order to pay higher wages. They're pretty strapped in most cases and not really interested in paying people a living wage.

      Hope you are well. Take care . . xx

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Sam (Samowhamo), thank you for reading, voting on, and commenting on this article. It is the city governments that are making it illegal to be homeless. Police only enforce the laws, they don't make them. People could petition their local city governments for change if they wanted to, but most people don't care -- until they find themselves in dire circumstances, and then it's too late. Once a person is in bad circumstances no one cares what they think anymore.

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      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I also want to thank you for reminding me that the comment section on my article about donating to charities had been disabled. I believe it is working now. Your support is very much appreciated. Happy Holidays!

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      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      Since it is just a week before Christmas, I thought I would re-share this information on homelessness, as this is the time of year when many of the charities that help the homeless receive the bulk of their funding. I hope that people who understand homelessness better will be more generous in contributing to homeless services.

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this article! I've just had my hubber score lowered again and the only thing I've done is answer comments. I guess that's a no-no. I love the way HP puts a random fist in your face every once in a while just for fun and never even whispers as to why . . .

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Deborah-Diane, thank you for reading and commenting on this issue. I agree with what you write, and the recent bill in Congress threw over 900,000 veterans and their families off food stamps, while Congress members themselves have no chance of going hungry at $172,000 plus for salaries.

      Thank you Deborah, for tweeting and sharing this information too.

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      DDE, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. A lot of people around the world have somehow been led to believe America is something it is not. Hope you and your family will have a wonderful, peaceful, joyous Christmas!

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Paul Kuehn, thank you for stopping by and sharing what you know of homelessness in Thailand. Also for pinning, and sharing this article on FB and with your followers here.

      I have missed you here and I know a lot of other hubbers have too. I'm glad your experience with Bubblews is good as I have heard mixed reviews. It seems like it's necessary to spend a lot of time there to do very well and since I have to work and have no access to a computer for several hours a day, that wouldn't work very well for me, but I think everyone would be interested in hearing your take on Bubblews.

      Thanks again for remembering me . . . :)

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      diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Why is it that we and the US seem to get the same problems at the same moment? Our roads are like battlefields with pot-holes, too. Do you think things are so bad administrations are just hoarding what they can to pay higher wages and not fix the roads? Of course, more traffic every day, too

      oxoxox Have a nice weekend and exercise your strong end!

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Colleen Swan, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. The poverty here is much worse than even many of the people who have lived here all of their lives realize.

      Lots of people from other countries imagine our streets here are paved with gold. Right now many of our streets are full of potholes because money for repairs is limited, and if one thinks they see some gold there, it's probably runoff from the Trickle down economics practiced here -- my dear friend Aunt Jimi calls it golden showers rather than trickle down. I tend to agree. The closer a person is to the bottom the more they get dumped on.

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      diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Yes, smartypants, and especially accurate in my case!

      Foggy day, but real pretty as we had a whore frost last night...you spell it then! xoxo

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for reading, sharing your thoughts and experiences, voting on and pinning/sharing this artilcle. People love to hate poor people for some reason, but Jesus said in the Red Words that poor people will be blessed. Those who have much might should be thinking about it because Jesus said the wealthy should enjoy their wealth because it is their full reward. In other words, for them it's as good as it's going to get.

      Remember the rich man who asked Jesus what he could do to assure a place in Heaven and Jesus told him, sell everything you have, give the money to the poor, and follow me. The rich man couldn't bring himself to part with his worldly possessions. Both the rich man and Jesus walked away in sadness . . .

      It seems to me some people are already on shaky ground with God, so why push their luck by hating the poor? Poor people have no power and to kick them when they're down speaks volumes about the person doing the kicking. Like someone who verbally abuses their servant -- a waitress, or someone else who is serving their needs/wants. It says far more about the abuser than about anyone else.

      Thank you for your high praise, Shyron. You are a good friend. Write me a Christmas story . . .

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Jackie Lynnley for reading and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. I agree with what you say about our government and those people who run it -- not all of whom hold office.

      It is truly evil to make it a crime to give food or money to homeless and less fortunate people, and more so to make homelessness and poverty a crime. If everyone demands that their city council and mayors remove those laws they will be removed, but somebody, a lot of somebodies, have to care enough to make it happen.

      Happy Christmas!