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 -- a statistic obtained from The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.
People who are parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, or people who used to be considered family members and/or friends before being disowned by embarrassed friends and relatives, make up our homeless population. Some homeless people have university degrees or are accomplished in a variety of other ways.
Homeless people are ordinary people like the people we see everyday everywhere we go. Contrary to what many people prefer to believe, homeless people are not usually identifiable by appearance. I personally know many homeless people. They pass for ordinary people who live in ordinary homes and apartments every day. No one has any idea by just looking at them that they are homeless, living in their car or in a tent. The only difference between homeless people and others is that homeless people have fallen on hard times and are having a difficult time getting back on their feet.
There are several organizations that make no secret of the fact that many people are just one paycheck away from homelessness or living in the streets. That being true, the face of homelessness may very well look just like one or more of your friends, neighbors, or family members. Maybe even that person who looks back at you in the mirror, or from your selfie.
What Is the Official Definition of Homelessness?
“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.].”
The Free Online Law Dictionary
What Are Some of the Causes of Homelessness?
“Unemployment, cutbacks in social service programs, a lack of affordable housing, the deinstitutionalization of mentally ill patients, poor physical condition, personal or family disaster such as a fire, accident, or unexpected job loss, domestic violence, family and relationship breakdown, are some of the circumstances that have led to people living in shelters or on the streets.”
The 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 gum ball.
"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
How Your Tax Dollars Are Spent
Families With Children
Families with children make up 43% of the homeless population. Of that number, 23%, which is just over half, are children.
The recent passage of a Congressional bill that will cut food stamps (also known as the supplemental nutrition assistance program or SNAP) by $40 Billion dollars will not improve the plight of homeless families, nor will it prevent more families from becoming homeless.
One of the effects of the passage of this bill is 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 a conscience who is living a comfortable life deny food to poor people, and especially to children? The majority of our members of Congress have done just that and they want to make even more cuts to public assistance programs for the poor. At least 60% of our Congressional representatives are millionaires and most of them accomplished that condition after being elected to office.
About 26% of the homeless population in the United States (which is the richest nation in the world,) 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 three 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 the so-called "richest nation on earth," there are no jobs or medical care waiting for them. These veterans often end up homeless and they are unfairly considered to be lazy, slothful, and most of all, disposable.
More and More Elderly People Are Becoming Homeless
“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)
About 44% of homeless people are employed. Some organizations that keep track of homelessness believe there may be slightly more homeless people who are employed than that percentage suggests. Many homeless people are self-employed for cash and regularly do odd jobs to earn money.
SNAP (Food Stamp) Recipients
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. The USDA 2011 report (which provides the most recent statistics available) concurred with Forbes.com in that nearly 30% of food stamp recipients have jobs. Many SNAP recipients work minimum wage jobs, which is one of many reasons why the minimum wage 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 wage 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 (or farm subsidies to corporate farms, tax breaks to big oil companies, etc.), but they object to helping real people.
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. These are 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 people imply that they believe most homeless people want to be homeless. I think a person who has ever been homeless and lived on the streets or in their car would never say such a thing or even think it.
To say that people are homeless because they want to be is an excuse to refrain from doing anything to improve the situation. For some reason people who blame the homeless for their condition think that doing so is an acceptable justification 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 above.
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 homelessness.
For more information on the dangers of poverty and homelessness check out this article: Poverty Kills More People Every Year Than Either of the Top Killers -- Heart Disease or Cancer.
The Dangers of Being Homeless
In the minds of many people homeless people are disposable. That attitude makes it even more dangerous to be homeless because no one cares about the safety and well being of homeless people as a result.
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 okay to harass, attack, and do horrendous things to those unfortunate homeless people.
For example, 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 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 often include beating or clubbing them to death – or trying to.
In 2011, ten hate crimes that did not involve 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 that there were many more 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.
Set On Fire as She Slept On a Bus Bench
Homeless People Die Long Before Their Time
Sheffield University in England did a study that found homeless people die on average 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
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 also against the law to be laid off from one’s job, to not get hired when one has applied for a job, to suffer a great disaster such as a major accident, experience 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.
Having laws that make 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 those who are better off 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 just 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 from a lack of healthcare or shelter from the elements is not the answer. In short, hate is not the answer.
Give a Person a Fish and You Feed Them for a Day, Teach a Person to Fish and You Feed Them for a Lifetime
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 a lack of jobs.
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.”
Without the grace of God, anyone could find him or herself living in poverty or homeless. It's 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 doing so, just like doctors do nowadays – and of course he refused to heal those who could not pay, just like doctors and hospitals do nowadays.
People who encourage violence through words, hate, or the passage of laws that criminalize something people cannot control 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 to behave, than people who claim the Christian label.
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: Homeless Elders
- The Free Legal Dictionary
- Truth-out.org: The Cost of Public Assistance Programs to the Average Taxpayer
- Bill Moyers on Homelessness
- USA Today: Homeless Population Statistics
- ABC News: Violence Against Homeless People
- Los Angeles Times: Police Seek Family of Homeless Woman Set on Fire
- Huffington Post: Violence Against Homeless People
- Think Progress: Violence Against Homeless People
- The Daily Mail Online: Homelessness and Life Expectancy
- National Coalition for the Homeless: Homeless Veterans
- National Coalition for the Homeless: Homeless Families
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Being homeless kills people faster by thirty years. I guess that's why homelessness is growing, to combat overpopulation. Is keeping poor Americans locked in prisons in the age of mass incarceration a form of homelessness too?
Answer: There are many reasons why homelessness exists and why it may be growing in some places. Extraordinarily high rent is one of those reasons. Don't forget that some 43% or so of homeless people have jobs, often full time jobs. 26% are veterans. There are many societal reasons why some people are homeless. No, people in prison are not considered homeless at this time.
© 2013 C E Clark
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 09, 2020:
Peggy Woods, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Agree that the CDC's ban on evictions doesn't amount to much and it's unlikely people will be able to pay all that rent in January if they can't even pay one month's rent at a time each month.
I'm afraid Trump is likely be re-installed in the presidency. After all, Hillary got more than 3 million more votes than Trump and he still 'won.' In truth, he had Putin pulling shenanigans on his behalf, and according to our intelligence agencies, Russia is involved again in that same capacity. Trump cheated, like he does in everything he does, so I think of him as the illegitimate, or fake president. Hope there's something left to salvage if we ever get rid of him.
Stay safe . . .
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 06, 2020:
The eviction ban (for those who qualify) is kicking the can down the road. Most people who cannot afford to pay rent now will have a hard time (almost impossible) paying all of the back charges when the bans are lifted. Homelessness continues to be a huge problem in the U.S. and the pandemic is exposing that and more.
We plan to vote by mail and drop off our ballot at our local courthouse, which is a drop site in our area. I think that more people than ever will probably vote early in this election. Most people's minds are made up as to which candidate for President will be the best. I hope that people consider honesty, integrity, and a person who has empathy when they cast their ballots this year. We need those qualities in a President who rules at the top of a ticket.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 05, 2020:
Thank you Peggy Woods, for taking time to share your thoughts on the unfortunate things that are happening to this country right now, everyday.
Most people have paid into Social Security all of their working lives, so just my opinion, but I think to take it away is basically theft. For more people than anyone might think, SS is all some people have to live on at a certain age.
The CDC has put a ban on evictions for many people (those who qualify) until the end of the year. The rent along with late fees and other fines will continue to accumulate, and become due on January 1, 2021, but it may be a help to some people in the short term.
Every other country has done better than the U.S, with this pandemic. I know Mr. Trump is very proud of the travel ban he finally put in place against China, but in fact it was limited, and another 40,000 people were allowed to come in after the ban was put in place. Mostly Trump played golf, and repeatedly said the Coronavirus was a mere Democratic hoax that amounted to nothing. 187,000 deaths later . . .
Early voting begins on October 13th here, and I want to be at the front of the line. Hopefully there will be sufficient voting places so the lines won't be too long.
Hope all is well with you, and that you keep your guard up with this virus and stay safe.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 03, 2020:
I am fearful that many more people are soon going to become homeless. Reasons include the pandemic, loss of jobs, most of the eviction bans now being lifted, and little help from the government to temporarily aid people until we get past the worst of the pandemic. Many other countries have done a better job than we have.
Social Security does derive a vast majority of its income from the payroll tax. If the goal is to eliminate social security, then removing the payroll tax is the way to proceed. Senior citizens should be up in arms about this! Not everyone retires with huge savings accounts.
The countdown to the Presidential election continues. People should make plans now to vote early!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 30, 2020:
Thank you Peggy Woods, for sharing your thoughts on some of the current problems in this country.
Over a thousand people a day are dying from Covid-19. Yet I know people who still believe the disease is a hoax.
Yes, I saw the path H. Laura was expected to take and she was only a few miles inside the Texas/Louisiana border, if she tracked as expected.
If the eviction ban isn't reinstated there are going to be a lot more homeless people. If the payroll tax isn't reinstated there will soon be no more Social Security and elders will be going along like everyone else into the street.
Of course the economy is doing fantastically well. Wealthy people manage to make money no matter what else is going on, and they are the only ones doing great in this current economy -- and who else matters?
Please take care to stay safe . . .
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 27, 2020:
Hopefully, all of the homeless people were successfully evacuated from the storm path of Hurricane Laura. Getting information to them and providing transportation and safe places to stay becomes even more vital when there is a disaster in the making.
Since your comment of just two months ago, we now have more than 180,000 deaths due to COVID. That is an alarming increase! It is a shame that there are still so many people who gather together without wearing masks—such a simple thing to do to prevent the spread of this virus. Stay safe!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 13, 2020:
Peggy Woods, thank you for stopping by. Agree that all the protesting and opening everything up (too early IMHO), and no one is wearing masks or social distancing will bring a second wave.
Yes, I too worry that we will have another wave of Coronavirus and maybe it will be even worse than the first. Over 1000 people a day are dying in the U.S. from the virus. That number is from the CDC website. They update the number of deaths from the virus daily. Currently the total deaths in the U.S. is over 114,650.
This is a hard time for homeless people now too, with everything closed at night, no bathroom or shower facilities open at night especially, and no where to get inside during the day. Libraries are closed for at least another week around here, and Walmart is closed at night until who knows when?
Hope you are taking care to be safe . . .
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 05, 2020:
What we don't know about COVID-19 outpaces what we are discovering. While some places have declining numbers of cases, others keep going up in numbers. I am worried that we will have a spike in infections with all of the people out on the streets demonstrating that Black Lives Matter. It is a just cause. I just hope that they do not lose their lives or infect others. There are no easy answers!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 12, 2020:
Peggy Woods, thank you for your comment and your thoughts on these important issues.
We certainly don't have effective or good leadership currently, not at the very top anyway. Seems our "leader" is more concerned with his numbers regarding the Coronavirus (and most other things as well) than he is with the well being of the people in this country. He has himself stated publicly, his concern with his numbers, which is why he didn't want the tourist ship's passengers disembarking in this country, though many of them are U.S. citizens.
On a more positive note, I read the other day that this particular virus doesn't like heat. The person writing about it recommended drinking warm water as he says the virus is extremely fragile and can't stand temps over 24º of so. He didn't say Fahrenheit or Centigrade. I should think coffee lovers could slow it down without drinking warm water.
Anyway, if all this is true regarding the temperature the Coronavirus can tolerate, then perhaps Trump will be correct in that the virus will disappear sometime in April, since it's already heating up here in North Texas. We had 90º yesterday. Possibly the excessive heat most Southern states experience in the spring/summer will stave the virus off for a while at least.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 08, 2020:
With the coronavirus spreading all across the world, including here in the U.S., it is more important than ever that our most vulnerable people, such as the homeless, be protected. It will take a massive effort on the part of local, state, and national governments, as well as local charitable institutions, to solve this problem. We need effective leadership now more than ever before!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 20, 2019:
Thank you Peggy Woods, for sharing your thoughts on this important issue.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 19, 2019:
It is so sad that many people find themselves without the comfort and security of a home. Just this past week, I noticed a bunch of tents set up under a freeway overpass near our downtown area. Many homeless people seem to be congregating there. Hopefully, someday homelessness in America will be addressed seriously, and we can end this tragedy.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 17, 2019:
Luis G Asuncion, thank you for your interest in our homeless population. We do not call them beggars here. For one reason, not all homeless people ask anyone (beg) for anything. If you read this well, you know that 46% of our homeless population have jobs, often full time jobs. Just not enough income to pay the horrendous rent or house payments.
Since 46% of our homeless people have jobs, it's possible that they have a bank account also. If they have a bank account, then they may, if they wish, also have a debit card -- what you refer to as an ATM card. Wages are so low here that while people have jobs and earn money, it isn't enough to pay for housing. Many of our homeless people are older retired people. They often live in their vehicles or motor homes.
While there is no law that outright makes homelessness illegal, there are many laws that effect only poor homeless people. Laws that prohibit giving anything, money, food, clothing, etc., to homeless people. Laws that prohibit sleeping in cars or wrapping oneself in a blanket or heavy coat against the elements. It is poor people who are mostly effected by these laws and who are ticketed for breaking them. If they can't pay the fines, they may end up in jail.
Just a couple of days ago our U.S. Supreme Court refused to take a case involving where poor people can stay or occupy. Many municipalities had made it illegal to sit, lie down, or sleep in public places, like parks or on sidewalks. One of our Appeals Courts ruled a while back that these laws were not Constitutional. Public places are just that, for the use of the public. By making it illegal to utilize these areas community enforcers were essentially making it against the law to be poor and/or homeless. Punishing people who have nowhere else to go because they are poor.
So that decision by the appeals court stands, because SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the U.S.) refused to hear the case and possibly rule differently. The laws that some cities passed making it illegal to sit, lie down, pitch a tent, or sleep in public places were struck down.
Many cities have laws that seem innocuous until you realize they really only effect poor people and homeless people. Everyone has to be somewhere, and when you are poverty stricken, that likely means being where some people don't want you to be.
Some people imagine they are somehow morally better if they are not homeless. That couldn't be further from the truth. Misfortune can visit anyone at any time.
As long as you are alive, you could one day wake up to misfortune and find yourself without a job or money or transportation or a home of any sort. So rather than looking down on poor people you might instead be thankful you aren't one of them. Things can change. Things you could never have imagined happen to people every day and could just as likely happen to you.
I don't know if you are a Christian, but I can tell you that Jesus Christ was poor and homeless all of His adult life. Children are His first favorites and poor people are His second. He directs His followers to love and help each other and especially the poor among them. If you find this impossible to do, then I recommend you spend every spare moment you have thinking up a viable reason why you have such a bad attitude about poor people and refuse to help them. I recommend this because you will be asked why and an answer will be required and that answer will be judged by Jesus Christ one of these days. So I recommend you have an airtight answer ready lest you be turned away from the Pearly Gate. It's my understanding that being rejected by Jesus is far worse than being homeless.
Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on November 20, 2019:
As per reading of your article, I was shock that you have a law not to be poor. Correct if I am wrong, I heard a news before that even beggars have their own ATM card. Is that true?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 29, 2019:
Donna, thank you for coming by. I hope you found this article informative. Blessings to you and yours also . . .
Donna on January 22, 2019:
May God bless you.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 11, 2018:
Peggy Woods, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really hope everyone who is qualified will vote next month. Participation makes such a difference. I intend to take advantage of the early voting we have here in Texas.
I know a single vote may not make much difference, but when you combine that single vote with all the other single votes of people who stay home because they think their single vote is of no consequence, then you begin to see how single votes added together become thousands and millions of votes, and they do indeed make a huge difference.
I think the outcome of the last presidential election proves that polling isn't infallible, so I think regardless of what is being reported in the news about the latest polls, one should make the effort to cast their vote.
If it's difficult to get to the polls, there are many ways to address that problem. If an absentee ballot won't solve the problem, I've noted that Uber is offering free rides to and from polling stations. Something to think about so that everyone gets to have their say.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 06, 2018:
You have written about how elections really do matter in so many different ways. People should take this seriously and evaluate the state of the country. If they want to change things use the ballot box to get that change initiated. It is all a slow process but hopefully in the future if enough people care to take action homelessness can be alleviated. It is worth going to the polls to try! That, of course, is only one topic that needs attention. The November elections are fast approaching!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 29, 2018:
Subhas, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. Homeless is indeed appalling and doesn't seem to be getting any better under Mr. Trump as he and his Party members are working feverishly to remove any semblance of a safety net for the less fortunate. If that's not enough, he and his mobsters are also planning and hoping to take away what every person here has worked for and paid into their entire lives -- Social Security and MediCare.
Poverty is often the result of extreme greed on the parts of those who have power. Here, the wealth is usually just as obscene as the poverty. There is in fact more poverty here than wealth.
Not paying a fair and living wage/salary or providing decent benefits to employees is the way most of the wealthy obtain their riches, while some, like our current president, also abuse the tax payers by purposely creating failing businesses and by outright dishonest illegal practices such as money laundering, etc. Trump didn't pay low wages, etc., he simply refused to pay anything at all.
There are many wealthy people like Trump who have stolen everything they have. The wealthiest 10% of our population has more than the entire lower 90% . That sort of thing doesn't happen by accident.
Recently, while everyone was hand wringing about the nominee (Kavanaugh) who is still trying to get a lifetime appointment to our Supreme Court, the Republican Party passed still another tax cut for the wealthy!
Quietly and stealthily, Republicans used the recent hearings and hullaballoo over Trump's morally bankrupt SCOTUS nominee to distract people from hearing about the second tax cut in 9 months that will go entirely to the wealthy. It is truly the wealthy who are the moochers in this country. When they pay any taxes at all, it's a long way from being their fair share, yet they utilize the benefits of living in this country, probably more than most people. Greed leads to corruption. We have our share of that here.
Subhas on September 26, 2018:
I am appalled by the story. If this is happening in the most powerful country, then can’t imagine elsewhere.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 31, 2018:
Anthony Haugen, I'm so sorry to hear about the terrible things that have happened to you. I hope you have, and are, seeking help from your local Heath and Human Services office. There are services available that may be able to help you, but you must apply for them. If you haven't already, please contact your local Department of Health and Human Services ASAP.
Anthony Haugen on July 26, 2018:
I went through a bad divorce I'm currently on PTSD and I live in my van or my tan I'm a hundred percent disabled my ex-wife hit me with a car through me 40 feet into the ditch I walked and crawled back to my house is my plan then to leave her and I did just that I forced her to divorce me but ever since then I haven't been the same I got I get flashbacks I can see the car coming at me sometimes it happens at the wrong moment sometimes it happens she never got charged for nothing I don't think she could have made it I she got the charge before she tried to kill her ex-husband with a knife that happened in Utah Salt Lake Utah my situation happened in Iowa I figured one of these times she's going to get married to the wrong person and she's getting it up doing something like she did to me and and Gordan and guess what she's going to end up going or maybe God will judge her everyday I walk around with pain I got extreme swelling in my legs from the car that my ex hit me with
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 04, 2018:
Peggy Woods, thank you for continuing to share your thoughts on this important issue. I agree. But it would seem that most people prefer to give subsidies to billion dollar companies than food stamps to someone who is down on their luck. The $100 a poor homeless person receives in food stamps every month riles a lot of people more than the millions given every year to big oil or corporate agribusinesses that shouldn't need help.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 28, 2018:
It is a sad situation. That is for sure! We help aid people all around the world. It would seem that we could figure out how to stamp out homelessness in our own country through various means.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 01, 2018:
Peggy Woods, thank you for commentin. Agree there should be no homeless people in this country. While the economy is doing well for the one percenters right now, it really isn't that great for the working class and poor. I think you will see more homeless people as time goes on.
I read in our local paper several months ago that at least half of all homeless people in this country are over the age of 50. Many are retired and can't afford a house so they've moved into their vehicles and move from town to town looking for an odd job here and there because SS just isn't anywhere near enough to live on.
Cutting benefits that people have paid into all of their working lives doesn't seem right to me. Wonder how the wealthy would feel if the investments they made over the years decided to cut dividends to the bone?
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 30, 2018:
We can seldom travel for many miles in our city without seeing evidence of people who are homeless. We saw one old man today walking in clothing that was so very worn (it almost seemed rotten) and in our 100 degree heat. He was not begging but just slowly walking on the side of the road. It breaks my heart to see things like that. It should not happen to anyone in a country as rich as ours.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 25, 2017:
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 from Texas on June 28, 2017:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 12, 2016:
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 from Texas on July 04, 2016:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 30, 2015:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on December 17, 2015:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 16, 2015:
Sharon, thank you for commenting on this article. You are so right in that more cuts are already on the way. Take care . . .
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 12, 2015:
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 from Midwest U.S.A. on December 11, 2015:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 09, 2015:
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 from Midwest U.S.A. on December 09, 2015:
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.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 08, 2015:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 15, 2015:
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 from Midwest U.S.A. on August 10, 2015:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 09, 2015:
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 from Midwest U.S.A. on August 07, 2015:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 05, 2015:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on August 04, 2015:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 31, 2015:
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 from Midwest U.S.A. on May 30, 2015:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 26, 2015:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 14, 2015:
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.
Marilyn L Davis from Georgia on February 13, 2015:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 13, 2015:
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 from Texas on February 11, 2015:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 01, 2014:
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!
Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on October 30, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 28, 2014:
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 from West Virginia on October 25, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 13, 2014:
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 from Texas on August 11, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 14, 2014:
Peggy W, thank you for Google+ing and sharing this article with followers!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2014:
Sharing this informative hub again with my followers and am going to G+ it as well.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 06, 2014:
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 from Texas on May 29, 2014:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 17, 2014:
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.
Al Wordlaw from Chicago on April 16, 2014:
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! -:)
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 11, 2014:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Author Cheryl. Agree, that no one should be homeless, without food, or necessary healthcare in this country.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 08, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 05, 2014:
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.
Cheryl A Whitsett from Jacksonville, Fl on April 04, 2014:
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.
Patsy Bell Hobson from zone 6a, SEMO on April 04, 2014:
Very insitghtful. There is so much more to this issue than most of us realize.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 04, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 22, 2014:
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 from Texas on March 18, 2014:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 16, 2014:
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 from Orange County, California on March 12, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 23, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 22, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 22, 2014:
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.
Robert Burroughs on February 19, 2014:
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 on February 19, 2014:
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 from Texas on February 19, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 19, 2014:
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 from Texas on February 16, 2014:
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 from Vail Valley, Colorado on February 16, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 02, 2014:
Thank you Peggy W for pinning this article! Agree with you completely!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 01, 2014:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on January 29, 2014:
Going to pin this to my Awesome HubPages board. We have far too many homeless in our country!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 27, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 14, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 11, 2014:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on January 10, 2014:
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 from Orange County, California on January 06, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 04, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 03, 2014:
Thank you Peggy W for Tweeting this article! I hope people will have a change of heart too.
Amanda Severn from UK on January 03, 2014:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on January 01, 2014:
Happy New Year to you also! Giving this another tweet from my bookmark page. Hope it opens people's eyes and hearts.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 01, 2014:
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!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 30, 2013:
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!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 30, 2013:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on December 29, 2013:
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 from Texas on December 29, 2013:
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 from UK and Mexico on December 29, 2013:
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.