The homeless population is a serious problem in every community, and we cannot ignore this problem. Every day as I am driving in town, I pass by a homeless man or woman often carrying a sign asking for either money or food. The difficult decision comes when I think about what this person may actually do with the money that I may give him or her. The easy decision is to assume the homeless individual will automatically buy drugs or alcohol with the new-found cash.
Although dishonesty may happen on occasion, often the man or woman will put this money to good use in order buy food or other essential items. I feel obligated to help whenever I can; Life has blessed me, and I believe others should have the opportunity to experience a better life. When it comes down to morals, the best decision I can make is to give what I can and to `1hope the other person makes the right decision as well.
After I give them the money, it is the other person’s conscious on the line not mine.
I believe that all people should have an equal opportunity to enjoy a successful life. Although many men or women may fall to the streets due to substance abuse, several now homeless have experienced a series of uncontrollable misfortunate events. A large percentage of the homeless population is U.S. veterans. As men and women who risked their lives to fight for our country, this is not right.
There are several sources who agree that “It is widely agreed that veterans make up a disproportionately large percentage of the overall homeless population. According to HUD, veterans make up approximately 15% of the homeless adult shelter population” (Berenson 5). I find it very troubling that any veteran who put his own life aside in order to fight for his country has to come home to nothing but the streets. Veterans should be welcomed with open arms and always have a home to come back to after their sacrifice. Homeless veterans are just one example of the type of person who ends up on the street. This is one of the reasons why we should never judge someone just because they end up on the street. In some areas the homeless veteran problem is drastically worse “In San Diego it is estimated that veterans make up approximately 23% of the homeless who are living on the streets at a given point in time” (Berenson 7). War has the ability to completely change someone’s life, causing the veterans to come back whole new people. They undergo so much while in which can lead to serious medical conditions “The needs of homeless veterans, particularly those exposed to combat or from the Vietnam era, have been substantial, especially for physical injury, psychiatric illness, alcohol abuse, and medical problems” (O’Toole 3). In order to help solve this problem, Americans must stand together and help out those who are less fortunate, no matter the homeless man or woman’s situation.
In the small community at Menard, we are all blessed. Every student has a home to go to every night, guarantee for food, and a nice bed to sleep in. Unfortunately, along with millions of people worldwide, many Americans are not guaranteed these basic human needs. Having a bed to sleep in is a routine for me, but a luxury for many others. In Alexandria alone, there are hundreds of children who go to bed hungry every night because their family does not have the means to provide a meal. This is another of example of the factors I take into example when debating whether or not to give money to the homeless. Even just a few dollars can make an impact in a person’s life. If a parent does not have the money to simply put food on the table, he or she will fill responsible. This guilt could lead to abuse; which causes children to experience neglect the parent may be blind to “Children who are homeless experience higher levels of stress and domestic violence compared with those who are not, and research suggests that the vast majority of homeless children have problems with their behavior, encounter difficulties in school, or have a mental health disorder” (Lynch 3). An issue that may dissuade a person from giving to homeless parents with children is that these homeless people unfortunately use their children to get money for themselves. While this is true, it does not change the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of homeless children in the United states “On any given night in the United States, more than 600,000 individuals are homeless; of these, nearly 25% of homeless individuals are children living in families” (Alhusen 3). If children grow up on the streets, their chance for success is seriously diminished. We must do what we can now to help these children have a future later.
The homeless, although some may think otherwise, are still people with everyday desires and needs just like the rest of the world. The homeless often seek companionship, but do not have any people to turn, so a pet is the next best option. As someone with a natural love for dogs, I feel driven to give back anytime I see a homeless man or woman with a dog. Many people might question the homeless’ ability to take care of this pet if they are unable to take care of themselves. This is why I feel those of us who have been blessed should give back anytime we have the opportunity. This pet could be all a homeless person has and would destroy them if they were to lose their cherished pet. In some ways, a homeless man would give their pet the life it should have naturally since “Homeless pet owners thus create a positive moral identity by emphasizing that they feed their animals first and give them freedom that the pets of the domiciled lack.” (Irvine 2). While a pet is the only connection for some homeless people, many look for connection in other ways. A large percentage of the homeless population works in some way as “44% of the homeless work, and although most are eligible, only 37% receive food stamps” (Papa 3). Not every homeless man or woman falls under the stereotype that they ruined their lives through bad decisions yet do not do anything to change this. A majority of these men and women look for work but are turned down by employers based off of their appearance. If we choose to step them and help them out by giving them the money for something as simple as a clean shave and a haircut, there is possibility for positive change in this person’s life. The best decision I can make is to give what I can, and hope for the best. I may not be able to control what someone else does with their money, but I do have the ability to give someone the opportunity to make the right decision. This is something that everybody can do yet chooses not to “The problems of the homeless are compounded by the fact that they are so often shunned by people who could afford to offer their time and resources but choose not to.” (Papa 4). I have realized that we are people, and all deserve the same opportunities. I believe it is my job to reach out and help in any way that I can, whenever I can.
In conclusion, I want to reiterate the importance of helping those in need and the impact this action can make on a person’s life. In our modern culture, people are selfish and only look after themselves. Americans often will not take the time out of their day to help those in need; and this must be changed. There is no real reason for a person with the means to take every opportunity to help the less fortunate. In the end, we are all brothers and sisters. We must have each other’s back through the end. The homeless population includes veterans, children, and many people who are looking for work. All of whom deserve help and support. It is my personal mission to make a true difference in a homeless man or woman’s life, truly changing their life. Unfortunately, I do not have the means to make a drastic change in someone’s life now; but if I can donate my own money as a high school student, than I believe anybody can.