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Summary of The homeless: Not always what they seem Essay

The article tackled homelessness in America. The first paragraph enumerated efforts, such as job opportunities, educational assistance, haircuts, and food, to solve the issue specifically in downtown Minneapolis. Homelessness has never been an issue for big cities, but it has been included in mayors’ agenda due to the rising costs of properties and the increasing number of returning veterans with brain injuries and stress disorders, the second paragraph revealed. Some cities have laid out plans to eradicate homelessness and said they have been making progress, such as San Francisco, which sent “social workers, psychologists and police” to sweep the homeless, as mentioned in the third paragraph. The fourth and fifth paragraphs revealed that majority of the homeless “are families, singles or young people,” and that public housing and counseling to the homeless in New York proved to be more effective and less costly than hospital and jail services, respectively. The last paragraphs stated that other cities have emulated these efforts since using police force never works. However, the article concluded that the police should still ensure the homeless’ safety.

Article’s main points

The article revealed that cities should provide public housing and counseling to the homeless instead of giving them costly and temporary human services and using police coercion. It also stated that most of the homeless do not stay in the streets for a short time but are “chronically homeless” families, singles, or young people who cannot afford housing. Even though American cities seem to be prosperous, they cannot get away with homelessness, thus city governments should implement long-term efforts to solve it.

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Article’s main question

The main question to be considered is how cities can totally eradicate homelessness.

Personal reflection

A home or house is one of the most important basic needs. If a person has no shelter, what is the guarantee that he or she will grow in a safe environment? I can understand homelessness in poor countries that live within or under the poverty line. We empathize and feel for their difficult situation. But in a developed country such as the United States, it is disappointing to see that a nation that takes pride in its economic affluence and effective human services struggles with homelessness. We cannot help but wonder why a rich nation that extends its hand to poor countries cannot fight the very problem it tries to solve outside its borders. Our country is very supportive and sympathetic to less-fortunate people in the world, but it seems blind to the needs of less-fortunate Americans.

However, efforts have been made to battle homelessness. Some cities have created programs to deal with the issue and others are following this trend. Still, long-term efforts should be guaranteed so that no more homeless people will ever find shelter in the streets. Moreover, police coercion is effective only for sometime, as the homeless will go back after the situation cools down. Thus, force should be discouraged because these people also have the right to protect themselves from violence and harm. Their open living and situation do not mean they should be treated unfairly; rather, they should be given primary attention by professional human service workers. In truth, the homeless themselves should be blamed for their situation, but local governments cannot get away with the duty of protecting each individual. Their task is to guarantee that each one has a decent roof under his or her head. Hence, the homeless deserves to be treated fairly by giving them public housing and counseling services. City governments can do more than help them as they have funds that are sometimes allocated for not-so-important projects. Before they implement development programs, they should look closely into their small localities and allocate funds to those who most deserve it. Consequently, before our nation extends its hand to poor countries, it should look first inside its borders and solve its own problem, homelessness being one.

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