The problem the writer talks about it basically related to the homeless people living in South Florida. It is a big deal that a place like Florida, which is in town set and where people from all corners come to live for having a better life actually does not have much facility to prove the homeless people and has ranked 3rd among the states with most homeless population! The livesof the homeless people are becoming tougher day by day. The writer has put up the reasons why homelessness really takes place. The essay starts by defining homelessness as a stage where a person does not have a home to stay or place of his own. It is a stage where a person does not have his own home at all or not even has something consider partially as his or her home. The writer says the top reason for such misery is unemployment as employment is the only source of income for an individual. Densely populated areas are the ones which suffer the most. She also gives us the statistics that According to the 2010 report of the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Office on Homelessness, the homeless population comprises of 32% women, 16% children, 9% have a foster care background, 17% veterans, and 49% were homeless for less than a year. The writer tries to find out the major setbacks behind the cause of such happenings and find ways to eradicate such misery as it is one addition to increase to the crime rate in society. She informs us that not only crime rates are high in the areas where homeless people are more rather prostitution and drug trafficking are also higher in these areas. I totally agree with his/ her this point that these problems are the implications of the challenges that the homeless people have to go through each day in their life on the streets. The writer justifies choosing this topic as Florida holds the peak when it comes to counting of homeless people in the US. People are not only suffering from total homelessness in fact, they don’t even a partial place to call their home. The writer comes up with the conclusion after taking surveys that domestic violenceis the peak reason for homelessness and in term of age, it was the youth between the age of 18 -24 who faced homelessness the most. As it is a very tough situation to eradicate thus the writer gives the idea that collaboration of all institutions is needed within Florida to effectively deal with this problem.
The purpose of this essay is not to just educate people about the homelessness and misery, but also to target the audience who can do something to come forward and help these people and brings more ideas to help find out solutions. As homelessness is a social injustice and inhuman way of living thus it is necessary for people to really think about the conditions of that theysuffer and take some action to help them. The writer makes us aware of the fact, homelessness is a virus that has preyed on its victim indiscriminate of caste, color, age or sex. I do agree with this statement, though we might have percentage of victims in different categories, but it does seem that this filthy virus has actually tasted all kinds of victims from healthy to diseased from differently -abled to disable. You never know who might be the next victim. Could be your next door neighbor! The writer appealsthat not just government and organizations must help but also all the institutions must come forward to help out these misfortune people is a nice one but I think the writer should have been more specific about it. The writer’s hard work related to the field research report is appreciated and very informative. I totally agree with the writer on the fact that it does seem an issue that should be in the list of the top priorities. The writer in his or her field research says “. In my research, therefore, I would like to agree to the fact that, instances of homelessness are detrimental towards the development of any city or town. Action should always be devised so as to salvage our communities from such aspects.”, something even I would agree with. Moreover, I think the strongest point of the writer in the essay is the way he/ she has given the statistics of homeless people and even more astonishing is the fact to see that how healthy people of young age are the ones outnumbering in the list of homeless people. “The population of homeless people in Florida has been increasing at a fast rate with time”, is a line which really makes me think about the situation that how badly it is eating up our society! It is really hurting to see the count of Palm Beach County homeless population and how it increased to 62%, whereaspublic schools in Florida acknowledged about 63,685 as homeless and how the global financial crisis is further adding to the number..Thus unemployed, homeless people have to at least have something to eat and there where we see them suffering and thus crimes increase and teenager of age as less as 14 years get into prostitution. Addiction disorder, high rated apartment, unemployment, financial problems, diseases like cancer and thyroid, are some factors given by the writer to justify why homelessness really takes place. The writer’s weakest point in the essay is about showing roper solution to the problem and being more informative. Though the essay starts with a very attractive note of bringing out our emotions for the homeless people, butwhat I find is even more important now is to find a solutionto this problem as well and also to know more about factors. Though the writer does agree that the societal norms and institutions are such that it has become a problem to find the root solution, but I still think she or he should have worked a bit more towards finding the solution as well, though I know it is a hard job even for me, but that’s what we really need to focus onto and also the more factors we come to know about the more it will help us to search for the solution. And talking of the cited work, the writer did mention the names in brackets while quoting the lines.The writer said in the very beginning that, “Significant interest will be on why the homeless people have been increasing in Florida and what is being done to deal with this problem.” But I believe she has not provided us with much information while she just discussed just few factors and topics related the matter.
The cited work of the writer, “Florida Coalition for the Homeless”, has been given but I don’t find much informationabout it in the essay related to the factors of homelessness and victims. This is a source which provides us with even more information than those which are given by the writer. Though I am aware of the situation through writer’s work, but you would be shocked to know that this is not there is more to this misery. There are many other factors which create this situation in our society. People suffering from mental illness, abusive relationship, elderly couples living on fixed income, people with depleting illness unable to work, people losing homes to foreclosure with no resource, people who are forced to relocate a home, people suffering from natural calamities like storm and so on, children who are out of foster care are all the victims of this virus called homelessness. Even the people making less than 19.6 dollars per hour are homeless in Florida. For solution this source even provides with ideas like providing with affordable housing, emergency shelter and transitional housing. It even gives an idea about some crisis and preventive methods that can be taken (as I quote their lines below):
“This crisis can include:
- Car break down,
- Unexpected medical expenses
- Loss of time (and pay) on the job when taking care of a sick child
- Job loss
- An injury that prohibits work
- Death of a family member
Prevention services include financial assistance for:
- Rent or mortgage payments
- Utility payments
- Car repairs
- Emergency homeless repairs
- Uniform and related employment expenses”
Thus, I guess the writer lacked in giving us more information related to his her essay which would have helped us to understand it even deeper.
Again from one of the cited works I came to know about this statement “When asked if any government organizations have made specifically to help people like him, he curtly responded “No”. According to him, the places where he has received the greatest amount of help are from private organizations, such as the Camillus House and the Salvation Army, and from passersby who offer some change for his empty coffee cup.” (Gregerson);which the writer could include in his her essay to really show the face of cruelty. Though writer says that government institutions are the ones helping, I guess this statement here at least proves his or her partially wrong because there are cases where people are not getting help from government. I think this is a serious issue to consider too.
The writer did not mention much of the recommended solutions of the “Council of homelessness” either, which can enlighten people even more related to the problem and how to go about it to solve it further. The different recommendations given are to focus on “meeting the
housing needs of households with Extremely Low Incomes, especially those with a disability or other special need; continuing support of community agencies which lead the homeless continuum of care planning process; providing flexible funding to support local initiatives to help persons exit homelessness; and prioritizing a state pilot to conduct a cost benefit analysis of providing affordable housing linked with support services for high utilizers of crisis services.” (Department of Children and Families).
I would like to add about the measures taken by the state to prevent homelessness:
“ The State plays a role in the administration of the following programs that directly benefit homeless people:
• Emergency Financial Assistance for Housing Program(EFAHP) - Provides help to families at-risk for homelessness. • Homeless Grant-in-Aid (Direct Service) Program - Funds community-based organizations which provide a range of support services to homeless people and people about to become homeless.• Local Homeless Coalitions - Provides limited funding for local groups to ensure adequate coordination, development of needed programs and public awareness about homelessness. • Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program - This is the largest of several federal initiatives that send money to states to address the needs of homeless people. This program provides grants to school districts and other local education agencies to ensure that homeless children have equal access to a free public education. • Domestic Violence Funding - Provides funding for services addressing domestic violence prevention and treatment. ss• Homeless and Runaway Youth Funding - Funds programming for homeless and runaway youth.” (Floridication for the homeless)
Even after taking these measures have not helped us enough to get rid of this societal disease. Thus we have to think hard to help these people come out of this misery. Our societal setup has been made in such a manner that poor people get poorer day by day and the number of people below poverty line are increasing every day! I believe we all individuals must take measure too, and help out as much as we can. At least we can start with sharing one blanket and humanity does bring peace. A person does not become criminal without seeing cruelty. In my opinion society plays a very vital role in shaping up an individual. At times circumstances force people to go over their morals and act for the living just for the necessity. Why cannot we learn from courtiers like Japan who even after facing such a big disaster like a tsunami is now able to restore their resources and help its people and not only that the tents are also made for homeless people! People are not left on the streets and then charged unnecessarily. Even more hurting is when we come to new like banning blankets for homeless people or arresting and charging high fees to homeless people. It feels like the miseries never end for these homeless people. I guess the writer failed to give more depth like these to bring out the reality.
Even more adding to the sufferings we come to know in news about the state these homeless people are really in. “In fact, Florida had more than double the number of hate crimes against the homeless in 2012 (15) as the runner-up, California (7), according to the report. Three of country's 18 fatal events occurred in Florida, including the running over of a 73-year-old in Tampa, the murder of a 43-year-old in Deerfield Beach by a suspect who wanted to kill a stranger, and the strangulation of a 40-year-old homeless man by two Hallandale Beach boys, ages 14 and 17, who had asked him to secure a prostitute.”(The Most Dangerous State For Homeless People Is: Florida. Again.)
Even more disgusting is the news that, “A Florida county has spent more than $5 million over the past nine years throwing chronically homeless people in jail, when it could have spent considerably less finding them shelter.” (A Florida County Spent Over $5 Million Jailing Homeless People. It could’ve Spent Less on Shelter)
The writer could specify certain story of a homeless individual to make people really reach out to understand how the homeless people feel and live. How it becomes tough for children emotionally. For example “Zach says he worries, about everything. Getting to school is tough. When his dad's paycheck dries up a few days early, there isn't money for gas. Sometimes, his mom says, he just doesn't want to go. Zach worries about their safety. Police arrested four people running a mobile meth lab near the motel the week before. There are sights and smells Zach had never come across before he lived here. At night, when the television is off, they hear things that scare them.” (Florida Homeless Students Face Emotional Challenges In Growing Numbers)
And thus, I believe the following measures should be taken to help eradicate the problems I mentioned above:
- Every individual should stand up for these homeless people. Contact the higher authorities who can help with this problem in your own locality.
- Do not volunteer the organizations which are money minded and work to gain profits more than taking homelessness in consideration.
- Make other people aware of the situation and spread the message to help these people as much as possible.
- Raise voice against the laws which exploit homeless people rather than helping them.
- Collect money to help homeless people but that does not mean you get personal with them. Do not bring them to your home. They are strangers too. You must help them to live a better life by eradicating the problems that bring homelessness.
- Ask the local authorities to provide for permanent tents or homes for homeless people.
- Show the homeless people that others do care about them.
I believe the writer certainly has given us generalized ideas about homelessness in South Florida, but failed to bring out points which also show corruption in levels that is not acceptable. Unsuitable laws or without the help of authorities and each and every individual we cannot bring homeless people to a better position. In fact, it is a very tough job already facing the way things are really working in our society. Being a homeless is not a crime and a person does not become homeless on his own choice. Circumstances force people and the factors mentioned above are the main reasons for people turning into homeless ones. I believe the writer could bring out these certain points and highlight them to show that true criminality is when we are not working to help the people and not when someone is pushed to unavoidable circumstances. Think about it a teenager becoming prostitutes in just two days of being homeless. What choice does one have? Laws keep charging and hunger keeps biting while the harsh weather is always there to shake them up. Where would a person go? Not everyone is born with good fortune and thus not everyone can live a life of luxury, but that does not mean we treat people worse than animals! Can you for a day think of staying outside your home alone on street with full of strangers? Now think what about these homeless people who have to live like dogs on the street. Talking about the measures that have already been taken could further help us know better what other measures can be taken to bring these homeless people in a better position. If these people live in a better position not only they will have a good future, but Florida would be known for its goodness to and the people of Florida could be proud citizens!
Florida Coalition for the Homeless. Homelessness in Florida, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.fchonline.org/pdf/2010%20-%20Homelessness%20in%20Florida%20 %20Final.pdf
Gregerson, Austin. Homelessness presents numerous problems for South Florida, 2014. Retrieved from http://students.com.miami.edu/netreporting/?page_id=1632
Wyman Scott. South Florida communities struggle with rise in homeless, 2011. Retrieved from http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-01-13/news/fl-homeless-winter-broward 20110113_1_end-homelessness-first-homeless-resource-center-homeless-people
Unknown, Floridification for the homeless, FAQs,2006. Retrieved from http://www.fchonline.org/FAQs.asp
Unknown, “The Most Dangerous State For Homeless People Is: Florida. Again”, 2013. Retrived from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/florida-homeless_n_4453312.html
Goldberg, Eleanor. “A Florida County Spent Over $5 Million Jailing Homeless People. It Could've Spent Less On Shelter”. The Huffington post.2014. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/07/housing-homeless-people-costs_n_4733524.html
Armario, Christine. “Florida Homeless Students Face Emotional Challenges In Growing Numbers”.2012. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/florida-homeless-students_n_1310212.html