Casualties of Political Wars – The Homeless…
The homeless cannot sleep on cold nights, they gather around a burning barrel, men, women and children, forgotten, shattered and despised. In the distance, a baby cries. Begging for food, living on the streets, no jobs, family no longer sound. The spirit freezes, fruit of labors rot, life squeezes and struggles to persist. Bad luck smothering heart and soul, hope ceases to exist. Shifting winds turn into storms, will the world grow wiser or beaten back into servility? Trust departed, a cardboard box in the streets is where the homeless make their beds, hope disappears and the future appears dead.
Homelessness represents both a policy problem and a political dilemma in the United States. In the wealthiest economy in the world, the fact that individuals and families lack housing and must live on the streets, in their cars, or in congregate shelters calls into question the basic functioning of the social safety net and suggests that something is deeply wrong with the political and economic priorities of the country. Yet the dominant discourse in the United States proposes that at least some percentage of homeless people are at fault for their situations; their dysfunctional behavior, aberrant choices, and lack of a work ethic explain their homelessness more than economic inequalities or policy priorities. As the analysis of policy approaches below suggests, political and policy choices may explain, at least in part, the growing numbers of children who are homeless.
Social system dislocations—an increasing rate of poverty, a deteriorating social “safety net,” the steady loss of low-skill employment and low-income housing, and others—have created a situation … where some people are essentially destined to become homeless. In so many words, we now have more poor and otherwise marginalized people than we have affordable housing in which to accommodate them.
Love and Peace
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