Poverty, an Injustice in America
How many times have you been on your way home, or somewhere around downtown, and at a stoplight you see someone sitting at the intersection with a cardboard sign that reads something along the lines of, Homeless and hungry? If you have ever been in a car that passes through a large city in the U.S., then like most others you probably have. What have these people done to be in a situation like this? What can you do to help? Are they really homeless? These are commonly asked questions, however few really take the time to find the answer. An outstanding injustice that I see prevalent in todays society is the amount of people living in poverty in the United States.
One reason for this travesty is due to the change in standard of living in the United States. Within just the last ten years middle class Americas standard of living has shot through the roof. There is, however, a line that is uncontrollably drawn between those who are well off, and those who are not. The trend tends to be that those who are on the upper end of this line have a sufficient amount of income, and are able to live the life that they want. Those on the other end however, usually barely make enough to live off of. In more extreme cases, such as in some other countries, the only financial classes are rich and poor. It has been the trend through time that all successful societies have gone through this rich/poor stage of financial turmoil shortly before its end.
Where do these people go? That is another good point to address when dealing with the issue of poverty and homelessness. Most can be found either literally living on the streets like we most commonly see. Others have small shacks or rundown houses that they drudge through day to day. The rest are usually in shelters provided by the city or the U.S. government. These shelters typically consist of a large room such as a gym at a community center, or a YMCA. What about those who dont have or cant get access to a shelter? These are the unfortunate ones. Those who cannot seek shelter, food, or some sort of income will ultimately die if nothing is done to change their situation.
What does this mean to the rest of us? You wouldnt think it, but we have more to do with it than most people would think. Who pays for the shelters, the government right? Wrong. You pay taxes therefore you pay for them. You are, whether you realize it or not, paying for these people to stay alive. Essentially you, along with every other tax-paying citizen in the United States, are funding these shelters and various feed the needy programs.One unfortunate truth in this matter is the issue of prejudice. Most people wouldnt give the time of day to a homeless person on the street much less help them out.
So, what can we do then? Simple. Respect is the answer. A simple gesture of human kindness is the first crucial step to solving this injustice. They are people too, and just like you and I they would love to be treated just the same as a man in a business suit asking the time, with respect. This wont be easy, as there are a whole lot of thickheaded people in the United States. But if we work together to bring these people back up, then we can indefinitely make a difference.