The state of deprivation due to the lack of necessities is called poverty. It is the inability to meet the basic needs like access to clean water, education, health, clothing and shelter etc. It is the state of lacking the socially acceptable level of monetary or mental possession. World Bank defines poverty as a pronounced deprivation in well-being and It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. Scarcity of basic needs, barriers to opportunities due to illiteracy, high cost of getting education and high competition are some of the basic causes of poverty. Poverty affects the health of poor people badly.
A poor person can be described by disease, hunger and less education. Poverty has made it impossible for people to have housing. Violence is increasing as the effect of poverty. That has made slavery and human trafficking a common practice in the world. UN reports that the most common trafficking is in the form of prostitution and poverty pushes them to put their self respect, dignity and moral values aside for the sake of food, clothing and shelter. Child abuse, drug abuse and other such practices are also common.
At any given point, about 13 to 17 percent of the US population is living under the poverty line. In 2009, Reuters reported a 15 years high in the poverty rate of U.S. The official threshold set by US government in order to measure poverty in the sense of lack of those items taken for granted by mainstream society members. The most striking situation is the fact that the poverty in U.S is increasing to record highs and its approaching the levels of 1960. It is worth consideration to take measures to avoid any war like the national war on poverty. Data from Agriculture department and Census bureau of America was used by Feeding American claiming 3.5 million children (under 5 years) at the risk of hunger.
It has come to my attention that Poverty and Homelessness has become a great concern in our society. When I compared populations in America, the disparities in health, income, education etc were striking. I present a comparison between two ethnicities i-e American Indians and Hispanics.
This chart analyses the Disparities between two special populations of America. The data shows that the educational, economic and health conditions of American Indians are better than Hispanic/Latino Groups. In spite of low population of American Indians they are better off when compared to Hispanics/Latinos. The percentage population of American Indians who was infected by HIV in 2007 was only 0.4% as compared to 27% of the Hispanics/Latinos. The education level is nearly the same at Bachelor’s level with a difference of only 1.5%.
But there are higher disparities at Post Graduation level. Parental Care is also better in American Indians population. The poverty level of American Indians is comparatively higher than Hispanics. There has been nearly equal number of Initiatives taken to improve the living status of each group. More disparities are found in health care especially for infectious diseases like HIV. There needs to be more vigilant initiatives to be taken to enhance the health standard of these groups.
I have observed the symptoms of poverty and homelessness in my surrounding. It has intrigued me to think critically about the solutions. Poverty not only affects the person inwardly, it affects his personality, attitude and outlook too. I experienced that the immigrants are facing real problems due to it. Hispanics are the people who are in the clenches of poverty in a greater percentage.
Precarious livelihoods are the fate of poor people I observed. They have to live in excluded locations away from the main frame areas. Gender relationships between poor are different. They find difficulty in knitting the knot with other people living in the same society. Mostly it is due to unwelcoming behavior of privileged people. They find a lack of security because they don’t have any belonging which could prove to be helpful in need and they don’t even have a roof to cover them.
The treatment of those in power is abusive and un-empathetic. People like us, normally don’t and probably can’t feel the pain of suffering of those people. They are never empowered and kept away from taking part in policies and procedures of important nature. Their opinions are given a light weight. Due to this type of interaction, the poor and homeless people are victimized by limited capabilities. Their bonding with the community weakens more and more by such ignorance of other people.
My suggested solution to the problem of Homelessness and Poverty includes many ways. The most basic one is education. There is a high correlation between income and education. When people will be educated, they will have better chances to work and they will be earning more. In this way they will not be deprived of necessities of life.
Advocacy at every level is the dire need of the hour. In this way, public policy and decision of allocating resources will be affected in all the systems like social, political and economic. Public speaking, media campaigns, public research and commissioning should be done to understand and fulfill the needs of deprived people and bring them out of the vicious circle of poverty. The poor should also be involved in decision making related to them. They ,being the noble citizens of the state, must be given opportunities to argue, set agenda and speak up for their rights on an organized platform. Their voices must be listened carefully.
Our legislation should never forget that their main concern should be the rehabilitation of underprivileged people. Such laws should be made which could give special treatment to the poor. State housing needs to be increased. Public health facilities targeting the immigrants and homeless people should be brought. Such laws should be made that the poor from various special populations should be given admissions in school, colleges and universities. A quota system can be established to fill out a specific number of seats at educational institutions by such people. Violent and immoral outcome due to poverty should be kept in mind and must be discouraged. Such activities should be observed keenly and resolved vigilantly because we have to save our systems from such misdoings due to poverty. Food bank should be established and fulfill the needs of such people.
All the people of US need to join hands in uplifting the standard of living of their fellow Americans. Charity and social work should be done on voluntary basis and on continuous basis. Our community needs to be organized so that we can fight against this evil which creates disparities within our nation and created distances among us.
There should be a detailed record of each population, the level of income, educational facilities, health facilities, and shelter etc. When we will have record, then the efforts will be directed properly and in the right direction. Our government and non-government working for poverty alleviation should be given special facilities regarding research and availability of funds.
The immigrants’ issues must be resolved. Most of the people who experience homelessness are immigrants. We should make sure that their needs are fulfilled adequately. Insurance and health facilities should be given to them without any discrimination.
It is not sufficient to supplement the income of poor people by giving aid in the form of food stamps etc. Rather, work needs to be done on its eradication. Self-sufficiency of such people is the only solution.
Adequate housing options for Single Men, Pregnant women, Women, Children and at least one special interest group.( i.e. Persons Living with AIDS, Mental Health patients, parents in the child welfare system)
Housing has become an extremely worth-considering issue. In the 21st century, the number of women who are homeless has continued to grow substantially. It is observed that homeless women begin to suffer with chronological problems earlier than the homeless women. They are more vulnerable to sex abuse due to homelessness.
Pregnant women, on the other hand, face intense problems of taking care of themselves during pregnancy. Stress level is found very high among such women. These effects can cause serious psychological problems affecting the health of their yet to born child.
Single men are also seen homeless very commonly. Drug abuse is found very common. They suffer from mental and physical problems. Unemployment and joblessness leave them deprived of any house. They have to sleep in streets.
The most lovable creature on earth, the children, are also a victim of brutal poverty. They have to work when other people study. They have to suffer from physical and biological problems. They get mature before maturity because of the brutalities and suffering of life in poverty. Their grooming is not adequate and up to the mark. Their education, health and entertainment suffer.
It is a fact that the rate of criminal victimization is common in homeless people as compared to those who have homes. People suffering from deadly diseases like AIDS are left in solitude and ignorance. They don’t have food, money or home. Their situation is found more miserable than any animal.
We need to step up and join our hands to help eradicate poverty and homelessness. Women should be given special opportunities to earn their living under safe atmosphere and an adequate site to stay. Such programs should be initiated where they get all the amenities of life. Their life should be safe from problems.
Pregnant women should be registered in hospitals where they could get care and treatment. The months of pregnancy should be carefully administered. After delivery, adequate arrangements for food and security of the mother and the new born should be made. The mother can be given an opportunity to work for the sustenance of the child and herself.
The homeless children with parents and without parents should be given special considerations. Children are our future and we have to take preemptive measures for the betterment of their future. They should be given monthly scholarships and their parents should be given a reasonable job so that their family become self sustainable. The children who don’t have families or they are orphans, they should be registered and kept at well-organized places by government or other organizations.
The homeless single men should be brought back to work. The policy makers should vigilantly observe that no employee should be terminated without proper reason. A complete and detailed statistical data must be maintained to keep record of such people. State or NGO owned housing should be provided to such people otherwise they might get involved in moral and ethical violations like theft and drug abuse etc.
Statistics of special group of people suffering from AIDS should be maintained. An arrangement for their treatment should be made. They should be provided special and peaceful housing where they can intermingle with other people suffering from the same problem. It will bring them to life when they will interact with the people of same type. Well-trained administration should take care of them. They must be freed from the tension of shelter to live a peaceful life.
The solutions will have a significant impact on the betterment of those people. The women, children and other ethnic populations including immigrants will be relieved by initiating serious rehabilitation programs. There are huge disparities found between the level of poverty and homelessness between different people. The solution of poverty alleviation will bridge the gap present between different ethnicities like Indians, Hispanics, and Whites etc. These disparities create resentment among them.
By providing equal opportunities to all the ethnicities without any discrimination, the whole nation will prosper. Immigrants will get proper work to earn their living, adequate housing to live and opportunities to grow. Prosperity at individual levels will bring prosperity to the nation as a whole. The output and GDP of our country will be increased because most people will be working. When this change will be brought the government and non-government have to take radical actions. But once the system starts working, the government investments will decrease and the system will become self-sustainable.
No doubt that tremendous effort has been done by government and other NGOs to eradicate the most vital issue of poverty. Different programs were initiated at different times which impacted out society. Government efforts are more resourceful and thus more impact.
Government and other non-government agencies have done many efforts to reduce poverty along with its effects. These efforts range from its focus on neighborhood to the whole nation. Different groups are targeted to focus i-e children, immigrants and homeless people. There has been a recent debate focusing on the need for such policies which are centered upon both the asset poverty and income poverty.
Government started a program to send funding to the homeless people. In the recent past, Bush administration started a program to eradicate chronic poverty. 10-year plan was deigned to achieve the aim. An award of over $48 million in grants was announced in 2003 to serve the needs of homeless people.
A recent innovation i-e Housing first was introduced by federal government’s Interagency Council on Homelessness. This program invites cities to bring solution to end chronic type of homelessness. On May 20, 2009, Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 was signed by President Barack Obama. World bank and UN also works in these areas. The performance is found quite satisfactory but more is needed to be done. We need decisive actions to be taken to cope up with this problem. Such actions should be taken that neither the minorities nor the immigrants should suffer while living in our coutry.
Poor and homeless will be valued in society by uplifting their personal and social dignity. They should be provided with platform where they can speak up. When they will be listened and cared, they will be encouraged to participate productively .There fears should be wiped out. Reliable security measures should be made. At educational institutions, they should be treated equally. Their needs for adequate clothing should be taken care to save them from any resentment while studying and living with other people.