Homelessness can happen to just about anyone. To be considered someone homeless, someone has to NOT have a primary permanent place of residence. Staying in a shelter, hotel/ motel room, even crashing at a friend’s home for an extended amount of time considers a person to be homeless. While most people may think that being homeless may affect a certain gender, age, and ethnic background. It most certainly doesn’t not, anyone can experience this epidemic. A common reason a person can get caught in the downfall of becoming homeless, is hardship in the economy.
Hardships can happen to everyone; the difference is that people have different ways of getting out of them. The leading reason in the beginning stages of experiencing homelessness starts with the economy. The rise of having to pay for a home and the low minimum wages that America faces varying from state to state. As a common factor in this country this is the leading way for the economy to begin having issues, living with lack of money. Recessions affect jobs as well, having to get and give budget cuts trickles down from the top of the chain to the bottom which leads to unemployment. Although according to the U.S department of Labor, since 2016 the United States has hit a National low in unemployment. ( https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000 ) It is still a factor that is high in undergoing the loss of a home. Having a job doesn’t really mean you are in a clear and great living situation. Living in poverty is among the high reasons families or individuals become homeless. According to the Census Bureau the highest recorded percentage amount below the United States poverty level hit 22.4 percent back in 1959. Since 2016, 40.6 million people were recorded to be in poverty. With the federal poverty line median for a family of three at $20,160.http://familiesusa.org/product/federal-poverty-guidelines#2016 ( https://poverty.ucdavis.edu/faq/what-current-poverty-rate-united-states ), (https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2017/demo/p60-259.html ). All this talk about the economy and job reducing leads to the fact that low wages. In an article about how stuff works by Stephanie Watson, she broke down how the minimum wage in Philadelphia wouldn’t work for someone. Having a job Philadelphia that pays the base amount of $7.25 an hour. You could work all 40 hours a week and missing no time for a full year. Your earnings will be about $15,080.00, while the poverty line is just above $17,000. Working a full-time job could be the beginning of a struggle to stay afloat jut to get by. Working to your fullest potential in the city of Philadelphia alone is not good enough for the city to live a comfortable life (https://money.howstuffworks.com/homeless2.htm ).
Homelessness doesn’t have a preference of people to drop on. Difficult enough to count how many people are actually homeless and their specific reasons why. The United States has recorded back in 2014, about 1.49 million people used homeless shelters as a mean for living. About 578,424 people were on record not using shelters for help, that not being fully accurate in the amount of people that may have not been accounted for. Information like this is used for the Department of Housing and Urban development to figure out plans to help the less fortunate. https://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2016/02/counting-street-sleepers People who once serve this county count as almost 50,000 alone in the United States. Veterans become mentally ill and unstable. They receive a monthly pension benefit which isn’t enough to be fit for living, but their lives were good enough to protect this country. Although homelessness sees no color, families of color are over represented in statistics. A percentage of African American families make up about 43 percent, 15 percent of the nation’s homeless families are Hispanics. White families come to be 38 percent, while Native Americans show 3 percent in the nations families that are recorded to be homeless. http://www.greendoors.org/facts/family-homelessness.php
Assisting people comes in many forms of not just with money. Although people in predicaments such as becoming or that are experiencing homelessness don’t ask, help is always needed and appreciated. At the rate of housing development growth and if job loss keeps climbing, it could only get worst. There are about 3,000 homeless shelters and supportive housing organizations in the city of Philadelphia. One man took it a step farther and lifted spirits, Brennon Jones a native to Chester Pennsylvania.
He lifts spirits by cutting the hair of not just homeless men but women as well. The most common spot to see homeless people in Philadelphia is Center City and for the past couple of months he has been taking his time out to of his day to travel with equipment as a mobile barbershop. His plan was to give back the confidence lost by many, to keep motivated and move pass the struggle and the stereotype of being looked at as homeless and to start a new look on life. Brennon’s act of kindness sparked much media attention and the attention of someone who took his kindness to a new level. Another person, Sean Johnson a barbershop owner donated one of his vacant shops to Brennon to continue this tradition. By going in a more stable and warm environment, this shows another way of giving back to the homeless without using money, Sean and Brennon keep this legacy alive by having Monday called Makeover Monday. Specifically, for the less fortunate these two men and many others donate their time to feed, give toiletries and a little tender love and care. Building the spirits and showing that the community has not forgotten them in their time of need.
A break in the bank can break down a person’s mental state. There are many reasons to become homeless and everyone in the United States can be affected by this epidemic. Although since the great depression the rate of homelessness has decreased, the rate is still at an alarming rate. There needs to be a better way the government can come up with to save peoples families from this horrific state. For now, more people like Sean and Brennon and other like them that donate time at shelters can ban together to help in their communities on family or individual at a time.
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