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Homelessness as a social problem
Homelessness is a social problem that is accompanied by various underlying social and economic factors like lack of affordable housing, poverty, uncertain mental and physical health, family breakdown and addictions. Some people might be partially homeless whereby they experience temporary, uncertain or sub-standard shelter and others might be fully homeless whereby they totally live without shelter. Due to the complexity of defining homelessness, governments are faced with the challenge of dealing with uncertainty when developing and implementing strategies that are meant to effectively manage the social issue of homelessness.
In the current era, it is clear that the levels of homelessness are inevitable. It is not the choice of most people to be homeless ((Padgett et al., 2016). But rather, homelessness results from the failure of the social system to support people that are at the risk of homelessness. Most people overlook homelessness as a social problem because they understand that it is related to issues of addictions and mental health. In actual sense, viewing homelessness as an individual problem is not the right manner to address the issue. Homelessness is a social issue and it is to be associated with the failure of the society to ensure that there is adequate funding, support, and systems to ensure that all members of the society have access to housing. For the people that are experiencing homelessness, it is almost impossible for them to be able to battle addiction issues, get treatment for mental health and even get a job. Homelessness is a crisis that society is responsible for creating and it is the responsibility of society to solve it.
Homelessness and dignity
In most cases, homelessness is perceived as a moral and personal failure when in actual sense it is a political and structural problem that makes the growing inequalities in the society today very visible. As a result of the inequalities, the homeless people are left without the security of the physical space that they are entitled too through human rights. The homeless people that are forced to seek shelter, eat and sleep in public places are in most cases subjected to daily public condemnation, scrutiny, and violence. The homeless people that live in precarious housing conditions that lack the basic services get subjected to discrimination and being neglected. Generally, homeless people get subjected to criminalization, stigmatization, and discrimination because of their status.
Just like any other human being, the homeless people have human rights and they should be treated with dignity. Homelessness is not something that most people opt for. It is as a result of the treatment of housing as a commodity rather than a human right. The homeless people are exposed to serious deprivation of their dignity. It is the responsibility of society to make attempts to preserve the dignity of homeless people because they also deserve it.
According to the utilitarian ethical theory, everyone is required to adapt activities that considered to yield the highest utility. People should always think beyond their own conditions and conduct acts of kindness to homeless people to demonstrate dignity. The members of the society have the responsibility of volunteering and supporting the homeless people. While some people, might be reluctant to make their contributions towards helping the homeless people, it will be imperative to convince them that homelessness is a social issue that every member of the society should step in to help solve it.
Budgets as a moral document
During budget preparation, it will be important to give priority to the most important things. When preparing a budget for the homeless people, the first priority would be to give adequate allocation for health benefits. This will ensure that homeless people are able to access healthcare services. Good health will make the homeless people eligible to get jobs which enable them to contribute to growing the economy. The second priority would be to allocate funds towards the provision of basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. This will ensure that homeless people have a facility where they can live in instead of residing along the streets. The facility would be capsule houses where homeless people can sleep and bath (Wright, 2017). Apart from helping the homeless people, this will contribute to making the urban areas clean and reducing the crime rates. The third priority would be to allocate funds towards the provision of education to the homeless people. By offering the homeless people education, they will be able to gain skills that will make them qualified for job opportunities. Education will not only give the homeless people the ability to take care of their basic needs, but it will also give them an opportunity to contribute to the growth of the economy.