Sociology Essay

1177 words - 5 pages

Homelessness in America

Homelessness in America is a social problem that we are faced with on a daily basis. Despite the vast number of research done by Americans on homelessness, little is still known about the effect that it has on our society. The overall image that emerges from the effects of homeless people is negative: they’re seen as lazy, drug users, alcoholics, and worthless. This study recovers some of the homelessness perspective for an American audience through research, data, and an interview by a homeless person living in Georgia. This study ...view middle of the document...

Homelessness-like other extreme social problems- often develop gradually over time and from extreme situations. These extreme situations could be violence from parents, institutionalization, prostitution, drug and alcohol abuse, emotional or psychological problems, depression, or loss of job. All of these extreme situations could lead to a person becoming homeless.
I was able to do an interview with a 42 year old female individual that was once homeless and is now trying get back on her feet. I conducted this interview with Ms. Gregory on 10/ 11/12. It was a very sad and emotional interview. I asked Ms. Gregory how she became homeless. Her response was that she had lost her job of 12 years due to the plant closing. Ms. Gregory did get a severance pay but it wasn’t much. Her bills were getting harder and harder to pay each year. She was divorced shortly after losing her job and didn’t really have family that she could rely on. After the first four years of her losing her job, and the unsuccessfulness of finding a new one in the state that she was currently in, she decided to move to Georgia only to become more disappointed. She had found a cheaper apartment but still no luck with finding a job due to her lack of experience. She eventually had to give up her apartment and she lived in her car for 6 months. She would take wash-ups at the gas station and started eating thrown out trash that wasn’t molded or spoiled. She started using drugs to temporarily end her pain, soon after that she started prostituting for money and drugs. She came to a near death experience that lead her to want to do better and to turn her life around. She came across a sign for addicts and she had herself emitted into the program. They provide a temporary place for her to stay and food to eat. They train for different jobs and they help homeless women get back on their feet. This was the place that I conducted my interview. Many people don’t see homeless individuals as social beings and they are. I was truly touched by her story. It shed some light that all homeless people didn’t just become homeless from drug use but entered into it after becoming homeless. This creates social implications. Some of those implications are a person not having food to eat; a home to leave in and support their families; and no job to provide for them.
Experts blame it on the economy, mainly lack of affordable housing and the great depression. According to Korgen and Furst (2012), in late 2007; a cascade of complex economic events converged, leading to a dramatic drop in American housing prices, the collapse of huge financial institutions, and downturns in...

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