As one travels through the cities and towns across the United States you see the faceless multitudes drifting from place to place. For you and me it is just another day in paradise. But, for those countless millions all across the country their plight continues unmercifully with no respite in sight. Day after day, night after night no place lay their weary souls just left out in the cold. Their plight has only grown in numbers. As of today in the state of Washington alone there are over 60,000 children roaming the streets. That is just the children that they account for. And, there are thousands more adults, and families seeking shelter each night. These numbers themselves indicate that there is something drastically wrong in our society today. In New York City there are close to 70,000 homeless adults and children and many more encamped in old subway tunnels. The fact of the matter is that in every major city and even in rural areas there continues to be a growing percentage of our population forced into a vicious cycle that is almost impossible to break free.
Who ever thought that in this 21st century more of our citizens have lost their homes at a rate equal to that of the Great Depression of the 1930’s. This dramatic rise in homelessness is attributed to many factors starting with the way our economy has shifted from being the most dominate one in the world following World War II to one that is almost totally dependent on imports relative to a service oriented base economy today. The manufacturing economic structure that we had 40 years ago is no longer around. With this change the middle class jobs that created the wealth and stability that once secured the United States as the premier country for the world’s goods has steadily evaporated. Slowly and steadily the wages, the types of jobs, and the middle class that produced the greatest economic expansion in Americas history from 1946-1963 are at the lowest level since the 1930’s. This shift of the majority of the population from middle income stature to low income and poverty levels just shows how far this nation has gone in reverse. Most of the population today are no longer able to save money or pay down debt. Instead they have created the enormous debt that have contributed to the current economic crisis.
More Americans were lurid into the worst housing collapse since the 1930’s by way the financial institutions and the banks rewrote the rules on lending practices. What we now know as the easy qualify only to find out later they couldn’t afford to make their mortgage payments. Stagnant wages, loss of jobs, and health problems have all contributed to the rise of homelessness all over the country. People are finding it more difficult everyday to come up with ways to pay rents for apartments or landlords can’t afford the upkeep of their properties and are forced to close leaving the occupants with no place to go. With personal savings at record lows these citizens who have been force out of their apartments or homes due to job loss, foreclosure, fire or any other disaster don’t have the funds set aside for moving or down payment and are forced out into the cold leaving them with no where to go. As of yet Banks still after receiving all that billions of bailout funds from Uncle Sam the foreclosure rate nation wide is still climbing
While more and more people being swept into this situation cities and towns still look at these persons with scorn and disdain, as it was their fault to begin with. In part some might agree but the bottom line is municipalities have to ban together to help and eliminate this scourge on us all. It is occurring at an alarming rate in every city and town all across America. If the United States citizens and the United States Government don’t alleviate this crisis soon every citizen will be affected.
There is a dramatic physical and mental national health concern with the vast numbers of people that are homeless. These people find it almost impossible to find and secure the beneficial food that is so important to maintain ones own physical health and if these people continue to live this way many will succumb to mental and other health problems causing further financial and economic hardship on the rest of the population in the United States.
This problem is so acute that the Government must take action now to avoid a major catastrophe from developing. In many cities it is already happening. The citizens of the United States have to change the perception on the plight of the homeless because today many of us could be swept into this situation at any time. The creation of living wage jobs for all that needs one would make a huge difference. One that would impact the entire economic future of the United States. A national WPA type of program that has already started has of yet to produce a reduction in the numbers of homelessness across the country.
To vastly reduce the increasing plight of so many only a total reform of governmental policies will be effective. The current economic policies to date have only made it far too easy for major business to capitalize on foreign investment rather than domestic investment. Until governmental policies reform business today will only continue to sacrifice the American worker for more profit from foreign investment. This again is a major contributor to the ever increasing numbers of our citizens who are forced out into the cold.The plight of so many of our citizens today is a major blight on our society in the opinion of the nations of the world. To shift investment away from foreign markets that have been producing huge dividends and profits to the wealthiest few to produce the same or greater return on investments by hiring more Americans to put the unemployment rate under 3.5% nationally with real living wages using more Americans would be one sure way of securing the success of eliminating the plight of homelessness in America.