Homeless Population Research Paper

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Vulnerable Populations Anamarie Donegan BSHS/302 March 21, 2011 Monique Foster Vulnerable Populations There are many different populations in society today. Many of these populations face more challenges than others. One such population is the homeless population. “There are 671,859 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States” (National Alliance to End Homelessness). In this paper, the topic of discussion will be the vulnerable state of homeless people and how critical thinking is used to identify the causes of problems or issues for this population. The homeless population face many problems in day-to-day living. The issues focused on in this paper are the history of the population, the nature…show more content…
Substance abuse, mental illness, and poor health are just a handful of problems encountered by many individuals in the homeless population. The causes of these issues can be determined using critical thinking. Critical thinking is defined as “the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion” (dictionary.com, 2011). An individual seeking to understand the causes of the issues mentioned would make an inference based on an assumption about the issue. For instance, many homeless individuals struggle with substance abuse. A person could infer that a homeless individual turns to substance abuse because he or she wants to numb the feelings of pain and failure he or she has because he or she cannot provide adequate housing or perhaps because they are feeling isolated from their friends and family. To make this inference one would have to assume that being homeless makes an individual believe they are inadequate and causes distance between the homeless individual and his or her family and friends. This may be true for some people, but not all homeless people believe that being homeless is a bad thing. Many of these homeless individuals may have had a pre existing substance abuse problem and became homeless because family members were no longer willing to enable self-destructive behavior. In a case like this, the individual essentially chooses to be homeless instead of obtaining assistance for his or her substance abuse issues. Another example of using critical thinking to understand the cause of an issue can be made by trying to understand mental illness among the homeless population. An inference can be made that mentally ill individuals become homeless as a result of his or her inability to provide a stable environment for his or herself. This is based on the assumption that mentally ill individuals

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