Homelessness: Choice or Circumstances?

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May 9, 2013 English 101 Homelessness: Choice or Circumstances? There are an estimated 650,000 homeless people in the United States, and this number has been steadily increasing since 2009. There is no question to the fact that homelessness takes up a startling percentage of the 313.9 million people that take up the United States of America. The main question is: how many of these individuals are homeless by choice, and how many of them are victims of unforeseen tragedies that are out of their control and therefore forced into homelessness with no other options? The two essays: “Homeless Man Interviews Himself” by Albert Bliss and “Untouchables” by Kozal discuss these two very different viewpoints on the subject of homelessness. The two men’s opinions cannot be compared in the traditional sense of “for or against homelessness”, but rather two astoundingly different types of homelessness. It is at times rather difficult to clearly decipher the difference between a person that is homeless by choice or by circumstances, especially from an outsider’s perspective without first speaking to the particular homeless person at hand and learning their personal story as to what brought them to their current position. These two essays offer the viewpoints from an “outsider’s” perspective as well as an actual homeless man’s perspective and therefore shed light on both sides. It is up to the reader to decide which type of homelessness should be considered more or less problematic to society. Based on these readings, I feel that people that are homeless by choice are in some ways more problematic to society than those that are homeless due to circumstances. In the story “Homeless Man Interviews Himself”, Bliss writes an entire article in which he is literally interviewing himself. He is asking and answering questions about his own personal experience as a man who is homeless

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