Understanding Homelessness Essay

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Homelessness is not just a problem in our city but a problem everywhere in the world. The problem of homelessness has become one of the most urgent social and political issues of our time (King et al. 1989). Current estimates of the number of homeless persons on any given night range from 600,000 to 3 million (Whitman 1989).This type of problem makes people wonder why and how this issue sticks and how we, as a society can cure this problem that continues to affect thousands or even millions of people today. Surfing the web for answers will only give us the meaning of what is it like to be homeless, how the public views homelessness and how it affects these individuals, the economy and the society as a whole. What exactly does it mean to be homeless? This word means having no home or a permanent place to stay. For us to better our understanding on what homelessness really is, looking at in in various angles is necessary. To look at how different homeless people act in a society, looking at in a sociological perspective is necessary. Homelessness is a social problem that occurs and is prolonged in social structures. It is also a reason why social problems happen; social structure is important to survive in the society because it provides a social web where we can gain social support and relationships that links us to a larger society. The social organization and how it is maintained throughout the society is what the functionalism theory is all about. In a lot of the homeless people this connection has been lost, which results to losing both their dignity and their moral sense because of their homeless condition (Neal, 2004). Losing this interaction with others can take away their living, and worsen the way they live their lives. Newly homeless individuals are likely to feel unsure of what to do because they are unable to function in their new environment. Social
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