We Should Not Discriminate the Homeless

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Dan Murray teacher English 112 April 9th 2011 We Should Not Discriminate the Homeless Many Americans live just a few paychecks away from homelessness. Being so it seems that most would have certain sympathy toward homeless people. However, it’s quite the opposite. Even as people see those around them, people they were once friends with, become homeless, the fears and hatred remain. Some people fear and hate homeless people so much that even if they know the people, such as when their sibling becomes homeless, they apply those same hatreds and fears to the people who cared for them. They'd sooner believe that someone they knew and loved has become a bad or lazy person than believe that homelessness can happen to any good person! Homeless people are despised, labeled as lazy and worthless. I don't think this is because Americans are insensitive or unable to feel empathy. I have a few theories as to why homeless people are so despised and why we should not discriminate them. For numerous people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of homeless people are panhandlers. Most people tend to place beggars and non-beggars in the same category giving the great majority a bad name. Only a very small percentage of homeless people beg. For instance, on any given day in downtown Chicago you can find about fifteen to thirty people begging for change on the sidewalks. However, Chicago is home to somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000 homeless people; the vast majority never begs (Homeless in Chicago.) The beggars and panhandlers have come to be seen as the face of homelessness. These faces make up probably less than one percent of all homeless people. The people who beg are often those with mental illnesses or addiction issues, making the face of homelessness a very disturbing one. Having a mental health disability can make it very difficult to work enough to
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