Monday, October 22, 2007

Project Proposal

3.5 million people, 39 percent of them being children, are homeless. Another 33.6 million Americans are living on the border of poverty, not being "poor enough" to receive food stamps or other forms of benefits. That is an unacceptable amount of people simply struggling to survive in this land of opportunity and possibilty. Across America homelessness rates are climbing to an all time high. And life isn't getting any easier for the homeless. More than 60 cities in America are working to make it illegal to beg or sleep in the streets, to sit in a bus shelter for more than an hour, or to walk across a parking lot if the person doesn't have a car parked there.

As I'm sure you can already tell, I'll be researching homelessness as an inconvenient truth. This is inconvenient because most people think that enough is being done as is to aid the homeless. Sure, there are many agencies, non-profit organizations, and shelters working for the cause, but it's just not cutting it. Everyday you can see people suffering from homelessness, and it doesn't phase most. You become accustomed to seeing the man outside Chipotle, asking for sandwiches, burritos, and spare change. It becomes "just a part of life." Well, this has to stop. No one deserves to live on the streets and and beg to survive. This topic affects me personally because I have seen the deep impact of homelessness. At my church back home we are members of a program called Interfaith. Basically it's a network of churches who host a group of homeless people for a week The church provides shelter and food while the Interfaith agency teaches job skills and financial strategies until the families have their own home and are self sufficient. Meeting and interacting with these people changed my opinions of the homeless. Seeing children who are so grateful for simple thing like food and blankets, things I take for granted daily, opened my eyes to the world outside of my bubble called Springboro. I had no idea how many people were homeless and just how bad life on the streets was.

In my research, I hope to find answers to the following questions: What are the main causes of homelessness? What leads to a life on the streets? How hard is it to be homeless? Is there not enough room in shelters for everybody, and if not why aren't these spaces being utilized? What steps must be taken/ how difficult is it to overcome homelessness? Can't wait to report to everybody about what I've learned!


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