Youth Voice Their Opinions on Homelessness

Homeless People Are Not Different

by Victor Penro

Homeless people are treated like inferior beings by other people. It is not right for people to treat

the homeless like that. Homeless people die by being ignored. Actually, homeless people have greater spirits then most people with houses. The reason why they have a greater spirit is that they go through a lot in life other people cannot handle. The government is not doing much to help the homeless. I think they should make a new system to help homeless people get off the streets.

I do my best to help homeless people because I can understand the pain of having the feeling of not surviving because they do not have a place a live. There are ways to help the homeless people get a place to live. The Grapevine Newspaper is a good idea for making money for the homeless people. The police on the street do not treat the homeless people right when they are trying to stay warm. They force the homeless off benches, hassle the homeless, and pick on them. The police should bring blankets for the homeless to use and transport them to places the homeless need to go to. Eight out of ten homeless people do not live to get off the streets.

Homeless people are in danger on the streets. Sometimes homeless people get murdered for no reason while sleeping on benches and in alleys. Statistics show this happening with one out of six homeless people. The reason some homeless are killed is that some people are severely bothered by homeless people or for the reason of insanity. That’s terrible. They have been through enough already and they get killed. The bottom line is homeless people need special help from us and we are not providing it. That is the main reason homeless people need to get off the streets.


Alone With No Home

by Travis Lichtenfeld

Do you ever wonder who the homeless are, or get scared when they ask you for money? Well, I did and I was taught to ignore them. The stereotypes and the abuse the homeless get are rude and mean. People act as if they are so perfect, and that the homeless are absent minded and disgusting. There's more to homelessness than that, and you can't judge a homeless individual by their looks or way of living. We are brought up in a community that deals with schooling, job opportunities, food in every cupboard, and at least ten outfits in our closet. If you take everything in the last sentence and make it the opposite, you will get a little idea of how life is for homeless people.

I think people only worry about themselves and look past the struggling homeless population. You may think that it is their fault and they just don't care, but most always that is not true! I believe that the homeless have more wisdom and courage than most of us. They are not proud of the lifestyle they live, and they try to fit in with the general public.

Shelters are a great thing for those in need, but most of them are over-crowded and they have to turn down many people. I think the systems some of the shelters have are extremely helpful. The residents can learn job skills and they are encouraged to find a job. At some of the shelters, children can receive a free check-up at a clinic. In shelters or soup kitchens, they do not serve the kind of food that a very young child needs for healthy growth and development. Homelessness affects us all, we've seen it all, heard it all, and we all need to try to prevent it!


Situation Homelessness

by Jay Robbins

The unit that we learned was on the homeless and what kind of people they are. I have learned a lot about the homeless and how the homeless shelters work. I feel good when I give the unfortunate something because then I feel that I’ve helped someone in some way. I’m glad I learned more about the homeless because now I have a better understanding of what kind of people they are and what types of things they have to go through. I think that the government should help and give money to shelters so that they can expand more of their shelters, and so more homeless won’t be left on the street.

Before this unit on homelessness my view on them was a little different. I felt that all homeless were filthy, smelly, slept on the streets, and robbed people of their money. I thought that before I knew some of the facts about the homeless and what hard times they go through. My viewpoint after the unit are that most homeless people used to have jobs, families, and used to live in nice houses. I also know now that they are not treated very nicely. People think of them as a lower form of human life, and some percentage of them could be mentally ill or sick. Some of them have jobs but they don’t pay enough to put food on the table and they also don’t get paid enough to pay rent. I’m really glad that we had this unit on the homeless because now I have more knowledge on the subject.

When Angelo Anderson and Tom Hayes came to speak to us about homelessness, I got a lot of information, especially from Angelo because he used to be homeless and so he would know the most about the homeless. He told us how he was when he was homeless and how he is now. He said it was hard for him but now he's holding a part-time job and also gets a little profit from The Homeless Grapevine. He also said that it was hard to do it by himself because he was the oldest in the family and people always came to him for help. In the homeless population there are 45% unaccompanied men, 14% unaccompanied women, 40% families, 26% under the age of 18, 34% mentally ill, 11% physically disabled, and 21% domestic violence victims. The most common cause of homelessness in the U.S. is loss of income. A big reason is when factories close down and all those people become unemployed.

In conclusion, I think it was a good choice of units and I think you should do it next year so that more people will become sensitive about homelessness.


Homelessness

by Eugene Yakubov

From what I have learned over the last two months about homelessness, my feelings have somewhat changed. Before I began to study homelessness In my reading class, my prior knowledge was that homeless people got homeless by a lot of stuff they should not have done, like drinking too much, being too lazy to go to work, or too lazy to find a job. So I pretty much thought negatively about the homeless.

From what I learned over these past couple weeks was that not all homeless people are that way. My opinion on this was that these lessons are great because they teach us about life. Also, a lot of kids need to know what is really happening in our society. They need to look outside their homes.

Beachwood Schools have done a great job of teaching kids like me about homelessness and how to take charge in this world problem. I feel the homeless have a lot of choices if they want to get help. They could go to a lot of places to get themselves back on the right foot. First, they could stay at a shelter and get themselves settled in and get a little money to spend. And then they could try to find a job. If they really want help there are a lot of shelters that could help them get their life back.

I believe that most homeless people became homeless by messing up their lives by drinking, using drugs, and all that bad stuff. But not all homeless people became homeless like that. A lot of them became homeless when their job closed down and they had no money to support their family.

I learned a lot of lessons about homelessness that could help me in life, one of them being if you are in trouble and you have no confidence in yourself, you try to pull yourself up and do whatever it takes to pull yourself up.

Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine published March – April 1996 – Issue 14