The Homelessness Culture in the United States
Culture is the description of the way of living of a given group of people, based on their social norms, beliefs, religion, and their general perception by the rest of the society. The homeless are a diverse group of people how every the overarching trait is that they have no permanent shelter and often live in vehicles and tents.
They all do not have a home, a physical place that offers freedom, the ability to be oneself, and lack a sense of security. Home also provides an environment that facilitates social connections, for example, the facilitation of family relations. Therefore, a home is a physical location and an environment where meaningful connections can be made. Thus, for an individual who has been homeless for a significant period of time, they need to be resettled and be rehabilitated back to taking care of their responsibilities.
This Homelessness Culture Essay looks into the way of living of the homeless through the United States, something that is of essence to social care workers, to improve the quality of life of this group of people and the studies on how to eradicate this problem.
Key Things Learned
Attitudes, Beliefs, and Values
The overarching theme of the homeless way of living is that they often survive amongst themselves, which leads them to form communities where they can at least rely on each other. This leads them to interact with each other and show love and acceptance to each other, despite the poor living conditions. This means that one of the most important values in this community is that they share food, temporary shelter, clothing and even drugs.
Due to their negative attitude towards their living conditions, the homeless often have drug dependencies and mental illnesses due to the emotional problems involved with the poor living conditions.
Group Self-perceptions and Issues Related to Stereotyping
The self-perception of this group of people is very important to a scholar in their attempt to understand how these groups of people identify with the poor living on people from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The most affected demographic on poor living conditions are the children who self-perception across their lifetime.
One of the most detrimental aspects of homelessness on an individual’s self-perception is domestic violence, job loss, inadequate wages and the lack of adequate social connections and networks.
Customs, Practices, Behaviors
The behaviour of the homeless people is severely affected by the poor living conditions, something that can be attributed to the episodic way of living. Therefore, their practices barely consider the homeless, something that fuels the custom of instant gratification with the abuse of drugs and even crime to remedy the emotional and social displacement in the culture.
The consistently life-threatening circumstances impact their behaviours so much that they need rehabilitation to resume the normal way of living with a house and a quality lifestyle.
The homeless community members in the United States come from diverse religious backgrounds in addition to reaching out for new religious beliefs to get relief from the poor living conditions. Furthermore, it is important to note that religious people are often involved in taking care of the homeless population, something that encourages them to improve their self-perception and eventually their quality of life.
The involvement of religious institutions in helping the homeless has also facilitated societies’ perception of the homeless from the most reckless people in society to the most vulnerable.
Societal Perceptions, Opportunities and Barriers in the U.S. and Internationally
The culture cultivated in the homeless environment negatively impacts the societal perception of the homeless, something that bars them from getting employment and eventually escaping the homeless way of life. Additionally, the lack of job opportunities for the homeless can be attributed to the fact that there are limited employment opportunities, and thus are often outcompeted by the people with a good way of living, who are often less affected by physical and mental illnesses.
The environment also exposes them to criminal activities, which leads them to have criminal records, thus making it hard for them to get employment opportunities.
Key Historical Events and Figures Impacting the Culture
One of the most conspicuous historical events affecting homelessness is the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely affected the economy, thus pushing more people into homelessness. This worsened the living conditions for the homeless and increased the number of people facing homelessness through significant cities in the United States. The lack of employment leads to an increased number of evictions, thus increasing, which is evident in the that, where the states with the largest increase in unemployment’s also had the largest increase in the number of homeless people.
The state of Washington DC had enormous unemployment rates at 0.92 percent followed by New York at 0.47 percent, and Hawaii and California at 0.45 and 0.38 percent each.
Key Things Learned Through Internet/Media
Throughout the media, homelessness is a social problem that requires addressing with social inclusion strategies. Furthermore, there is a direct correlation between how the homeless are depicted in the media and how the rest treats them of the population. It is also essential to note that policymakers may exert the depiction of the homeless on the Internet and media in general through lobbyists to ensure that the government.
They are often depicted as individuals with antisocial problems who cannot improve their living conditions despite the efficient allocation of resources. The negative stereotyping is therefore of benefit to the policymakers and implementers in the sector. The media often portray them as a cost to society because they rely on other people for sustenance.
However, they barely contribute to the betterment of society at large. Therefore, they are perceived by many, as a result of media depiction, as a very costly and recurrent expense to the rest of society.
They also often engage in criminal activities because they tend to loiter in the streets, which calls for the rest of society, media, and even law enforcement. The overarching presence of the homeless in the media involves poverty, poor health, educational problems, instability, fear, and stress. This has a negative attitude on societal perception of them and consequently negatively impacting their way of life. Incarceration, substance abuse are traits exaggerated by the media concerning the homeless.
In the media, they are often addressed as a monolith. The individual stories and circumstances are considered and thus collectively addressed societal cost because the individuals change over time, finding their way back to getting jobs and a home.
The most surprising aspect of homelessness in the United States is that the government has been consistently investing its resources in eradicating this problem. However, there is no conspicuous change in the issue. The homeless have to overcome the employment barrier. Thus, there should be a passive investment of money and a deliberate attempt to rehabilitate them into taking responsibility for their own life. Surprisingly, the policymakers do not recognize the balance between compassion and the quest to make an individual responsible, although the prevailing circumstances are complicated.
Impact on Expectations
Having understood the culture of the homeless in the United States, their perception by the media and consequently the rest of the population, it is clear that this problem is likely to persist despite the consistent investment of economic resources. Members of society claim that the homeless generally make the streets dangerous, especially with their involvement in petty crime. It is also clear that the conditions within which homeless children grow up have a severe impact on their cognitive development, something that drives them to be homeless across their lifetime.
By depicting them as the most vulnerable members of society, who require to be patiently rehabilitated into society, poverty and desperation can be remedied through social programs. This does not mean they should continue to be for resources and pose a threat to the public. Therefore, homelessness can be resolved through the provision of support services in the attempt to achieve stability in the individual’s life, something that restarts the recovery process.
An integrated healthcare plan can also be facilitated to ensure that their behaviour and health are restored. Education, especially for the youth and children, facilitate stability, connection with the community and safety. A crisis response system can be used to mitigate the traumatic impact of homelessness.
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