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Who Is Responsible

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Submitted By beksies413
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Who Is Responsible?
“Hungry. Will work for food.” This is a sign that a handful of people see on a daily basis as they are driving down the streets, but that most ignore. In an age that questions whose problem the homeless population is, controversies arise over who should be taking care of these people. Homelessness is not a new concept in America. Having been around for over a century, the past few decades has become exceptionally worse. Homelessness is not something that is easily defined. Alex K. Rich and Geraldine Wagner tell their readers that most who study the problem of homelessness define the issue as “those who are forced to sleep in places not designated for sleeping.” Jennifer Bringle defines the homeless as people who do not have a “fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence” (4). However defined, the fact that they do not have a permanent residence is only the beginning of the problem. Although there are many controversies today surrounding the problem of homelessness and whether the government is responsible or not, the nation as a whole should take responsibility and work collectively to strive for an end to the problem.
To some the way to end homelessness means leaving the change up to the homeless themselves. Critics today focus on the idea that people are homeless because of their own actions. In Ted Gottfried’s book Homeless: Whose Problem Is It, Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying, “The homeless . . . are homeless, you might say, by choice” (50). Also quoted in Gottfried’s book, radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, says that the nation’s homelessness is “tied to a lack of personal responsibility and a . . . decline in respect for the traditional American values of hard work, self-reliance, and respect for the law” (53). A common belief in today’s society is “homelessness is a self-perpetuating social illness” (Rich and Wagner).…...

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