Many people today are caught unable to pay for rent. This is a twofold problem: Decades of stagnated wages, shrinking government benefits, and rising costs of home-ownership. At the same time rental prices are increasing.
This combination of problems oftentimes leads to homelessness. In fact, today, three million people are only a single paycheck away from becoming homeless. A recent study has shown 37% of households could only last a month if they were to lose their job. 23% of them said they have nothing set aside for housing costs if they were to lose their job. There are another 16.5 million working adults who have no savings at all today. Half of them said their housing costs were their biggest expense.
When people become homeless, where do they go? Unfortunately, most of today’s homeless are “living under overpasses and going to the bathroom outside in one of the richest nations of the world.” This according to
Reverend Wagers (Disciples of Christ) who runs the Mercy Mobile in Silicon Valley, CA. The sad part about this is people aren’t animals, and shouldn’t be treated this way. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t surprise us that this is taking place today. After all, they say history repeats itself. Reverend Wagers als refers to the homeless as refugees because cities force them to move from place to place. While some people think this ended with what America did with the Native Americans, not true. This is continuing today with our government claiming it’s for health and safety reasons. In the same way this was an environment where it was the survival of the fittest, this is again happening today.
Another very civilized city in the world today is Tokyo, Japan. With a population of about 14 million people, they have a homeless rate is under 5,000 people. Could this be due to the fact that they’re continually building more houses? Even if there’s some other reason behind this, it’s time for America to stand up and take notice because while many people are willing to give freely of items like food, clothing, and toiletries, what they don’t realize is the steep financial price of homelessness. According to some studies, one homeless person can cost a city $13,661 per year in emergency room visits.
These are staggering facts to think about, but important ones to consider nonetheless. If we continue heading down this road, where are we going? These are people’s lives we’re talking about here. They deserve to be treated better. This is definitely something we must all think about as we go about our daily lives today, especially if we live in cities where the homeless are right there in front of us as we move about our daily lives.