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Factors In Order To Eradicate Poverty & Address The Needs Of The Homeless

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The role of institutions in understanding poverty and homelessness in the urban environment is the most crucial factor in order to eradicate poverty and address the needs of the homeless. Many homeless people start out with jobs and stable residences, but later when social and economic factors occur, there is a sharp change in their living situations. The most two obvious factors that cause homelessness are poverty and unaffordable housing. Certainly these factors can be solved if institutions focus its budgets and policies on improving the life of poor class and shelter for the homelessness. The life of concentrated poverty neighborhood is explained thoroughly in “The Re-Emergence of Concentrated Poverty: Metropolitan Trends in the 2000s.”

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Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings by Kneebone, Elizabeth, Carey Nadeau and Alan Berube: people there had been exposed all their lives to the effects of severe concentrated disadvantage, and no matter how long they are followed in their new neighborhoods, the effects of those earlier years are not erased. Therefore, their new neighborhoods are highly unlikely to have any significant improvements in economic self-sufficiency, despite being safer and less distressed.

The social and economic effects that result when the poor are concentrated in economically segregated and disadvantaged neighborhoods are significant, which show that a poor person or family in those neighborhoods must deal not only with the challenges of individual poverty, but also with the added burdens that rooted from the place in which they live. This double burden even complicates the jobs of policymakers and service providers to promote connections to opportunity and to reduce poverty.

Concentrate poverty can limit educational opportunity, has low school quality, increase crime rates and poor healthcare, hinder wealth building, affect residents of the larger metropolitan area by depressing values for owner-occupied properties, reduce private-sector investment and increase prices for goods and services, lack of business competition in poor neighborhood, and finally, raise costs for local government. These negative effects spread not only in those concentrated poverty neighborhoods but also in the metropolitan area as a whole because those neighborhoods seem to be a “burden” to a large urban area.

The institutions can’t ignore solving this matter because it is about the living conditions of residents and it has negative effects for the whole economic, housing sectors. The institutions need to understand and tackle each effect as a continuos progress of completely eradicating poverty and addressing the needs of the homeless. In “Combating Concentrated Poverty in Urban Neighborhoods,” William Wilson believes that Obama’s programs have prevented poverty, including concentrated poverty from rapidly increasing in the situation of a horrible economy.

For instance, Obama’s ARRA in 2009 earmarked $80 billion for low-income Americans, which included: extension of unemployment benefits, increased earned income tax credit, substantial additional funds for Food Stamps, job training and workforce enhancement programs and neighborhood stabilization efforts. Furthermore, I think metropolitan leaders must actively encourage economic integration throughout region, and shape stronger connections between poor neighborhoods and areas with better education and job opportunities, so that low-income residents are not left out or left behind in the effort to grow the overall economy.

The role of the built environment in understanding poverty and homelessness in the urban environment is mainly about the idea: “As long as the tramp adopts low profile, he can occupy marginal spaces such as alleyways, spaces under bridges, dumps, railroad yards, and other no-man’s lands of the city.” (Men without Property: The Tramp’s Classification and Use of Space). Apparently, full citizenship rights are not for those who have no property. The homeless is seen as a threat to the social order and therefore, they are excluded from prime public and private areas as eyesores, public nuisances.

Had been living in New York City for a long time, I certainly did acknowledge the large presence of the homeless and after this reading, I understood much more about the way they lived through days. To adopt low profile, they have to use the landscape as a cover and this somehow requires a wide environmental knowledge. They sleep at the time when they know the polices won’t be on duty in the subway, doorway of unoccupied buildings, even garbage cans, etc. They even know certain streets that are good for beggars, where the truckers pick up cheap labor and public libraries are especially good to sleep at daytime.

They are certainly taking advantages of understanding the built environment in order to find numerous possible to sleep day by day. We can see that they are forced to use a different system of determining usable space within the city. The place is prime or marginal depends on how one views the situation. The tramps are aware of the diverse perspectives of the host population so that they can make day-to-day decisions of where to stay to not be looked standout from the shabbiness of their dress. The separation between spoiled and normal identities is very important to the homeless. If they walk purposefully through an area they will have lower risks of being arrested, sitting or standing might means they “belong” there and can be easily recognized as “spoiled”.

Classification and the use of space are closely linked together. The homeless is in a very poor condition of even the rights to use space. Their decisions and strategies to occupy anywhere must be based on the host’s classification. To solve this matter, any group of people should negotiate with others and get a compromise in their different perspectives so the classification of prime and marginal has a more positive effect to help the homeless. As we discuss the role of institutions and the build environment, we must connect it to people’s understanding of poverty and homelessness.

I think people’s ideas, including myself, about homelessness are actually shaped not by direct experience, but rather are influenced by media reports or the stories that others tell us. We often see the presence of homeless on street corners asking passers-by for change, or approaching people in their cars was framed as a public nuisance, a threat to public safety, downtown businesses and tourism. When people have a better understanding of how poverty and homelessness linked together, they will think of homeless as people living in poverty who have had bad things happen in their lives and they will be willing to engage in helping these poor people much more. I believe that people should take responsibility for their own life, but if they are in this poor situation because of the lack of money and affordable housing, it is important in a wealthy nation like the US for society to take responsibility as well.

18 March 2020

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