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Poverty is rampant in America. Over 40 million people in the US live below the poverty line, twice as many as it was fifty years ago. Homelessness can happen very quickly. Many people fall through the social safety net. People who lose their home often have no choice but to live in a car. The number of homeless children has risen dramatically, reaching 1.5 million, 3x times more than during the Great Depression.
Published August 14, 2020
Homelessness is something that many people witness but very few are willing to talk about. Even in mainstream media, homeless people are either vilified or glorified. But very few tackle how it really is to become homeless.
In truth, homelessness is a perpetual shame of humanity. It’s a tragedy that there are people who own so many houses they have to hire someone to keep track of it for them. And yet, some people have to sleep on the sidewalk because they can’t afford rent.
Unfortunately, not a lot of people realize this. The common notion is that homelessness is somewhat a choice. That the homeless deserve what they are going through because they didn’t study hard or look for a job. But no, it isn’t like that at all.
There is so much more to homelessness than what the world is telling you. To give you a much better perspective, here are 40 homeless quotes that will open your eyes to the truth about this tragedy:
19. The worst poverty isn’t about not having enough money to survive. Real poverty is when there is no one in the world who loves you. When there is no other human to make you feel like you matter. As if you aren’t worth the air you breathe. Poverty of love is the worst thing you can be deprived of. – Paige Dearth
20. Homelessness is not just about having a job or an apartment. Too often homelessness is due to a disordered mind. – Danielle Steel
21. After all, a homeless man has reason to cry, everything in the world is pointed against him. – Jack Kerouac
22. Before you ignore another homeless person on the street, just remember that that could be someone’s father or someone’s mother and they have a story. – Syesha Mercado
23. Most homeless kids are on the streets because they have been forced by circumstances that cause them to think that they are safer there than in any home they once knew. – Jewel
24. To save a life is a real and beautiful thing. To make a home for the homeless, yes, it is a thing that must be good; whatever the world may say, it cannot be wrong. – Vincent Van Gogh
25. Poverty is the mother of crime. – Marcus Aurelius
26. When we bear witness when we become the situation — homelessness, poverty, illness, violence, death — the right action arises by itself. – Bernie Glassman
27. Don’t try to drive the homeless into places we find suitable. Help them survive in places they find suitable. – Daniel Quinn
28. People will sooner aid a sick dog lying on the sidewalk than to try to find shelter for a sick person. It’s too much to deal with. – Michael Zaslow
29. One of the toughest jobs we have is convincing some people that we’re not making up this problem. The homeless out here may be harder to see, but they are all around, right beneath the surface. – Dottie Kastigar
30. The world of the homeless is a tough and interesting world. – Paul Dano
31. To those who are struggling. To talk about a struggle, you’re likely to forget about it. To be shown a struggle, you’re likely not to forget it. But, to live through a struggle, you’ll understand it. – Valerie Owens
32. Homelessness is not the result of not having a house, it’s a lack of a soul in a body. – Goitsemang Mvula
33. There is a lot that happens around the world we cannot control. We cannot stop earthquakes, we cannot prevent droughts, and we cannot prevent all conflict, but when we know where the hungry, the homeless and the sick exist, then we can help. – Jan Schakowsky
34. Freedom is meaningless if people cannot put food in their stomachs, if they can have no shelter, if illiteracy and disease continue to dog them. – Nelson Mandela
35. People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes. – Sheila McKechnie
36. Not everyone who’s homeless is a drug-addict or in need of mental health care. Some are normal people who’ve been knocked down, and it can happen to you too. Not all of us made bad life choices. – Sherrilyn Kenyon
37. If sometimes our poor people have had to die of starvation, it is not that God didn’t care for them, but because you and I didn’t give, were not an instrument of love in the hands of God, to give them that bread, to give them that clothing; because we did not recognize him, when once more Christ came in distressing disguise, in the hungry man, in the lonely man, in the homeless child, and seeking for shelter. - Mother Teresa
38. There’s no reason someone who has fought for their country should be homeless or jobless. – Chris Kyle
39. Seven out of ten Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless. – Pras Michel
40. These things become the norm: that some homeless people die of cold on the streets is not news. In contrast, a ten-point drop in the stock markets of some cities is a tragedy. – Pope Francis
The overwhelming data in this article is drawn from public and private sources in the public domain. In other words, the data is available to anyone who puts forth a reasonable effort to look for it. In terms of your research, you can go "light, heavy or deep. I would estimate my interest level on this topic is extremely high. My level of effort of research for this article was "medium." This data was assembled from sources that drew their information as it was available before COVID-19 and does not accurately reflect the current state of homelessness in America. This data will not be fully updated until late 2022 or early 2023, leaving a significant hole in available knowledge on homelessness.
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