SOC1010 Introduction To Sociology
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Question: Conduct Internet research about poverty in the United States and create a photo essay that depicts the economic struggles that many Americans are facing today.
Answer: Homelessness and Alcoholism in the United States
"Homeless people" in one of the richest countries in the world sound like a misnomer. However the problem is a frequent visual site in the United States irrespective of city or country, with people sleeping on cardboards, bare grounds, under trees and bridges, in metro stations with belongings in plastic bags and on trolley carts. It has emerged to be a growing social problem stemming off poverty and mental and health challenges. In the USA, the homeless are defined as people who lack a "fixed, regular and adequate night time residence," (The Connection between Homelessness and Addiction).
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More than half a million Americans have been found to be staying out of homes in 2018. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has reported figures of approximately 553,000 people being homeless, with 17 of 10,000 people not finding a place to sleep at night. Majority of the homeless belong to 5 principle states - California, New York, Florida, Texas and Washington with CA leading the numbers. However city wise concentration has been found to be highest in New York. The following info graphic provides a snapshot on the crisis in the nation:
Drug abuse has been found to be one of the highest contributing factors to homelessness found to be affected by poverty stricken and unemployment related reasons. Lisa S. an identified victim of drug abuse and homeless recalls, "Once the heroin and crack addiction turned me into a homeless prostitute, I pretty much gave up on life. Laying there in a bed just staring into this mirror, I would sometimes see the beautiful little girl I used to be looking back at me" (The Connection between Homelessness and Addiction). In addition, homelessness has been found to push people to substance abuse as people resort to drugs unable to cope with their life situations as depicted below. (Substance Abuse and Homelessness, 2009).
Current research in the US indicates that about 38% of the homeless abuse alcohol, 26% abuse drugs and such incidences are more common in the younger homeless population. The US therefore faces a major challenge with the two perils - one that augments another with a clear and identified correlation and worsened by backward and forward influences.
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