Poverty and Homelessness in The United States

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About this sample


Words: 1055 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Jun 17, 2020

Words: 1055|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Jun 17, 2020

When thinking of people that live in poverty it is often thought that they made bad life decision to get them to the condition they live in. “About 37 million people, or between 12-13% of the population live in poverty”. Many families live from pay check to pay check due to bills such as rent, food and transportation. “In today’s society, housing costs are more expensive than ever”. When a person can’t afford housing, they are often forced to become homeless. “In 2008, 1. 4 billion people worldwide lived in extreme poverty. Another 1. 9 billion people lived above the poverty line but didn’t make enough money to live comfortably”. These people are often forced to make unhealthy choices when buying food because fast-food and junk-food are often much cheaper than fruits and vegetables. “The combination of a poor diet and a lack of health care puts poor children at risk for long term problems such as obesity, heart disease and asthma”. In rural areas of the United States housing is cheap due to the area it’s located and the amenities the housing has to offer. “In some cities, gentrification is a problem. This happens when formerly affordable housing is renovated into expensive condominiums for the wealthy or it is demolished for new developments”.

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The people that live in the rural areas might not be able to afford the more luxurious price tag of the newly built housing plus the other expenses of living a day-to-day life. In today’s society, it is common for children to be born into poverty instead of facing it solely as an adult. “12. 8 million children under the age of eighteen live in poverty’. Children that grow up in poverty “often begin their lives with a lack of health insurance, most pregnant women living in poverty will not have proper prenatal care”. Companies are also greatly affected by poverty struck areas. “Almost half the world lived on less than $2. 50 per day in 2008”. When people can’t afford to go to shops and stores the companies don’t make enough to keep their doors open. When companies start having financial insecurities they often make pay cuts or lay people off. “Just from 1980 to 1995, corporate revenues rose 129. 5%, corporate profits rose 127% and executive pay rose 182%”. The people that work in higher positions in a company are financially well off, but the lower positions are often affected due to it. “In 1930, more than 26, 000 U. S. businesses’, like coffee shops and stores were forced to close”. When someone can’t afford housing they often turn to friends for housing and gyms for bathing. Often times turning to the streets is the only option they have. “Many homeless have trouble showering and washing clothes, this makes it hard to get a job because they do not appear qualified to be employed”.

Homeless people face many risks the normal person wouldn’t such as extreme weather and disease and predators. “women who live on the streets are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse and rape”. With a constant fear of abuse, sickness and hunger, it is easy to be effected physically as well as emotionally. Healthcare is very hard to obtain when you don’t have proper paper work and money. Many homeless people suffer from simple diseases that would easily be treated if they had access to proper health care centers. “Homeless children are less likely to receive adequate education because they may move frequently or not attend school at all” If a child doesn’t receive proper education it will be harder to receive a degree and/or a well-paying job. Many banks require proof of residency which homeless people don’t have. This makes it hard to start banking and saving money safely. Poverty and homelessness is a hard cycle to break. They face many challenges the average human will not deal with. Being born into a world without money, shelter or even food is a scary thought, and with poverty rates as high as they are today you wouldn’t be surprised if a friend or relative is facing these struggles. When people think of living the “American dream” it is often thought of as having lots of money, a large house and all the cars and toys you want while living in a free country.

Living that life is possible for the wealthy, but in the Unites States the extreme wealthy makes up a very small percentage of the population. “In the United States the poverty line for a family of 4 was $21, 203”. Living on/under the poverty line isn’t quite what people think of when they think of the American dream and that’s where people start to lose hope. Many people will not live their ideal lifestyle because of factors like money. Some people can’t afford to eat while others could spend millions a day and never go broke. In the United States their percentages of people who are homeless or live in poverty dramatically outweigh the percentage of wealthy people. That is why people give up on living the American dream, they see how most of the United States is and give up hope on being successful or think they will never be that wealthy person with the large house and fancy cars. Most likely that person worked for what they have and didn’t give up until they reached their ideal image of the American dream. Living life with a positive mindset will take you very far if you stick to it and put in the effort you can live the life that you want to live. Not everyone will live their ideal lifestyle simply because they are lazy or lose hope because they see that the path to success isn’t always as easy as it seems. If you don’t put in the work to get what you want, then how do you expect to obtain it?

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Homelessness and poverty levels have continued to drop over the years and with hard work and positivity the percentages could decrees too little or none. “Do what you love and the money will follow. ” – Marsha Sinetar. This quote gives motivation to do what you want to do and don’t worry about what people think of you and then the money will follow. This is my idea of the American dream.

Works Cited

  1. Chetty, R., Grusky, D., Hell, M., Hendren, N., Manduca, R., & Narang, J. (2017). The fading American Dream: Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940. Science, 356(6336), 398-406.
  2. DeNavas-Walt, C., & Proctor, B. D. (2021). Income and poverty in the United States: 2020 (Current Population Reports P60-274). U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Edelman, P. B. (2012). So rich, so poor: Why it's so hard to end poverty in America. The New Press.
  4. Gaetz, S., Scott, F., & Gulliver, T. (2013). Housing first in Canada: Supporting communities to end homelessness. Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.
  5. Kozol, J. (2005). The shame of the nation: The restoration of apartheid schooling in America. Crown Publishers.
  6. Lloyd, R. (2017). Poverty in the United States: A documentary and reference guide. ABC-CLIO.
  7. Newman, K. S. (2008). Chutes and ladders: Navigating the low-wage labor market. Russell Sage Foundation.
  8. Rank, M. R. (2011). One nation, underprivileged: Why American poverty affects us all. Oxford University Press.
  9. Shipler, D. K. (2005). The working poor: Invisible in America. Vintage.
  10. Wilson, W. J. (2012). The truly disadvantaged: The inner city, the underclass, and public policy. University of Chicago Press.
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Poverty and Homelessness in the United States. (2020, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from
“Poverty and Homelessness in the United States.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2020,
Poverty and Homelessness in the United States. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Jun. 2024].
Poverty and Homelessness in the United States [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from:
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