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Criminalization Of Homelessness In America Essay

2266 words - 10 pages

Criminalization of Homelessness in America

SOC 331: Social Justice and Ethics

April 6, 2015
Criminalization of Homelessness in America
Every country faces homelessness in one form or another. Homelessness in America has been an ongoing problem over many decade. Homelessness is not racist or biased as anyone can find themselves without the financial means to provide adequate shelter and food. While there are many definitions for homelessness the most common is “a person who "lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence” (www.pbs.org). Those who are susceptible to homelessness consist of but not limited to children, teenagers, adult men and woman, veterans, mentally ...view middle of the document...

The three principles of retributive justice are: that those who commit certain kinds of wrongful acts, paradigmatically serious crimes, morally deserve to suffer a proportionate punishment; that it is intrinsically morally good- good without reference to any other goods that might arise- if some legitimate punisher gives them the punishment they deserve; That it is morally impermissible intentionally to punish the innocent or to inflict disproportionately large punishments on wrongdoers (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2014).
Before evaluating the perspective and responses to homelessness using the provided information about the causes of homelessness need to be explored. Money and finances are one of the leading causes of homelessness. Many believe that those who are homeless do not work or live on the streets spending their days begging for money using a cardboard box made into a sign. However in the most general sense about one-fourth of the homeless population actually does work and earn an income. The problem is that while they work, the job pays minimum wage to low wages which does not provide an adequate income for them to afford to pay rent or mortgages and utilities leaving them and their families without a home. Lack of a job market also contributes too many men and women being left without a job and financial means to support themselves and their families. Other financial issues that contribute to a person or family being homeless being homeless is high amounts of debt due to medical expenses. Addiction related illnesses such as drug addiction and or alcohol addiction can lead to the destruction of a person’s financial situation. Addictions are very costly and leads to high amounts of debt and in abilities to pay debt alongside paying for housing and expenses. Illnesses and mental illnesses leads to the lack of income or inabilities to work to provide for themselves and or families. The amount of money they must use for prescriptions and or medical treatment and expenses results in their inability to obtain adequate housing forcing them to live on the streets or in shelters. The saddest thing is that many veterans end up being homeless due to the wounds they received while in combat or the mental illnesses due to the trauma they seen or went through while serving the country. Their wounds and disabilities leave them without the ability to find adequate work to provide them financially. Other contributors to homelessness are tragedy or death of a loved one and natural disasters. Time and time again many young people live off the financials of a parent or parents due to their inability to support themselves. When death hits their financial support they are often left with the financial burden left behind by the deceased and their own financial problems. Natural disasters such as floods, fires, tornadoes etc. can lead to the destruction of homes and many resources leading to a life lived in the streets or shelters.
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