This MLA-style argumentative essay analyzes the problem of homelessness in the United States and offers a solution to resolve the problem. The argument in this essay suggests taking steps to ultimately solve homelessness is a more viable option than our current system of merely managing the problem. This MLA paper from Ultius was written at a high school level to serve as a sample.
Why problems such as homelessness would be easier to solve than to manage
The problem of homelessness is one that is intrinsically tied to the communities in which they are located individually. This means that homelessness, on a larger scale, is a very modular issue, and this naturally makes the formulation of any sort of solution a rather tricky proposition. For this reason, there are many who have stated that this issue, and others like, might be easier to actually fix from the ground up, rather than come up with a mere Band-Aid solution, for lack of a better term. Of course, this is also a difficult proposition because it would require a complete restructuring of the society in which this homelessness is located in the first place, and this would obviously be expensive and time-consuming, and would not yield immediate results. This means that it is more difficult for politicians to leverage positive homelessness numbers to boost their own campaigns, which is a popular strategy in contemporary society. However, just because solving the issue of homelessness would be more practical than simply managing it in the short term does not mean that everyone sees it this way. It is still a massive uphill battle to get people to understand this. Therefore, it is necessary to take a look at just why this problem would be easier to solve than simply manage.
The long-term solution for homelessness
For starters, one of the key reasons for why solving homelessness would be easier than managing it is simple: the long-term effects are more immediate and tangible. This concept is one that is mentioned by a number of sources, such as one, which states that this issue of homelessness begins at a very young age, meaning that solutions to it must also be focused on when they are young (Hagan and McCarthy 200-201). For instance, practitioners could implement incentives for young people to succeed, such as by rerouting funding for management of homelessness toward incentivizing these youths to succeed. After all, it is easy to push youths to succeed with a proverbial carrot on a stick, and this would be in their own best interests as well, since it would, hopefully, lead to decreased rates of homelessness for them. Of course, this has yet to be put into practice in any truly large-scale way, so there will naturally be a degree of trial and error that must be worked through here first. This is an unfortunate reality of these growing pains, for lack of a better term, and another key reason for why this issue of homelessness has not been tackled in this way before.
Preventing the issue with funding
Another important dimension of this issue, as well as another prevalent reason for why it is easier to fix homelessness than simply manage it, is that there is a growing trend of areas becoming ghettos, apparently permanently, and this leads to areas where there are thousands of people displaced and homeless. As mentioned earlier, this issue is one that differs from city to city, but even so, it is clear that this issue is one that involves another strong foundation of poverty in which homelessness can flourish. This concept is mentioned by another source, which finds that misassignment and its correlation to homelessness is one of the key driving factors behind these areas becoming ghettos (Dear and Wolch 6-7). Therefore, it can be said that one of the ways to help alleviate this issue permanently is to simply allocate more and more funding to these impoverished areas.
The social stigma of homelessness
This, of course, is a somewhat controversial solution, and it is one whose effectiveness will need to be evaluated regularly in order to ensure that things are able to stay on track. On that note, though, another source finds that homelessness is an issue that is deeply tied to the social and even physical health of people within the country, the United States, in this case (Link 1907). This means that homelessness is something of a two-way street, in this regard, and this means that it is possible to actually fix homelessness by alleviating some of the issues that are related to it. For instance, removing, or at least addressing, some of the stigma surrounding certain jobs would allow for more and more people to pursue those jobs, thereby securing an education for themselves and drastically reducing the chance that they will end up homeless.
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This philosophy is one that relies upon people to actually want to go out and find jobs, which can, in many cases, be something of a bold and inaccurate assumption to make. Nevertheless, it is clear that in order to alleviate this issue of homelessness, there needs to be some measure that looks at and addresses many of these social machinations that have allowed homelessness to continue to grow and evolve in this way for so long.
Another, more specific, measure that can be taken is to increase awareness of this issue of homelessness at an early age, creating programs to speak at schools in order to tell, and show, children how and why homelessness can be so damaging to their lives in the long run. This would be an economical way to alleviate the issue of homelessness on at least some level, and it would no doubt go to show that this issue of homelessness is one that is easier to fix outright than to merely manage.
Ultimately, solving this issue of homelessness is no easy task. As the paper has demonstrated, it requires a great deal of knowledge and understanding within the purview of sociology and even economics. This is because homelessness, as an issue, actually contains a large number of individual elements that are allowing it to continue virtually indefinitely. Proper solving of this issue, then, requires the removal of these issues. This means that it is actually possible to remove homelessness, or at least reduce its prevalence greatly, by addressing some of these other sociological or economic problems in society today. This only serves to make it more and more likely that homelessness will be able to be addressed permanently instead of merely managed.
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Dear, Michael J., and Jennifer R. Wolch. Landscapes of despair: From deinstitutionalization to homelessness. Princeton University Press, 2014. Print.
Hagan, John, and Bill McCarthy. Mean Streets: Youth Crime and Homelessness. Cambridge university press, 1998. Print.
Link, Bruce G., et al. “Lifetime and five-year prevalence of homelessness in the United States.” American journal of public health 84.12 (1994): 1907-1912. Print.