Taking Time for Those Who Spend Their Time on the Streets of Philly

In many cases, the government will find itself in a continuous cycle of giving out resources in worry of being taken advantage of or deprived of resources.  


Beggars lying on the side of the street with dirty clothes. Photo by @jcoop. https://www.freepik.com/author/jcomp

Homelessness has been an ongoing trend in Philadelphia for countless years but it has quickly become an overlooked issue that has yet to become fully resolved. Over the past three years, homelessness has increased to the point where extra resources don’t provide comfort and help to those living in distress. 

   According to Project Home,Approximately 8,206 unduplicated people (including families) accessed emergency shelter in Philadelphia last year.  In addition, numerous individuals were turned away from shelter due to limited capacity.” 

   This emphasizes how the impact of the recent pandemic and the lack of shelter has pushed many people to live on the streets. Philadelphia is home to having one of the highest poverty rates and increase in homelessness when compared to America as a whole. 

    It is the question of why homelessness has not been taken care of to the extent that it should have been. This is partly due to the increase of vulnerability amongst residents in Philadelphia. People who are disabled, elderly, or at risk have been given shelter as opposed to the many children who have been recently unsheltered.

    Most of these children will spend a great deal of time without shelter and will grow accustomed to living life in unfathomable conditions. So the question is: why does the government shun the growing issue of homelessness especially in the city of Philadelphia? 

   One of the main reasons for this is linked to issues that arise after providing someone with a residence. Solutions for Change says, “Needy – “Great! I’m saved! Wait, this free housing is crappy, the child-care is inconvenient, and the free food is not very good . Oh, and I’m going to continue the self-destructive behaviors that got me here in the first place.” 

   Giving a homeless person or family the gift of a new home doesn’t always result in all problems being solved through a transformation of one’s life. Many homeless people are struck with the painful reality of anxiety, depression, and in some cases, self destructive behaviors that follow them through their journey into the new and normal way of living life. 

   We’ve all come across that one homeless person on the street with a sign, begging for money. And usually one of the first considerations is: Will they actually begin using this money for their needs? Or will it be used to buy harmful items like cigarettes and other drugs?

   It is for this same reason as to why the government is hesitant to help the homeless population. In many cases, the government will find itself in a continuous cycle of giving out resources in worry of being taken advantage of or deprived of resources.  

  With that being said, homelessness will never be completely eliminated, but it is possible to decrease its impact and burden on the world and on the people who experience it. Whether it’s through donating items to trusted shelters or organizations, or agreeing with and signing petitions for the government to allow for more job opportunities and benefits for the homeless, it is a start to decrease the burden of the pandemic on homelessness percentages.