Homeless What has been done to decrease the problem





Homeless: What has been done to decrease the problem?


One of the largest growing concerns in Toronto is the constantly
increasing number of citizens who are finding themselves living on the
streets. With the decrease in the number of available jobs, the
population of homeless people has literally boomed. My questions are not
as simple to answer as they may appear. Why is a large portion of our
community forced to live on the streets? What has be done to decrease the
problem? These are the questions I will confront in my essay.

With the economical wealth attributed to the name "Canada", one
would have to wonder why there is a homeless situation at all. This
problem is especially evident in Canada\'s wealthiest city, Toronto. When
it comes to the affairs of the people, it is the government who should
intervene. When I look at what the government has done with regard to the
homeless problem, I have to doubt that everything is being done to
eradicate it. The United Nations implemented a universal declaration of
human rights. Article 25 Section 1 of this declaration states:

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the
health and well being of himself and of his family, including food,
clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and to
the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability,
widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his
control.

This is a step in the right direction. However, this is not
enough. These rights are subject to the discretion of the government of
the country who decides to obey these universal rights. How much is
"adequate"?

The government, both at the federal and municipal levels, is
currently working on new spending cuts. These cuts also include spending
on welfare, unemployment and social services that are geared towards
helping the homeless. Spending cuts can be seen as a necessity to
maintain the country economically, but the reason for having a government
in the first place is to take care of the people. How can this be done
when money is being taken away from those services that are necessary to
uphold this obligation? Simply put, it cannot. Those obligations are
served by nonprofit organizations who depend on government grants to
maintain a standard of care for those who need the services.

The blame cannot be placed only on the government. Such a system
of assistance depends on its beneficiaries to be honest and have some
integrity. Many recipients of these services attempt to "cheat the
system". With no will to search for work many of these recipients remain
at home and reap the benefits of their weekly cheques. This causes the
government to create other services to control the amounts of money being
distributed to those people. This process is costly and would be
unnecessary if all of the recipients decided to take an honest approach to
this service.

What can the government do to decrease the homeless population?
Although there is no quick and easy answer to solve this difficult problem,
Toronto has the means to attempt economical ways to research and come up
with ideas to solve it. Here in Ontario we have many excellent
universities and colleges with equally excellent students who are taking
courses in the political sciences. If the government were to cooperate
with these universities and colleges and have them work in conjunction
with the current research groups, then the answer to decrease the homeless
population would be effectively answered. The government would encounter
little expense and at the same time give the students a chance to
implement what they are learning into real life situations. Everyone
benefits from this idea and there are no losers.

In conclusion I think that our homeless problem could eventually
be rooted out entirely if everyone were to take part in the care of their
fellow neighbour. If we were to stop being self-centered and start
thinking about the other person who has less than us, I am sure that we
would benefit from it. It isn\'t all that hard. A few advertisements on
the television and radio, a little push from our society\'s leaders and we
would be off on the right track. That worked for the recycling program.
Now we should try employing this idea for even better reasons. I doubt
that I will be around to see this idea in use all around the world, but I
do hope that I can one day see it used here