Why is homelessness so prominent?

Taboos are an outdated excuse for people to look down upon others in society because of their social beliefs. Many people in modern day society still refer to the homeless as beggars. The term begging is used to describe the homeless as people who want to con you out of your money because they are ‘lazy’, whereas in reality the homeless are people struggling with a variety of problems.

Many people have the view that homeless people must have a physical disability in order to beg for money, I would argue that we cannot see the emotional trauma that many homeless people have gone through, such as emotional or physical abuse. In March 2018 2 million people have experienced domestic abuse from ages 16 to 59; this is a 23% increase from the previous year. Whilst there is an increase in homelessness, there is also an increase in the causes of it. Despite not being able to see the damage, it doesn’t mean it’s not there and hurting people. Many homeless people have suffered these emotional events and would rather live a life out in the open to fend for themselves, than struggle with the horror behind their drawn curtain. Homelessness is much more than begging, for some it’s an escape from a traumatic past.

Furthermore there is a stereotype around the homeless that many of them are white which singles out the white working class by implying homeless people are from one background. This narrow minded view is factually incorrect as government figures from 2018 show that 36% of other ethnic backgrounds make up Britain’s homeless population. Homelessness amongst other ethnicities has reached its highest level in more than a decade. These statistics illustrate this percentage of other homeless ethnicities are rising and could continue to rise. Many articles state that the housing policy in the UK is known to disadvantage black and minority ethnic groups (BME) and if this issue continues, there will be a higher rate of BMEs out on the street due to lack of access to social housing.

There are other factors that people are not able to see such as many people have been forced out of their properties by greedy private landlords who take advantage by increasing rent. Fortunately there are shelters for them to stay in but what happens when these shelters are bought by property developers? In 2017 it was stated that homelessness had increased by 15% more than in 2016 and has more than doubled since 2010 according to homeless link. Despite the numbers rising, it is not individuals first decision to become homeless.

Homelessness is a rising issue in the UK and needs to be resolved, with this being a big issue we need to support the homeless by not just giving them a house but comfort, warmth and support as they don’t have these aspects of a home.

– Alicia Chandwani, year 12