Sunday, November 11, 2007

Once Upon A Time, Home Sweet Home (A Tale of NYC's Homelessness)

Homeless! Just the mere sound of the word, sends shivers up my spine. Statistics say that approximately 100, 000 New Yorkers experience street homelessness each year and that the City shelter system accommodates at least 38,000 of these homeless individuals on a daily basis, among which are included 16,000 children .The soup kitchens and food pantries that are made available throughout the city of New York, cannot satisfy the overwhelming demand of hungry men, women and children who desperately pour into their facilities to be fed. Unfortunately, those who are not of the lucky ones, are turned away to find nourishment elsewhere. This ongoing problem not only exists in New York City, it is now becoming a national crisis.

"Once Upon A Time, Home Sweet Home" is my narration. In my narrative I make a comparison of the past homelessness that existed during the 1800s, among which were included thousands of abandoned children roaming the streets of the city of New York, as well as reflecting on the causes and effects of modern homelessness; emphasizing the obvious pattern between the two.

Increasingly, it has become hard for the non-homeless population to understand the situation of the homeless. As a result of Jacob Riis's book, "How The Other Half Lives," though not referring to the homeless, which documented and photographed the poor and destitute in New York City tenements in the late 1800s, public awareness was raised by this, causing some changes in building codes and some social conditions. Modern homelessness as we know it, is a result of the economic stresses in society, and reduction in the availabilty of affordable housing for the poverty level and working class income. It is not only those who live in the slums of the city of New York that suffer from landlordism, unemployment, as well as dangers from natural and man-made causes; the working and middle class population of the entire nation are equally exposed to these same dangers, but on a much larger scale. Without going any further into this subject matter, judging by the steady and alarming increase in its numbers, it must suffice to say that there are many facts to sustain, that homelessness will always be present as well as a persistent, unpleasant visible feature of urban life. (Click here to read my article)

Goodbye for now....until the next time.....when "Mimi Speaks."

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