Featured Opinions: Homelessness


Graphic by: Emma Blackburn

By Emma Steinberg

I cannot comprehend how one can support either candidate this year when they both fail to tackle the issue of homelessness in America. Living near a big city like San Francisco and often visiting relatives in urban areas such as New York City and Chicago, I am constantly exposed to the ever expanding homeless population that has failed to diminish over the years. In January of 2015, over five hundred thousand people were declared homeless in our country. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, of those five hundred thousand, over twenty five percent were children and about eight percent were veterans. The situation is becoming worse the more we continue to disregard it.

Like so many other issues raised during the election, homelessness cannot be obliterated all at once. As the issue of homelessness becomes more apparent, it manifests the complex array of social, economic, and political complications further perpetuating poverty in America. In order to improve upon this problem and all of its ramifications, we must address a myriad of issues stemming from inadequate income to unjust health care to the neglect of the U.S. army veterans. However, our presidential candidates may view the topic of homelessness as a “losing cause” due to the overwhelming amount of time, energy, and planning required in order to make a substantial impact in our country. During the debates, our candidates strategically tiptoed around the issue of homelessness in order to further their election agendas without regards to the needs of homeless people. If our candidates fail to even discuss this issue, how will we ever discover potential solutions for it in our country?

The lack of attention given to this crucial problem in our nation is clear and ultimately unacceptable. It is our government’s duty to serve all citizens in need, not to be incentivized to solely focus on issues that will benefit the majority of their constituents in this election. We cannot resolve the issue of homelessness if we continue to ignore it. It it not just our government’s duty but also our duty as individuals to get involved in our community as well as raise awareness of this issue in order to alleviate the continuation of poverty in America.