Most of us have a home, or at least a place to live. However, there is a significant number of people in the United States who are homeless. For example, it is estimated that there are over 21,000 homeless people in Atlanta, Fulton, and DeKalb county.
Naturally, some folks are inclined to think that the homeless have brought their homelessness on themselves by bad decisions. In some cases, this is probably true. In most cases, however, people seem to be victims. A homeless person might have been hurt, then lost his job and then lost his house. Or he might have a mental illness that has been untreated. Or she might have lost her job and home in the economic meltdown.
While our society does provide homeless shelters and charity, it is certainly a sad state of affairs when a country as wealthy as ours still has such a condition. While folks like John Kerry, Al Gore, John McCain and others have mansions, some folks have nowhere to call home.
Since I’m not a big fan of being called a socialist or communist, I’m not going to suggest that it might be nice for folks who own numerous houses to donate one or two to be turned into shelters. Rather, my view is that we should do more to address the underlying causes of homelessness. For example, we can do more as a society to prevent the conditions under which working people can lose everything due to illness or due to the money games of the financial class. As another example, we can do much more to help people with mental illness.
Naturally, folks who are homeless because they want to be or because they intentionally took actions that ruined their own lives would still be on their own. After all, we have no real obligation to force help on those who do not want it nor do we owe people who ruin themselves.