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Poverty, Homelessness a Global Epidemic

A Woodland High School student looks at the homelessness and hunger affecting more than 3 billion people worldwide.

Poverty is a worldwide epidemic that affects more than 3 billion people. People all around the world are struggling, not just with being able to pay off their debts, but also struggling to pay for their children’s education, being able to feed them, or providing them with clothing.

Nearly half of the world’s people live on less than $2.50 a day. The global economy just keeps getting worse and more people are losing their jobs. This can mean that a family is in risk of losing food to eat and other proper things they need to be able to live, the most important being water. The average person is only able to live a maximum of three days without water. 

In developing, third-world countries, clean water is not in abundance as it is for us here in America. We have the choice to drink from the tap, or get in the car and drive to our nearest grocery store and purchase a clean gallon of water. 

People in poorer countries do not have this luxury, and very often we see commercials on television telling about how we can help provide this necessity. This gives us the opportunity to support and help the families in need. They don’t ask for much, and with $5 or less a month, you can help a family survive.

Some Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck with no money in the bank. Loss of a job, an illness or another catastrophic event can quickly lead to missed rent or mortgage payments, and eventually to foreclosure. 

Losing jobs happens more frequently than a few decades ago. The dramatic film The Pursuit of Happyness, based on the story of Chris Gardner, tells of the trials a man and his young son go through being homeless. He is not able to pay his taxes, so the bank deducts money from his bank account, leaving him with nothing, and forcing him and his son to be evicted from their small apartment.

That night, their only option is to sleep in a subway station bathroom. The next few days, he rushes from his internship to the homeless shelter in hopes of getting in line early enough to reserve a place to sleep for that night.

Gardner goes in for a meeting at the firm he is a part of and is offered a full-time position as a stockbroker. He eventually forms his own million-dollar brokerage firm. This is a possible, although improbable, way for an average person to change his situation.

There are many organizations that provide . National Coalition for the Homeless, Habitat for Humanity and are among these groups. All of these organizations work to provide adequate housing and help in the community when needed.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, children make up 23 percent of homeless people on any given night in the Homeless Support Service Network. Each year, 3.5 million Americans are living without a home.

One of the most inspirational people of our world, Mahatma Gandhi, felt as if “poverty is the worst form of violence.” Once you fall into poverty, it is hard to get your life back on track.

Benjamin Franklin took a different view on the situation, saying, “Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes them.”

He believed that it is no one’s fault but their own for falling into poverty’s dark hands, and that it can positively be avoided if you work harder and if you turn away from being lazy with regard to situations and jobs.

Often, you may see a homeless person when you are walking outside from grocery shopping or along the streets in major cities. It is your choice whether or not you choose to help them by offering some spare change or a few dollars.

Everyone is different when they are put in this type of situation. Whatever your decision is, just keep in mind that we need to help get people out of this horrible, global, poverty epidemic.

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