For the majority of us reading this; we live a pretty decent life. We work, occasionally lounge around on our phones or consoles, and spend time with our friends. But for those that are less fortunate than us, living in poverty, which accounts for at least 3 billion people on earth (1 billion being children) living on $2.50 a day, life isn’t that fortunate.
In 2005, the United Nations conducted a survey, which concluded that over 1 billion people lack decent housing, and over 1.7 million children are living on the streets. These 1.7 million children are not likely to receive a suitable education, nor a chance at living their dreams, or even obtaining a well paid job. It is saddening to see people living on the streets, but when you witness the cruelty that they have to endure, it makes your think: ‘How are they able to live that way?’.
17-year old, Jake Farrell, directed the 2010 documentary “Without a Roof”, where he walked the streets of Toronto, Canada, interviewing local homeless citizens. The 30-minute documentary explains the hardships that people living on the streets have to endure.
Frequently, Jake interviews a homeless teen, ‘Said’, who is 18 years at the time and has not lived in a house for over a year. ‘Said’ is the image of most homeless teens who have had family issues prior to becoming homeless. He said that he lived with his homeless mother, but after she demanded him to commit illegal jobs, he decided to run away.
“Life on the streets is not a very pleasant thing…” Said comments.
The homeless are not only deprived of food and shelter, but are also victims of social exclusion. Most of the homeless suffer from social exclusion: they no longer feel as a part of society. They become alienated from popular events, excluded from their own family, and tossed out on the streets. Social exclusion, despite being seen as the end of the road, is nothing but a stepping stone to other large issues. Social exclusion commonly leads to mental health issues like depression, and then suicide, which accounts for the majority of deaths among the homeless.
Poverty in the world is at an all time high, and is one of the leading causes for homelessness. Poverty is living below the minimum amount of possessions, and wealth that one would need to have a sustainable life. When Nepal was shaken by the 8 magnitude earthquake, hundreds of thousands of residents went into poverty. These people lost their friends, family and homes – which translated into them becoming homeless. Events like this regularly force people onto the streets.
Abuse, both mentally and physically, are terms that the homeless are unfortunately too familiar with. Many have to face up to their fears and conquer challenges on a daily basis. The people who live on the street, aren’t always criminals; they don’t always choose to live there; some just need a little assistance to get back on track.