Type: Research Essays
Sample donated: Elsie Kim
Last updated: October 3, 2019
Homelessness is a topic that has garnered much concern and research from both an ethical andeconomic perspective.
From a social point of view, leaving humans on the streets to fend for themselves canbe seen as an immoral act which leads to the idea that society should care for these people. Natural empathylends itself towards their cause and is one of the major reasons that charitable donors often specify “endinghomelessness” as one of their main reasons for donating (Kaplan 2016). The rate of homelessness in acommunity can be an important factor in its economic prosperity and a key determinant for the health of thecommunity. Almost every person has witnessed this phenomenon in some capacity, but rarely consider theeconomic causes or consequences of the homeless seen on the side of the road or sidewalk or brainstormsolutions to the ever-present problem.
While important socially, the issue of homelessness is also very important from an economicperspective. Previous estimates have predicted that care for a homeless person in the U.S.
could cost thegovernment anywhere between $35,000 (Flaming 2009) and $150,000 (Laird 2010) dollars annually and thatfigure is projected to have risen since then. These figures are important because there could be legislationpassed that would help free these people from the eternal struggle of homelessness and be less expensivethan the stopgap measures in place simply to sustain life. In addition, any money spent more efficiently thatreduces homelessness rates helps bring more people into the workforce, increases spending on goods, andhelps bolster the economy as a whole. By funding projects to help the homeless like construction of low costhousing, increased funding for public works, and providing meals and health care to all people, the homelesscan become less dependent on society which frees up resources for many other projects. In addition, theweakness of the lowest income class due to homelessness creates a drain on lower and middle class workerswho also need government resources to thrive in the U.S.