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Homelessness - Articles Comparison

3 pages
665 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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Homelessness is isolating, dangerous and devastating, and on an average scale, the life expectancy of homeless people is 47 years old. Frequently, people living in the streets have become victims of violence, and they have as a result resorted to measures that put an abrupt ending to their lives such as committing suicide. There are many contributing factors for homelessness, including unemployment, poverty and the lack of affordable housing. This paper provides a comparison of two different articles in which the authors present different ideas on the topic of homelessness.

Comparison of Articles

On the one hand, the first article written by Maria Foscarinis in the HuffPost tackles on attacking homelessness and not the homeless people. Maria argues that foreclosures and unemployment are the primary factors in increased homelessness and that many cities have stepped up their efforts in the criminalization of homelessness. The criminalization of homelessness has gone to the extent in which charitable groups trying to help are being attacked, for example in Philadelphia (Foscarinis/HUFFPOST, 2012). The primary reason is that officials in these cities are fighting for tourism and business growth by keeping away homeless people from visitors. Some argue that giving homeless people food in public makes them vulnerable to health risks. There are no sufficient emergency resources to assist the homeless and that shelter is not a solution for the long-term compared to the housing. Therefore, the author argues that the criminalization of poverty and homelessness does not amount to any financial sense. A federal report has condemned laws and policies that criminalized homelessness after being termed as being unconstitutional. The national news also referred to these rules as acting in the violation of the commitments of international human rights.

On the other hand, the article published by the editorial board in the new york times gives an entirely different opinion. While Maria's article focuses on the criminalization of homelessness and the fact that many homeless individuals have suffered at the hands of authorities, this article gives a more positive aspect. The definite point is that there is progress being made towards the realization of safer homeless shelters. The article introduces mayor Bill de Blasio's New York City where shelter violence has been prevalent (The New York Times, 2016). Mr. de Blasio aims to propose changes in New York City about the shelter. Firstly, the police department and the Department of Homeless Services are to develop a security plan for over 250 shelters countrywide. There will also be the deployment of 600 officers of the homeless agency to help with the minimization of conflict. These changes are direct attacks on the shelter-security problem that has seen the homeless being attacked. There are problems related to the management of shelters that still have to be fixed by the city leaders. The failure of the leadership of previous authorities is to be blamed for the surge in homelessness.

Personal Insights

Ideally, the different opinions presented by these two articles exist in their messages. Maria's article is a message of desperation, of rallying people not to fight and hurt the homeless but to help them. The article in the New York Times spreads a message of hope. There are policies and programs in place to ensure that the homeless people have security in their shelters.



Foscarinis/HUFFPOST, M. (2012, March 7). Attack Homelessness, Not Homeless People [Web log post]. Retrieved from

The New York Times. (2016, March). Inching Toward Safer Homeless Shelters [Web log post]. Retrieved from


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