Photo: humansofny

Compassion is a trait that most human beings lack. Many of us may not be a part of the 1% in America but we do have to realize that we’re very fortunate to not having to beg for money for food. Homelessness is a universal problem. However, it can be seen as a solution as well.

Homelessness affects every community in every society. There are over half a million homeless people living in America and one quarter of the homeless population are children. As of July 2015, there were 58,720 homeless, which included 13,985 homeless families with 23,490 homeless children. These are only the statistics of homeless people living in NYC shelters. Can you imagine how many more are living on the streets and subways? Some cities are even making being homeless a crime.

Many of you are probably wondering, “Why are people homeless? They should just go get a job.” Homeless people and families have been ejected from their homes because of the increase of housing prices and reductions of single-room housing (for poor single adults, childless couples, and sometimes even families). Many of these homeless people out on the streets are living with a mental illness and/or other severe health problems. Some U.S veterans are homeless. Also, many homeless youths are LGBT+ runaways, and victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

People are always saying, “Oh, why are you giving them money? You know they’re only going to use it for drugs.” But you and I don’t know that, so stop assuming. I don’t know his or her intent and having this mindset can restrict you from actually helping someone that needs your spare change. Wouldn’t you rather think that you helped someone who needed you than know that you could’ve helped them but didn’t?