Jana W. Michigan


Eradication of poverty must occur in order for the United States to become a more independent nation.

Dear future President,

“Why lie, I need weed,” was the one quote I remembered from my family’s two week trip out west. When we reached San Francisco, I witnessed this quote markered onto a cardboard sign in the hands of a homeless man sitting next to other fellow homeless with a paper cup beside his feet. He noticed me staring with a confused sad look and turned the sign around to reveal the word, “Smile” and so I did.

This was the first time I realized the homeless weren’t mad at the world for not giving them money but instead they were just trying to get by and grateful for every hint of recognition. The following school year in history, I was taught of poverty in a time where America was thriving. I was given the story of a mother who worked countless hours to feed her children. I was struck that someone could put in so much time and effort to be unsure if the dinner table will have a purpose that night.

I later discovered the poverty line, meaning if your yearly income is less than a certain amount then you will receive money according to your situation. I thought this was great and wondered how there could still be impoverished people out there if they could receive money to clean themselves up and get a nice job to gain independence from the government. Then my teacher informed me that most of the impoverished would instead buy food or clothes. I guess that was what impacted me the most was that some couldn’t become independent.

Then I was informed that this law didn’t even help the homeless because they don’t have a job or a home with a dinner table to be in use. They have the streets as their table, their bathroom, and their bed. They have no career and no chances of a job when they show up to an interview with their half ripped dirty clothing and no way of getting a ‘call’ back.

So what if there was a helping center at each major city or just outside of the city where the homeless could shower and borrow nice clothing to wear. Maybe there could be a reward to the company if they hired an impoverished person then for the helping center to get back the borrowed clothing all they would have to do is ask the employer to not give them their second paycheck until the clothing is returned or replaced. Instead of just giving the impoverished money that goes to who knows what, we give the homeless a chance to become independent, because independence truly is what this country is based upon. What if there was a way to allow them to earn money instead of just receiving it?

Hopefully, this idea is a realistic solution to a lot of homeless cases. However, there are still other situations that we can not assume the homeless would like to assimilate into modern culture. For example, Chris McCandless was man who went “into the wild” to find adventures that he couldn’t experience from society. On his journey, he adopted a new name and completely lost contact with his family. This means that he chose to leave society for his own personal reasons. Even in Clarkston, Michigan, there is a homeless man who “lives” near a restaurant has frequent conversations with people passing the restaurant. I witnessed his gratefulness to a family that bought him apples and the family discovered that he was not dumped on the street of bankruptcy, he actually came from a wealthy family and he chose to live how he does. So really no one can do anything about that issue because sometimes people just choose to live differently than others and who are we to tell them they can’t live how they want to live?

In addition to the impoverished choosing to live separately from society, a lot of homeless people don’t have the motivation to live in like the majority of Americans. By this I mean that the “American Dream” is hard. People work all day then go to bed then the next day they repeat their routine. That routine creates a lot of stress and can lead to people hating their jobs and some only see the negatives to this which may be a reason to leave it all behind and live a life without this type of stress. Which means that these types of people that become homeless because of the difficulties of society just need a little motivation to get back on their feet. This could benefit America because if a large amount of homeless started working in areas like retail or public works the economy too would increase because more people would have jobs to spend money which would pay for other people.s jobs for them to spend money and so on. When the homeless population decreases the economy will benefit.

-Jana W.