Kameia R. Illinois

Reducing Homelessness

Homelessness needs to be reduced.

Dear Future President,

125,848 Chicagoans were homeless during the 2014-15 school year, and 18,831 homeless students during the 2015-16 school year. Almost 87% (16,334) of these homeless students lived doubled-up in the homes of others due to hardship. Another 11.6% of students (2,180) lived in shelters. The city of Chicago reports that among homeless adults, 14% were employed but homeless. Another 7% were veterans (down from 9% in 2014), 4% were HIV positive 19% physically disabled, 33% severely mentally ill (same as in 2014). With all that information said, you’d know that the homelessness is bad, so we know these problems need to be fixed.

Our citizens in Chicago, should start a committee or fundraiser, to earn and collect money to build more homeless shelters around Illinois. There are plenty of people I’ve seen, while driving around, who are homeless. Most people who drive by just neglect them. Some people choose this way, but they do need to be guided in the right direction. Some people are homeless because of drug abuse, feeling unloved, memory loss, and their choices. It’s not always a good reason, but they do need to be guided, helped, or cared for.

I chose this topic because there are a few connections I can make to this piece. Where I used to live when I was little , there was this homeless veteran names Tony. He was the most lost man I’ve ever met. But he was sweet, every day when I was walking to my bus I’d give Tony some breakfast. He always wore the same thing , his World War 2 jacket

with his hat. He was the friendliest person in the world. Tony didn’t make good decisions, but he chose to be away from the current situation. Tony abused drugs, he felt unloved, but he was alive. In the summer of 2016 Tony died. He died of drug abuse. Before Tony left, my grandma got him help, she took him to the hospital but it was too late..

Another connection I can make is, my granddad's daughter Brandy was once homeless. She did drugs, and got lost in thought. My granddad told her to go get help, but Brandy didn’t want to be alone. Until she put her money to the wrong things. My granddad and I saw her on the street one day and she confessed to him. After we figured it all out my granddad took her to a homeless shelter. 2 years later (today), Brandy got her life together. She lives in Chicago, in a house, with a job, and a baby!

When someone gets help, they realize they need to make good choices. What I feel like we Chicagoans should do, is start a fundraiser, or committee. We need to help our citizens, not just out of heart, but also to have a better community. I know everyone thought once about a homeless person they saw, and asked the same thing, “how did you get like this?”. Let’s not neglect, but select!