Dear Future President,
As president, I know there are many extremely important issues in our society that you have to deal with once you are in office. Knowing that you can do so much, I understand that you must prioritize certain issues before others. I write this letter to you hoping that you will prioritize one important issue sweeping the nation: homelessness. Homelessness should be dealt with because it helps eliminate the needy, saves taxpayers' dollars, and helps homeless people recover.
Homelessness in the US is becoming an urgent and important issue. On any given night, about 600,000 people of the population sleep on the streets. Although this is only a mere 0.2% of the population, it makes a huge impact on our nation. Almost 8 percent of the homeless are war-torn veterans and about one-third of the neglected were people with families. And, of this abandoned population, 25% of them are dealing with a mental disorder. This is a huge number of people that can’t get help or treatment for their sickness.
Future President, we should work harder to supply these people with a place to stay. Do you know about Utah and the way it is helping its homeless population? In fact, Utah has nearly gotten rid of all the homeless people with one simple solution to a complex problem: giving them some shelter. It sounds really simple and like it won’t work, but in fact, it does. According to NBC News, “The Homeless Task Force reported it costs Utah $19,208 on average per year to care for a chronically homeless person, including related health and jail costs. Pendleton found that to house and provide a caseworker for the same person costs the state about $7,800.” (May 3, 2015). That’s nearly $11,000 dollars saved for each homeless person. Now imagine how much money we would save if we give a home to all the homeless people in America. That’s about 7 billion dollars saved nationally. We could use these 7 billion dollars for something else, such as research for diseases, helping with the military, etc.
Another reason why we should help the homeless is because by sheltering the homeless and helping them get back on their feet, we raise the likeliness of them recovering and earning a good income. According to the Washington Post, ”...people who return to work show a steep recovery in earned income three years after their initial homeless spell.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/). One of the myths about the homeless that has been debunked is that the homeless don’t have jobs. In fact, this is completely wrong. The Washington Post reported that, “About 44% of the homeless have jobs, only they don’t have a place to live.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/).
Now, some people might think that the homeless use the money they get to buy drugs or alcohol and immediately waste their spendings. Those people believe that alcohol and drugs will make them feel good about themselves and the situation they are living in. But this is mostly wrong. According to Holly Johnson, a financial expert, she says that, ”But to someone who has nothing, those two dollars could mean everything. It could be the money they use to buy a sandwich for lunch or a toothbrush, or even pay for an ID so they can check into a homeless shelter.” (Club Thrifty). It’s not logical to think that they’ll use that money for drugs because drugs cost a ton of money. Also, you may not know the story behind some of these unfortunate people. I was reading a New York Times article, and it said that, ”The most common cause of their homelessness isn’t drug dependency or mental illness. It’s eviction.” (http://www.nytimes.com/). Overall, this shows that people who are homeless aren’t all necessarily bad or evil, it’s just that they happened to have a bad scenario happen to them.
So, next president, I sincerely hope that you try and tackle homelessness first. With nearly 600,000 people homeless, I hope that you, along with the help of others, can reduce that number down to zero.