The Homeless – Mentally Ill, or Just Lazy? Essay

1140 Words5 Pages
The Homeless – Mentally Ill, or Just Lazy?

What causes homelessness? Is homelessness the result of job loss? Does it result from drug and alcohol addiction? Just who are the homeless? The homeless are a mixture of people with many different problems. Many of them are mentally ill patients released from institutions. Some are single women with children. As John Grisham stated, 40% are substance abusers (Grisham 14). Some of the homeless want and need help, but to others being homeless is a conscious choice.

The choices a person makes will largely determine what kind of life he or she has. Outside factors, such as unexpected job loss, may drastically alter a person’s lifestyle for a while, but most people get back on their feet
…show more content…
The deputy quit General Motors and now evicts people from their homes. Mr. LeFevre decided to stay at the steel mill, even though he dislikes it.

Mr. LeFevre felt he was trapped in a job he hated. He had no pride in his work and felt degraded to be "just a laborer" (Terkel 210). With the responsibility of providing for a family, he felt he had no choice but to put up with the bad treatment and harsh working conditions. The only way he could deal with it was to go to the local tavern, drink, and get into fights. At one point in his story he said when he was single he would quit a job if it didn't suit him. He wandered around the country and was free. But once he had a wife and children, he realized it was up to him to support them. If not for his family, Mr. LeFevre might have ended up jobless, alcoholic, and even homeless. Even though he was discontented with his life and the choices he made in his work, he hoped his children would go to college and have better lives.

Tom Kay, the spokesman and lobbyist for General Motors shown in Roger and Me, said companies do not have the responsibility to take care of people from the cradle to the grave. This was the expectation in towns like Flint in years past. Now, however, most people are aware they will be employed by many different companies in the course of their working lives. Also, as a result of the slump in the auto industry at that time, Michigan and other states learned
Get Access