The Serious Issues of Poverty and Homelessness in the US

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Poverty and homelessness are serious issues in the U.S. today, especially because of the current recession, with levels of poverty and unemployment higher than at any time since the 1930s. Blacks and Hispanics are being affected disproportionately by homelessness, as well as poverty and unemployment in American society. This is just another example of the racial caste system and institutional racism that goes far beyond that of social class, and has always been the case in recessions and indeed with every other social and economic problem in American history. Even though the country elected a black president in 2008, wealth and incomes for minority groups, which were already far lower than whites, have been in severe decline for the past few years (Baumann 2001). Compared to the trillions of dollars in federal assistance that has been extended to the large financial institutions from TARP and the Federal Reserve, programs to aid the poor and homeless have been very inadequate, and are even being cut back on the local, state and federal levels. Poverty and homelessness are caused by racism, lack of education, alcohol, drug abuse, and individuals who have been born into poverty and are not able to afford the means to get ahead, such as going to college. Homelessness is defined as the lack of a regular, fixed nighttime residence, no matter whether the homeless live with relatives or sleep in parks, shelters or vehicles. About four million people experience homelessness at

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