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Homelessness: The Epidemic America Chooses to Ignore

Cholera, Influenza, Coronavirus, HIV/AIDS, and now homelessness; five of the most widespread epidemics America has seen to date. While Cholera, Influenza, Coronavirus, and HIV/AIDS are curable/modified through medical treatment, only cultural, legislative, social, and political change can correct the side effects that come with homelessness in the United States – according to Jaelyn Hill-Rucker's project on the Homeless epidemic in IDEAS | JUSTICE | ACTION Issue # 3.

Individuals can find themselves displaced or homeless for a variety of reasons, not just substance abuse like the average stereotype claims.

An increase in mortgage/rent prices, heightened cost of living, the loss of a job, the loss of a caregiver or the family breadwinner, overwhelming debt, and the lack of fair/livable wages – as introduced by Gabriel Zanetti in his publication on women's wages and homelessness in California, also in Issue # 3. He shed light on the alarming likelihood of women in the Golden State, specifically those belonging to the Black and Latinx communities, being compensated significantly less than their male counterparts resulting in an increase of these women experiencing homelessness.

Zanetti’s work offers a direct introduction to the issue of homelessness, which pairs perfectly with Hill-Rucker's work that offers a direct and practical solution to the issues raised by homelessness through the implementation of progressive legislation.

The solution to homelessness is rather simple

As both authors mention: better pay for working individuals, honest allocation of taxpayers’ dollars, and transformative laws to prevent discriminatory housing and pay practices would resolve increasing homelessness.

However, the real difficulty surrounding the homeless epidemic lies within the United States’ unwillingness to equally support all its citizens across all communities.

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