Changing Many Lives
Tyler Liu, Division 1, 6th grade #ws16e-s3d1

Most of us live in a world of privileges and luxuries, and we often take those things for granted. For example, I know I’m not the only one who complains when the WiFi is slow. We forget about how those in poverty struggle to survive each and every day. It’s hard to empathize with a homeless person when we have never been homeless ourselves. My mom use to tell me that if I didn’t study hard then I would end up homeless. We often mistaken people without a home as people who have no future and are not worth investing in. I would make the world a better place by changing the way we treat people, especially those that are less fortunate.

I’d like to take this time to acknowledge the fact that the majority of homeless people are without a home because the standard of living has significantly increased; - not because they committed a crime. From 2000 to 2009 there has been a 41% increase in rent price alone. Many people who live in poverty have to figure out how to survive on less than two dollars a day. That is not enough to afford the basic necessities such as food and rent. For some, committing a crime is an act of survival. It is not their fault they feel that they have to steal in order to survive. If anything, this shows how the homeless do not have access to the basics.

For instance, some individuals suffer from mental disorders and health problems. Polls from 2015 show that approximately one third of homeless people are mentally ill. The worse part is that most homeless people cannot afford their medication or have access to it. The only place most of them are able to get their medication is in jail. But going to jail just to get medication is unethical. I am fortunate that I don’t have to go to jail to receive my medication when I’m sick. I don’t believe that anyone should have to go to jail in order to get the essentials for living.

We need to invest our resources in these people. After all, they are people just like you and me. I would start by opening a program that provided the less fortunate with services they need, including shelters, food, medicine, and bus tickets.

If we want to leave positive footprints on our world, we need to treat them like real people. We should not forget that homeless people once had dreams. We should take the opportunity to help them achieving their dreams; not make them believe that the lives and dreams they once had are officially gone. Because when we invest in people, we get much more than just a life back. We get many lives back and we change so many lives in the process.
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