Homelessness in Australia can be defined in three categories; ‘Primary homelessness’ which is experienced by people without conventional accommodation, ‘Secondary homelessness’ is experienced by people who frequently move from one temporary shelter to another and ‘Tertiary homelessness’ which is experienced by people staying in accommodation that falls below minimum community standards. The first stimuli picture shows a person who is living though primary homelessness, living on the streets with only a few blankets to sleep with. Homeless people generally feel embarrassed, isolated and depressed; they are also cold, hungry and become lonely. They usually need medical attention, medications, blanket, clothing and in need of a friendship. In Australia there are 105, 237 people affected by homelessness and 27% of them are under 18. There are 59% of them either living in overcrowded dwelling or supported accommodation and the other 41% are living on the streets or in boarding houses specify designed for the homeless.
There are many causes that lead to homelessness in Australia, some of which include; long term unemployment, shortage of affordable rental housing, poverty, mental illness and the exiting of state care or prison. Domestic violence is the largest cause of homelessness in Australia. Homelessness can also be caused by family breakdown, sexual assault, drug and alcohol addictions, gambling and social isolation. Some people especially adolescences are homeless because they were kicked out of home, have a lack of education or were abandoned by their family and friends. Homelessness usually results in being away from family, friends and the rest of the community so it is difficult to maintain school or further study which leads to them being vulnerable to long term unemployment and chronic ill-health. Homeless Australians are often excluded from participating in social, recreational, cultural and economic opportunities. All of these present factors of homelessness led to people having depression, poor nutrition, poor dental health, substance abuse, mental health issues and may even results in suicide. Children who experience homelessness are more likely to become homeless as adults and raise families who, in turn, may also become homeless. The causes and consequences of homelessness are also talked about throughout the New and Old Testament. Showing us that over time, the injustice of homelessness has not changed, we are still fighting the same battles.
In the bible passage by Isaiah (58:7) in the Old Testament he writes, “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe them and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” The injustice issue of homelessness is discussed in this passage; it explains that to be a true catholic means sharing and giving to the poor and not to turn away from them just because they are without homes. The second bible passage that relates to homelessness is a passage from Matthew (8:20) in the New Testament, where he writes “Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew is telling us that Jesus was comparing animals having homes to people having none and how that is unfair. Both scripture references relate to the issue of homelessness in contemporary society as people are still being sent to the streets while animals are being put in homes and people are still looking down on the homeless and not fulfilling their roles as Catholics. Also both scripture reference relate to the beatitude “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth", which means bless the poor (homeless) as they are a part of the earth. As well as homelessness issues being discussed in the bible, we as Catholics also learn about homelessness from the catholic social teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching, are the teachings of the...
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