Cultural Analysis

Topics: Homelessness, Begging, Homelessness in the United States Pages: 4 (1618 words) Published: December 1, 2013

Turning off of I-70 onto the Range Line exit, you coast down the hill, and come to a stop at the red light. Right outside of your driver’s window, not two feet away, is a man standing. He's holding up a cardboard sign, and looking out of the corner of your eye, you read, "Hungry. Homeless. Anything helps. God bless." His facial hair is out of control, his clothing is tattered and filthy, and you can see his big toe popping out of the tip of his tennis shoe. The man clearly looks like he is struggling. He makes eye contact with you. What do you do?

When traveling through Columbia, chances are you will encounter at least one person holding up a cardboard sign with writing that says something along the lines of, "Hungry and homeless" The decrease in employment and economic hard times have played a role in homelessness. Some can’t purchase a home because of housing discrimination against their race. Many people with mental health issues find it difficult to get a job. However, how often are these people that you see holding up that sign on the side of the road actually homeless? I was curious to dig a little deeper and do some research. How many people will spare a few bucks to help that man out, and how many will turn their heads and pretend he isn't standing there?

I decided to create a survey. What I had expected to find from my results was that the majority would say that they never give homeless people money. However, to my surprise, the results were mixed. I surveyed 41 people, and 54% said they never give homeless people money, while 46% said they do sometimes. My next question was, “Why?” The majority of the 46% said that they will give the homeless money if the individual really looks like they are in need. I assume what they mean by that is their appearance, and how rough they look. Four individuals claimed that you should be compassionate and help the less fortunate. It’s easy to spare extra change lying around your car. Another respondent put...
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