For the most part, the human race has a natural instinct to want to help those in need but acting on this instinct is often easier said than done. In today’s society people tend to lead lives with a heavy focus on materialistic gain, personal appearance and perceived social standings. In trying to attain these things, as a society, we are overlooking the rising issue of homelessness and the issues that lead people to a life on the streets. ‘But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.’ (Luke 14:13-14) By ignoring these issue’s we are widening the gulf between those who have ‘everything’ and those that have ‘nothing’. As Catholic’s we are called by Pope Francis to respond to the issue of homelessness. Some people are forced to live in conditions that are considered to be below the poverty line with little access to amenities that are essential to survive. In these circumstances, where some don’t have somewhere to call home, their dignity and rights as a human have been forgotten, even exploited. Although there are those that choose to turn a blind eye to this problem, there are also groups that are providing services and trying to improve conditions for these people in need.
As humans we are taught from a very young age that we deserve dignity and have a basic right to life. ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.’ (United Nations, 1948) In Australia, there are currently 105,237 people that are living in some state of homelessness without their basic rights or dignity (Homelessness Australia, 2012). People can find themselves at risk of becoming homeless for many different reasons. Some of the main reasons outlined by the Salvation Army were addiction,...
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