House for the Homeless

Topics: Homelessness, Homeless shelter, Saint Francis House Pages: 1 (279 words) Published: November 3, 2013
I chose the essay “House for the Homeless” which is about a girl from Bosnia who decides to volunteer in a homeless shelter in order to learn more about the homeless people that she doesn’t understand. She does this not only by describing their daily routine – “check in, eat, listen to George read the rules of the shelter,” and so on (page 47) – but also by describing the people themselves. One man in particular she describes as “an old and sick looking man. His hair was gray and braided. Although he looked tired, his appearance projected an illusion of young spirit” (46). These descriptions help to paint a picture of the life of the people in this subculture. The author shows these people as not just homeless people, but as people with goals and aspirations and promise. She not only tells the reader, but shows the reader that these are a group of people trying to get their life back on track. As the quotes on page 3 suggest, the culture is composed of “a more or less consistent pattern of thought and action” (3) and the author illustrates this by directly describing the thoughts and actions of the homeless people. I feel this essay is written from both an objective and subjective point of view. At first, the author has a very subjective point of view, because other people have told her how she should view the homeless people, and she admits she was prejudiced against them at first. However, the latter half of the essay is written from a more objective standpoint, because she consciously tries to put her prejudices aside when she decides to work at the homeless shelter.
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