Tuesday, March 19, 2013

WDS: Addressing Homelessness

Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups 


By Cindy Lyles

Malcolm Gladwell's essay “Million-Dollar Murray” details the issue of homelessness and how various cities have attempted to remedy the problem. Gladwell explains differing points of views on the issue, one being that dealing with homelessness is less expensive to solve than ignoring it. On the other hand, some believe that aiding the chronically homeless (also known as the hard cases) via assisted-living programs merely exacerbates rather than rehabilitates the problem.

Gladwell cites homelessness expert Philip Mangano, who says that rather than "manage a social wrong. You should be ending it” (187). Homelessness, according to Mangano, is a social wrong that those in civic power fail to tackle with urgency. By spending more money in medical costs and treatment for the homeless than it costs to provide them housing, Mangano believes civic leaders are only coping with homelessness instead of alleviating it.

Based on the different views, what do you view as the most viable option--managing vs. solving? Why?

5 comments:

Sandra Nnoung said...

It is better to solve a problem if possible. Especially if simply maintaining it would cost more. Rather than just providing food and clothes for the homeless, putting them in a position to get housing and make a living will help them more in the long run. Showing them how to help themselves would benefit those people who want to get out of the homeless situation.

Ajeenah Johnson-Brown said...

I believe solving a problem is best. By giving the homeless food and clothes we are enabling their habit or problem. It is the same with drugs. If you are looking to help a serious drug addict, then you would not continue to feed into their habit. What the homeless need is to be put in a position to get back on their feet. They need a job, a place to sleep, they need to have responsibility. I was recently watching The Pursuit of Happyness. A movie about a man who became homeless in San Francisco with his five year old son, but because of his desire for better for his son he became a stock broker at a major company. I really feel like his son was his motivation. He had a responsibility in being a parent and was set on not being homeless. He could have maintained the problem and went from shelter to shelter, but he chose to solve the problem.

Emmanuel Ogunbode said...

It is always better to try to solve a problem rather than to just cope with it. Ending a bad situation gives a complete stop to it. Trying to manage a problem only leads to the problem eventually worsening and going back to its original state of terror or maybe even worse.

Joshua Jones said...

I think we should solve the problem. If we can teach the homeless how to support themselves it would lower the return rate.

Conradette King said...

I think that is much better to try to solve the homelessness problem in major cites than to just simply manage it. By teaching the homeless ways and techniques to better their lives, you will be giving them the tools to eventually leave poverty. If you just manage the problem, then the cycle of homelessness will just begin again.