There are human beings of all ages, races, and genders that live without access to basic human needs. They go without shelter on cold nights, they go for long periods without eating, they have inadequate access to restrooms and showers, and yet they co-exist in the same environment with those who have access to the resources they need. Those with access sometimes look at those without access as a nuisance, an eyesore, or worse as criminals who brought upon their own misfortunes. The desperately poor suffer as though it is a penance for past sins. These judgments do not solve poverty and only further conflicts between the haves and the have nots. These judgments about who is to blame for individual instances of poverty fail to see the broader context that poverty is inherent to a system which does not guarantee basic human needs to all. Without guaranteed access to resources, the system continually produces citizens of a class below having basic needs met.
Homelessness is a term that defines people by their lack of a resource. Altruistic charities attempt to provide resources to those who go without, but charity alone can only treat the symptoms of a system that is profoundly sick. Even if individual homeless individuals could be rescued, rehabilitated, and returned to society that would be akin to catching water from a leaky pitcher only to put the water back in the pitcher. Collect all the leaking water and the pitcher continues to leak. Solving homelessness, and a myriad of other problems, cannot be accomplished until we raise the bottom standard of living by providing equality of access to all resources needed by all human beings.
Here is my list of basic resources needed by all: food, shelter, restrooms, medication, transportation, clothing, internet access, and cash. There are plenty of these resources to go around and so the real obstacle is our priorities and limiting beliefs. We consent to a government that spends billions on bombs yet guarantees poverty at home by not addressing needs simply and efficiently. We can bring an end to homelessness and all forms of economic slavery in a triumphant break from history. All we have to do is guarantee access to those resources for all, no exceptions. Human potential will be freed from the persistent fear of going without. Anything less than equality of access for all will perpetuate economic slavery.