A few weeks ago we discussed the topics of cultural politics, mental health, and wellness. After looking for sources for my digital media project bibliography last week I came across this article about the stereotypes of homeless people. The article listed some of the common stereotypes which included: homeless people are drunks, heavy drug users, too lazy to work, criminals, and have mental health issues. Another myth is that people choose and want to be homeless. These stereotypes come from misconceptions when people see a small minority acting in this manner. Many people don’t realize that these stereotypes can impact homeless people by making it difficult for them to get a job and cause emotional distress upon them.
According to an organization, the top five reasons of homelessness are: lack of affordable housing, lack of living wage, domestic violence, medical bankruptcy, and mental illness. These reasons are not related to choice because it can happen to anyone. People assume that just because a person is homeless, they must not have a job. But, many homeless people do have jobs and the ones who don’t are trying to find one.
As with all stereotypes, some are not true because they do not retain to every single person in the category. After volunteering at PSP for a while now I can say that the people living there that I have encountered do not fit these common stereotypes. Stereotypes harm people and some of the negative impressions are so fixed into our society that the people who are trying to help may also believe in some of them. I think we should look past these stereotypes and see homeless people as regular human beings.
Here is the link to the article: http://www.preblestreet.org/in-the-news/myths-about-the-homeless/