Are the homeless people of America responsible for their own situation or has society kept these individuals in the unfortunate situation in which they find themselves in?
Sociologists would argue that society is at fault for not allowing the homeless to help themselves out of their various situations. If this is the case, it would mean that status is ascribed and cannot be achieved. No matter the efforts of the homeless, they will always be considered a lesser individual because they once had homeless status. Homeless people cannot break free from the mold that society has placed them in. Homeless individuals cannot obtain the things needed to no longer be considered homeless. For instance, they do not have the money to obtain higher education to receive a well paying job or career. They cannot even obtain the necessary clothing to present themselves well in order to get a job, much less move up into positions such as supervisor, etc. which then in turn forces them to remain in the situation that they first started in, being homeless. The homeless will never have the opportunitiesthat the son of a businessman would because his status as homeless has conditioned the opportunities that will be available to him. The different levels of social status are widely expected to stay the way they are, not allowing much room for someone of low class status to climb the ladder of success. In order for there to be a business elite class there must also be a lower class and since there is not much chance that the business elite are going to fall from success it is unlikely that the homeless will ever have the opportunity to take that place.
I honestly believe that many homeless people who have been homeless for longer than a few months are homeless because they choose not to take advantage of the opportunities that have afforded them. Some people become homeless as a result of a bad string of luck but most often the people that fall victim to this circumstance quickly take lower paying jobs, get into government subsidized housing, trying their hardest to make the best of the circumstances that have befallen them. Some think that the population of the chronically homeless are a group that are just unwilling to work themselves out of their times of trouble. Some people without jobs and homes are content to have it that way. They enjoy the freedom and the lackadaisical lifestyle that being homeless allows them to have. Some people even live off of the money that they beg from others on the streets. Not all homeless people are unwilling to work themselves out of their situations. Some are really a victim of circumstance but I doubt that is the case in most situations.
Although sociologists would argue that homeless people are victims of society and circumstance I personally feel that most of the homelessness of America could be solved if less people were content to just be homeless and more willing to work to get ahead in life.