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Over the past year over two million men women and children were homeless in America NLCHP Homeless people face an intense struggle just to stay alive despite the fact that society turns its head from the problem The government makes laws that discriminate against homeless people which make it illegal for them to survive The mistreatment of homeless people is an issue that is often ignored in our community When you see a homeless person on the streets how do you react Do you turn your head and ignore them Do you feel frightened and avoid the situation all together Or do you see these people as human beings and treat them in that way Homeless people are subjected to alienation and discrimination by mainstream society NLCHP Most alienation and discrimination comes from the lack of education about homeless people Which seems to be a roccurring theme in our history we are scared or bothered by what we do not understand There are numerous untrue myths abou t homeless people Many people believe that homeless people commit more violent crimes than housed people NLCHP The reality is that homeless people actually commit less violent crimes than people with homes do Dr Pamela Fischer of John Hopkins University studied arrest records in Baltimore and discovered that even though homeless people were more likely to commit non-violent and non-destructive crimes they were less likely to commit violent crimes against people NLCHP The crimes that these people are committing are necessary to keep them alive These crimes include sleeping eating and panhandling Making it illegal to perform necessary daily activities in public when homeless people have no where else to go makes it impossible for homeless people to avoid violating the law NLCHP Another myth about homeless people is that they do not work and that they get their money from public assistance programs A study done in Chicago discovered that 39 of homeless peo ple interviewed
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