Homelessness has remained one of the min problems for the countries who are wealthy and rich in resources. Some of these countries include UK and Canada. It is still one of the strangest facts that there are millions of homeless people still living on the streets of these wealthy countries in shattered homes or streets. Various studies have been conducted on the issues faced by these homeless people as well as their experiences. The information of these experiences can help the student nurses by reshaping lost social identities of these homeless people.
Homelessness in the United States has remained a concern for many sociologists. The number of homeless people started to accelerate in the 1980s when it was estimated that more than 500,000 people were homeless. In accordance to the reports published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in 2009, there were more than 700,000 people homeless or living in shattered homes. In accordance to the same report, more than 4 million people in the U.S. experience homelessness each year. This paper will focus on the same topic; homelessness and the issues that are faced by the homeless people. The paper will summarize three main studies on homelessness. The main study, the required text is based on the topic "Homelessness" in the book Sociology 7th Canadian Edition by John J. Macionis and Linda. M. Gerber (2011). The two other studies that will be used for comparison and contrast with the required text include 'Gender Differences in the Residential Origins of the Homeless: Identification of Areas with High Risk of Homelessness' by Deden Rukmana, and 'Stories from the streets: people's experiences of homelessness' written by S. Williams and T. Stickley. The information provided in the texts can be of great help for a student nurse as the information can help in understanding some of the main psychological and social issues that are faced by the homeless people. As soon as these issues can be learned, there is a great deal of changes that can be implemented by the nurses in their services of healthcare provision to the poor and homeless.
Summary of articles
Sociology (7th Edn, Canada)
"Homelessness" in the book Sociology 7th Canadian Edition by John J. Macionis and Linda. M. Gerber (2011) has mainly focused on the issue of homelessness in Canada. The beginning of the text is rather strong. It states that up until now, Canadian government has failed to provide adequate and affordable housing to the poor and needy ones in Canada.
The text has given important information, as there is a need to look into the issue of homelessness in the country that has wealthy of resources. The rising trend of homelessness in wealthy and resourceful countries like Canada is a scar on the sociological life of the country. It indicates that the authorities and the governments have remained ignorant of the issue. Definitions and categories of the homeless people have been given in the text. First category includes those who are in jails, living on the streets or in the temporary shelters. Second category of the homeless people includes those who have been laid off based on plant closings, have been thrown out of apartments based on rising rents, or because of gentrification in which housing-based rooms are converted into single-family homes. The authors have than highlighted main health issues that are faced by the homeless people. These include being mentally ill as well as being drug or alcohol addicts. Important part of the text is the reason given that has increasingly contributed to the issues of homelessness (Macionis and Gerber, 2011, p. 265).
The authors have highlighted that the declining efficiency of the Canadian government and the Canadian economy when coupled together is the main cause of rising homelessness in the country. The authors have mentioned in the text that the societal as well as the personal dimensions of the problem must be taken into account. An important section in the chapter, 'sociology and the media' has highlighted how erroneous census is being carried out by the volunteers that adds into the wrong reporting of the actual number of homeless people in the country. Social inequality has been highlighted as an important factor in which it has been highlighted that the blacks and Aboriginals are never seen as a part of higher life styles (Macionis and Gerber, 2011, p. 269).
Gender Differences in the Residential Origins of the Homeless: Identification of Areas with High Risk of Homelessness
Written by Deden Rukmana, the study has highlighted some of the main gender-based issues as faced by the homeless people in Miami Dade County, in Florida. The strongest point about the study is that previous studies that have focused on the issue of homeless have been mentioned. The author has highlighted that more focus has been given to homeless people and their issues since the last 20 years. The weaknesses and the gaps in the previous studies have been highlighted in the study as the author has mentioned lesser focus being given to the residential origins of the homeless people. There are two main objectives of the study as highlighted by the author. The study has first investigated the origins of the homeless people. Secondly, the study has investigated the socioeconomic, housing and demographic factors associated with the origins of the homeless people. As a hypothesis, the author has stated that there are various economic and demographic factors that contribute to the residential origins of the homeless people (Rukmana, 2010, p. 96).
Gender perspective is the main area of the study. In this case, the author has mentioned that the women as compared to men are less likely to live on the streets. Homeless women are usually found living in shattered homes. Homeless men are more exposed to social as well as environmental risks. Domestic violence has been cited as one of the main reasons for homeless women. Men on the other hand cite loss of their jobs as the main reason for being homeless (Rukmana, 2010, p. 98).
Census tracts, hotspot analysis and statistical analysis have been used to achieve the objectives in the study. Findings in the study state that homeless women are concentrated both ion northern as well as southern areas while men are found more in the northern parts of the country having highest poverty. Secondly, one of the most important factors that have contributed more to the homelessness is the housing factors and housing crowding (Rukmana, 2010, p. 110).
Stories from the streets: people's experiences of homelessness
This study has focused on the main experiences of the homeless people. How the homeless people refer to the issues that they face being homeless and how they feel about being homeless is one of the main themes of the study. With the help of learning more about these experiences, additional information about how homelessness has affected mental health of these people along with their identity claims can be gained. For the purpose of knowing and looking deeper into the experiences of the homeless people, the main strategy adopted by the authors was interview. Eight homeless people were interviewed in order to gain the required information (Williams and Stickley, 2011, p. 432).
With the help of the interviews, it was seen that there are four main themes of the experiences faced by the homeless. These include family breakdown, rejection as well as stigma, identity breakdown, hope and illicit substances. In case of identities, it has been reported that negative effects have been seen on the homeless people's identities and there is a need that the identities are reshaped. Sense of identity is negatively affected in the homeless people on the personal as well as social level. When one tends to find shelter and home for the homeless, extra care and warmth must be shown as these are the basic needs for the restoration of identity (Williams and Stickley, 2011, p. 434).
The findings of the study has shown that homeless people are the ones who need extra help and hand of help must be extended to these as the negative effects on the sense of identity of these homeless people needs reshaping. The information gained from the experiences of these people can be used by the mental healthcare nurses to address the issues that lead to mental illnesses in these people. The author has mentioned that there is a need to offer help to these homeless people, as there is a need that social and personal identities of these people are reshaped along with social contacts (Williams and Stickley, 2011, p. 437).
Comparison of articles
Sociology vs. Gender Differences in the Residential Origins of the Homeless: Identification of Areas with High Risk of Homelessness
The concepts that have been given in the book are different from the concepts that have been given in the journal article. The facts given in the required text are brief in relation to the occurrence of homelessness in Canada. The required text has also highlighted some of…