Homelessness doesn’t discriminate

Discrimination is defined as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age or sex.”

The United States has a long history of unjust treatment.

Unfortunately, homelessness is an equal opportunist and does NOT discriminate.

Third Street Alliance has been home to residents who didn’t complete high school to those who have obtained their master degrees. Some of the residents have been as young as 20 years old and as old as 65. Some of the residents had very lucrative positions and were a part of a company-wide downsizing and some who have never been gainfully employed.

Homelessness doesn’t discriminate 1

Homelessness is real within Easton and the surrounding suburbs. It has no regard for one’s gender, race or age. But one-by-one, Third Street Alliance is working with many to eliminate the stigma and to decrease the numbers in Northampton County and beyond.

For many of us, when we hear the word homeless, we think of a man or woman with their bags of belongings, blankets and a space under a bridge they call “home.” It is very important for us to understand the facts and data associated with this issue.

Across the country, shelters are filled with families with children, single adults, older individuals and even teenagers of all races and genders. It’s a family affair. It continues to be one of our nation’s most misunderstood social problems. The struggle is real and the reasons are as complex as the issue itself.

The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania reports “the issues of affordable housing and homelessness are intricately connected.” In its most simple cause homelessness happens when people are unable to not only acquire but to maintain affordable housing.

Millions of low-income households face homelessness due to high costs of living, substandard housing, or both.

But the face of homelessness has changed, therefore there must be an attitude change as how we deal with the root causes.

We no longer can think the problem is “them” and that it’s their own fault for their current situation. It’s just not that easy. Homelessness does not discriminate.

–Janice Thomas, Director of Homeless Services; [email protected]

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