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Service Learning Journal Homeless People Are OneTerm Paper

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Service Learning Journal

Homeless people are one of the most misunderstood communities in the contemporary society. Because of their limited understanding of these people, the masses are often inclined to ignore their problems or to simply believe that each person is responsible for his or her problems. By spending prolonged periods of time next to these people, one can gain a more complex understanding of their conditions and of the particularities that led to each of these people losing their homes.

Many of these people have lost their hope and, especially important, their faith in God. While a religious person would likely find it difficult to understand how such a thing is possible, one needs to put him or herself in the position of a homeless person in order to actually be able to understand how they lost their beliefs. These people have been bombarded with negative ideas for most of their recent years and they were thus influenced to develop a pessimistic view with regard to life in general.

As positive as a person may be, he or she is likely to lose their hopes as a consequence of coming across individuals who constantly reprimand him or her and who make him or her feel that it is perfectly normal for them to suffer in silence. The masses appear to feel a type of discomfort as a consequence of coming across homeless people. It is practically as if people consider that it would be best for someone to simply take homeless people away from the streets and to a place where they would not be able to induce feelings of sorrow, disgust, and pity in the rest of the population. To a certain degree, society seems to be a place where people would like problems to go away with no regard to the effects that this would have on unprivileged individuals.

During my stay with homeless people I learnt more about society than I did about homeless people themselves. This is due to two reasons:

Homeless people are no difficult from other people when considering their backgrounds, as they have very complex stories that one cannot possibly understand during a simple conversation with them.

Most homeless people had something in common -- they had been discriminated because of their social status and they felt that most individuals they came into contact with automatically considered that they were lesser people as a consequence of not having a home.

Journal article 2.

During my work at the shelter I came across a woman whose story was certainly intriguing. She had come from Mexico into the U.S. As a visitor twenty years ago and fell in love with another Mexican individual who was living here since he was a child. They started a relationship and got married after two years. They now have four children born and raised in the U.S. All across these two decades Maria has been coming into the U.S. On a tourist visa and was able to get the authorities to accept her stay in numerous occasions. Even with the fact that her relationship to Pedro was particularly powerful, he was unable to get her citizenship (this also being to his controversial status as an immigrant into the country).

Maria has grown accustomed to seeing her children once in a few months and it did not necessarily bother her that she needed to go back home on a constant basis in order to renew her visa. In spite of this, however, the authorities acknowledged her condition and eventually denied her access into the country living her with only one option -- to enter the country illegally. The stress she was subjected to influenced her to get involved with a series of drug smuggling criminals. The fact that she was exposed to this world also made her vulnerable to drugs and she became addicted to heroin two years ago.

In addition to struggling to survive as an illegal alien in the U.S., Maria also started to have problems as a result of her drug problem. While being happy that she could stay around them, her family noticed that something was different and pressured her into admitting that she was addicted to heroin. Even with this, it took her family two years to convince her to trust them with her issues. In the beginning she started asking them for money and to invent all types of excuses in order to persuade her children and her husband to be cooperative. The fact that she could not get a job as a result of her immigrant status made it difficult for her family to understand that she mainly asked them for money in order to buy drugs.

When considering Maria's condition, it seems that there is a clear path taking her from being a happy mother and wife to being a drug addict. Her status previous to being banned in the U.S. was already critical, considering that she needed to go back and forth between Mexico and the States in order to avoid having any type of problems. However, as the authorities acknowledged her condition and denied her tourist visa request, she was left with no other option but to turn to experienced criminals who were used to smuggling people and illegal substances across the border. Her unprivileged situation also meant that she had to smuggle drugs for these people herself, taking into account that they typically charged individuals who wanted to cross the border illegally.

Journal article 3.

The masses have a very limited understanding of underprivileged people. For example, people can often have trouble understanding how a person who has a home to go to can have similar needs to someone who is homeless. In many cases individuals who came to eat at the homeless shelter I was working at actually had a home to go to. Even with this, they were in critical conditions and they were practically left with no option but to turn to others for help. They acknowledged the importance that a hot meal can have for someone and were unhesitant about admitting that they needed help.

One of the most intriguing things about homeless people visiting the shelter and about needy people in general is the fact that many of them have no problems with accepting their situation. These respective individuals are aware of the fact that the shelter is society's attempt to provide them with assistance and use this help with the purpose to improve their condition as much as possible. As previously mentioned a hot meal during a day can make the difference between someone who lost all hope and someone who feels energized and who gets actively involved in searching for jobs. Things that are not valuable for some can mean the world to others.

Working at a homeless shelter made it possible for me to benefit as anyone else crossing the institution's doorstep. I learnt that many people tend to lose their humanness as a consequence of trying to act as civilized as possible. It is as if society reached a point where being civilized is the equivalent of acting like a robot and discouraging any type of weakness. In contrast, homeless people and underprivileged people in general seem to understand life much better than others. These individuals have experienced a lot of suffering and are still unwilling to quit fighting. Even with the condition they are in, they know that they need to stay hopeful in order to stay alive. The very fact that they are present in the shelter demonstrates that they are willing to make an effort in order to improve their lives.

Journal article 4.

Although I'm having trouble determining what might be the reason for this, I discovered that homeless people are some of the best people one can have a conversation with. Whether it is because of their relaxed lifestyle which provides them with the time they need to talk to others or whether it is because of the numerous experiences they went through, underprivileged individuals are truly capable of telling fascinating stories. To a certain degree, I'm also having trouble determining whether all the stories are heard are actually real. Even with this, I can honestly say that some of these respective accounts were so fascinating that I did not even care to ask whether the speakers were telling the truth.

An aspiring psychologist is likely to have a positive experience as a consequence of coming into contact with underprivileged individuals and learning more about their condition. These respective people can enable someone to understand that life can be very complex and unexpected at the same time. Many of the people I came across used to have successful careers and many of them came to be homeless as a consequence of unforeseen circumstances. Similarly, many ended up being underprivileged as a consequence of the fact that they started using drugs and ended up having to sell most of their possession in order to support… [END OF PREVIEW]

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