Homelessness in America

homelessness essay

English 101 – Essay II – Assignment

Texts Available to Use on EII (2 should be used in EII ):

“How Bad is Homelessness in America, Really?” by Daniel Neiditch

“Why Housing First” by Emily Kenney

PBS Now – http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/305/index.html (Housing first)

8 Website(s) from Homeless Org. Investigation

Ted Talk lecture – “Facing Homelessness” by Rex Hohlbein

1 student researched articles (w/ instructor approval)


In this section, we have read articles, watched lectures, and investigated issues related to the issue of homelessness in the US in an attempt to understand some of the causes of homelessness. We have also learned about the crippling effects homelessness can have on the diverse collection of ‘groups’ who experience life on the streets, and discovered ways organizations are trying to combat this long-term social problem. For this assignment, please focus on informing the audience on the cause(s) of homelessness, effect(s) of living life on the streets, and possible solution(s) to help raise someone out of this impoverished situation. Be sure to build your body paragraphs around a single, specific point related to a C/E/S (cause/effect/solution). The real danger in this assignment is going to broad with your focus, specifically in the main points of body paragraphs. Try to find a specific through-line allowing you to consider the issue without being too broad, and make sure TS’s are built around ‘single points’.

For example, the homeless community in the US consists of the hardcore homeless, who suffer from mental/physical disabilities and addiction, homeless youth searching for a place of their own, women/children escaping damaging relationships, veterans lacking support searching for a new purpose, and the constant cycle of newly homeless – victims of the economy and circumstance. To create a proper scope of analysis, it can be beneficial to narrow in on a specific demographic for your body paragraphs.


Reflect and brainstorm on the subject of homelessness and what you have learned thus far. Try to hone in on a specific ‘group’ affected by the issue (examples above ). This should help you to focus in on specific points related to a potential cause/effect/solution in each body paragraph. It should also help you create/have a ‘through line’ connecting your points. Please plan for paragraphs built around a single C/E/S and avoid jamming in all 3 to one paragraph. It will be crucial to incorporate 3 different sources as support (in the “E” section) through either paraphrasing or quoting. Taking time to plan your essay is very important, because of the amount of choice you have on this assignment. A carefully constructed outline will be critical.


Essay Outline due on Feb. 7th, Rough Draft on the 12th, Final Draft 14th.

The essay must be 4-5 pages in length, feature 4-5 body paragraphs

MLA format – in-text citations and Works Cited.

Must include the use of 2 separate ‘texts’ as support in 2 separate body paragraphs.

Student Example Outline – remember that this is only one example -> one way to properly respond to the assignment. There are a lot of choices to be made by each writer that may direct the ‘ideas’ in your outline to be different – number of BP’s, ‘purpose’ of BP’s (C/E/S). Notice the basic requirements that are met in terms of thesis, TS’s, PIES, and source support.

Thesis: The long term homeless, specifically those suffering from mental health issues, need the public’s and government’s support on programs like ‘housing first’ in order to rise above the conditions that keep them from treatment and a positive existence.

(P)– Untreated and unwanted individuals dealing with a range of mental disorders may find the streets to be the only place that accepts them ( cause ).

(I) discuss stigma of mental health, lack of treatment leads to disconnect from society.

(E) “Most studies show that about ¼ of the homeless population suffers from mental health issues” (Brigette).

(S) Mental health key cause/effect of homelessness – addressing it is key.

(P) – Inability to properly treat homeless individuals struggling with their mental health leads to a chronic condition of homelessness that exacerbates the disorders they suffer from ( effect ).


(E) Source Use or example – NEED 2 Separate Sources to Meet Requirements


(P) – One new approach to treating homelessness is ‘housing first’ which provides an immediate home to a homeless individual as the means to more effectively begin individualized treatment ( solution ).

(I) –

(E) Source Use or example – Only a minimum of 2 sources needed…

(S) –

4. (P) – Public support and government funding for organizations like Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission is needed to insure that mental health resources are available to the homeless community ( Solution ).

(I) –

(E) Source Use – … it is a good idea to have source support in each

(S) –

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