Stereotypes About Homeless People

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Know Thyself, an article by John D. Mayer, features the thoughts of Shelley Taylor and Susan Fiske. Fiske and Taylor explain that it is often challenging to understand others when we have preconceived notions and stereotypes about people before we get to know them (77). Homeless people are often considered social outcasts. And because they are outcasts, do we not understand them very well? A good question to ask about homeless people therefore is how do preconceived notions and stereotypes about homeless people cause city governments and it’s citizenry to treat them as inferiors who need to be hidden? Sometimes in our society, the homeless are stereotyped as homeless because they are to lazy to get a job and work hard. It seems a common belief in America that the benefits that life comes with almost always come after hard work. However, according to Wilson Dizard and Kristyn Martin of Al Jazeera America a quarter of the homeless population have employment at the time of their homelessness. “Hardworking yet still homeless in today’s America” focusses on the story of Julia Cooley, a mother of one who commutes to work a total of five hours a day, yet is still homeless when the work day is over (1). Cooley makes $9.15 an hour at “Our House”, a child- care center for homeless children to stay while their parents search for jobs. Cooley is one of about 875,000 people in America working, yet not making enough money to afford housing (Dizard and Martin1). Unfortunately,

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