Essay About Homeless People

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Introduction The main topic of this essay will be stigma and integration of homeless people with mental problems. I am wondering what actually makes it that homeless individuals suffer so much under stigmas, especially when they want to change their life circumstances and re-enter the labour market. Exactly this is the question I am going to address in this essay and trying to answer by using the exemplary story of someone I met in the homeless shelter I am volunteering in. Homeless people are people without a permanent residence. They sleep in a shelter, on the streets or temporary at their friends’ or- family’s home (Wolf, Zwikker, Nicholas, Van Bakel & Reinking, 2002). There are around 17,000 homeless individuals in the Netherlands…show more content…
When he was a homeless drug addict people tried to avoid, reject or eliminate him. This behaviour corresponds to the attitudes people have towards homeless individuals namely that they perceive them as threatening, dangerous, non-productive and personally culpable (Belcher & DeForge, 2012). Once Ben was diagnosed with the mental disorder schizophrenia people started to treat him differently. They would distance themselves from him or avoid him. This is because mental illness evokes negative responses such as social distance, mistrust, discrimination in housing, and perceptions of dangerousness, worthlessness, dirtiness, and lack of intelligence (Phelan, Link, Moore & Stueve, 1997). Besides, mental illness is one of the most stigmatizing conditions, causing a strong social rejection (Phelan et al., 1997). Stigmas also shift the focus towards individual responsibility whereby it is easier to blame the victim (Corrigan & Wassel, 2008). This ‘blaming the victim’ will lead to a negative perspective on homeless individuals because people could think that the homeless are to blame for their situation. The stigma of homeless people can furthermore create and maintain anger and discrimination towards them (Corrigan & Wassel,

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