Characters

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 255

The characters of "Homelessness" are as follows:

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The homeless: Male African Americans, married white women from rural areas, millennial women with young children, foster children, and veterans. Much of the homeless population lives in large urban centers, such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York City.

They maintain that a culture of criminalizing poverty has resulted in their social marginalization.

Researchers: Those who conduct research on homelessness. Much of this research material has helped influence public policy on homelessness. To date, researchers have provided data that highlights the nature and scope of homelessness, the factors that contribute to homelessness, and possible solutions to the problem.

Business owners and the public: Many people complain that the homeless often panhandle, loiter, and sleep in front of stores. They argue that the homeless pose a hazard to public health and safety. As an example, they point to squalor on the streets of San Francisco.

The government (legislators and public officials): This group has been tasked with providing actionable solutions for homelessness. Since the 1980s, legislation has been passed to tackle the problem, such as the Homes for Heroes Act. A newer version of the bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in 2018.

Social justice organizations: Organizations like The National Coalition for the Homeless continue to advocate for the disenfranchised and marginalized among us. For example, the organization consistently implements campaigns, such as the National Day of Action for Housing and the Housing Not Handcuffs campaign, which addresses the affordable housing shortage and the criminalization of homelessness.

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