Within the past decade, the number of homeless people in the world has become overwhelming. In the city of New York for example, there is a need to develop a great plan to permanently solve overpopulation issues as the increase in the number of homeless people has become a problem. In other to curb this issue, the needs of these homeless people need to be met. Homelessness is a complex affected by not just social status but also includes economic and geographical factors amongst others.
The number the homeless people in New York alone has risen to a tragic level. It has been recorded that up to January of 2017 the number of homeless people in New York was recorded to be more than 60000 people. A high number like this was last recorded in the 1930s during the Great Depression. In this number most of them are families which have children. Among the homeless some of them sleep in shelters and others are sleeping in the streets. The families in the shelters are about three quarters of the whole population of the people in shelters and thus this has grown to be a major problem which is immediate interventions are not sought out then it can lead to a great national disaster. The main issue that causes homelessness in most cities is the lack of affordable housing. This is why most families end up being homeless. There are other causes that lead to homelessness and these are things like overcrowding, eviction, loss of jobs, bad housing conditions, domestic violence and many more issues. This goes to show that homelessness is an issues that s affected by economic, social, ethnic as well as geographical issues. It is important to note that according to statistics there are more homeless men than women and also about 60 percent of the homeless people are young and about 35 years and below. The main purpose of solving the issue of homelessness is to improve the quality of the people. This will eventually lead to the homeless people being comfortable thus they can provide labor in many parts of society. Solving the issue of homelessness is also important because it reduces diseases that children contract in the homeless shelter and also psychological problems that the people mostly the adults in the homeless shelters experience. If the problem of homelessness is resolved then the general needs of those people will be resolved or markedly reduced (Acosta and Toro 2000).
Critical Thinking Process
Assumptions and Bias
My assumptions about the issue of homelessness in New York are that it is a growing problem and unless it is resolved as fast as possible then it may get out of hand. The problem continues to increase because the government has not been giving the matter as much attention as should. The needs of the people are not catered for and hence this will eventually lead to other problems such as death or diseases which will still have to be catered for by the governing thus incur avoidable expenses.
There may be bias in resolving the issue and the needs of the homeless because some of the people in the shelters are not actually homeless and just act homeless in order to get free things. Some of the homeless are illegal immigrants and hence cannot be allowed to rent houses. Another issue that may cause bias when trying to resolve the issue is the issue is the problem that people may not want to leave the cities even when they are broke and hence ends up being homeless. The other bias on the issue is that not personally understanding the plight of homeless people.
In order to adequately get to the solution for comprehensively meeting the needs of the homeless people is would be best to critically analyze the issues using the universal standards of thinking in order to do correct evaluation (Flood, 2015).
Clarity. It would be important that no information about the issue remains vague because this may interfere with the solution.
Precision. I can be precise by having the specific statistics of homeless people and their needs as stated from various sources.
Accuracy. In the paper truthfulness of the issue can be confirmed by referring to the various sources mentioned.
Relevance. This can be confirmed only if the information provided in the paper is directly in relation to the subject of homeless people and their needs.
Depth. Dealing with the significant factors such as the causes of homelessness and strategies to solve the problem.
Breadth. This means being able to look at the problem of homeless people not being catered for in another perspective. An example may be to look at the problem from the perspective of the government and other aid providers while also looking at the problem from the perspective of the people who are homeless.
Logic. This can be evaluation of the governments point and analyzing it in a way that reveals if it makes sense. The reasons why people end up homeless and finding a link to what the government is providing as a reason for this.
Fairness. This involves finding a balance between any personal feelings or agenda and the truth. It means also representing the views of others in a sympathetic way.
Significance. This means giving the issue the importance it deserves.
In order to get reliable information of the problem and possible solutions it is important to use reliable sources such as:
New York City Department of Investigation: Probe of Department of Homeless Services’ Shelters for Families with Children Finds Serious Deficiencies by MG Peters
Let’s Ask the Homeless People Themselves: A Needs Assessment Based On A Probability Sample of Adults by Acosta, O., & Toro, P. A.
The sources above are essential for the analysis of the problem and generation of potential permanent solutions from the problem because the information gathered is from the people who are homeless themselves and also government department with the responsibility of eradicating the problem and providing solution for catering on the needs of the people. This is important because it gives both perspectives and no bias on the issue. The sources also give options on the solutions for fixing the problems and potential hindrances to reaching the solution. It is essential to used the two sources as in doing so is already an implementation of the standards of critical thinking which requires fairness to both parties, logic and depth of the issues affecting homeless people.
Some factors may be associated with the problem of homelessness and hence during the process of critically thinking about the issue they may work for or against achieving a clear understanding (Flood, 2015). Some of these factors include:
Curiosity- These may be good for the researcher because it may help in wanting to know more and thus lead the researcher in gathering more information on the subject. This may also be valuable as it pushes the researcher to work more on understanding what homeless people go through. There are some researchers who have gone as far as living the lives that the subjects they were researching on lived. This helps gives a clear picture and also development of empathy for the homeless people.
Fair-mindedness- This can be especially beneficial at it helps a person think in a way that is fair to the subject of the research. This leads the researches to search for truth in the research and hence no possibility of bias. This aspect is what makes thinking critical and leads to results that are long lasting and thus find an equilibrium between the subjects involve in finding a solution.
Emotions- It is not advisable for a researcher of an issue such as homelessness to be emotional as this may cloud the person’s judgment and it may also lead the person to results that may not be reliable. It is highly possible that when a person is emotionally affected by something then it is very possible that they may end up putting forward unreliable results. The person is usually biased as they have personal feelings regarding the subject of the topic. It is thus advisable that in order to think critically about the issues then it is advisable that a person has a clear mind that is free of emotions.
Intellectual Courage- This means not being afraid or find out more about the issue of homelessness and why the number of homeless people keeps on increasing even with the various solution that have been put in place. The researcher must be able to deal with difficult and somewhat confusing issues concerning homelessness. An example is a person finding solution for the problem must be willing to encounter challenges and make mistakes as this is the only way they develop critical thinking and build on solutions. A person must be willing to challenge the various beliefs they have and an example is the believe that the people who are homeless are lazy
Intellectual integrity- This can be established by the researcher holding themselves to a standard that they deem the homeless people are also on. Try to understand their situation before commenting on it. Put themselves in the position of those of the homeless and the position of the government and the people concerned with providing the solutions.
Intellectual humility- It is a quality that most people who deep themselves as critical thinkers should posses. When a person is intellectually humble when trying to solve the problem a catering for the needs of the homeless then the person is able to not just think but to also reason well. The researcher should not think they know too much because it is because of the overestimation of the knowledge they have that will make they give information that is not backed up by actual sources. This quality can be achieved by the researcher understanding the limit of the knowledge they posses.
Confidence in Reason- This can be achieved by reflecting on the problem and possible solutions in order to make good decisions. This aspect grows the process of critical thinking on the issue of homelessness and the needs they have. This helps a person in developing their own rationale towards the problem and from this they can come up with conclusions that are based on critical thinking.
Perseverance- This means searching for the truth and information even when the conditions are tough.
Critical Thinking Errors
Some of the errors that a person conducting research on a particular subject may encounter include:
Emotional appeals- This problem can be encountered when the researcher if faced with issues that persuades them to think in a particular way. This leads to the researcher not understanding the subject. Looking at the issues of needs of the homeless in an emotional way leads to not having a clear understanding.
Propaganda- If the information provided is misleading then this can make the problem appear worse when in fact it may not. An example when the opposition provides false information about suffering of the homeless so that they can gain politically.
Logical fallacies- This may be stated as when the information of the problems that the refugees are facing is not valid and it originate from a non reliable source. This brings about error in reasoning.
Misleading statistics- This can be taken as the number of homeless people given is false or even the number of homeless people that experience mental issues as wrong. This will led to misunderstanding and putting focus on issues that don’t require focus.
Apart from the errors that are made in the understanding of the problem, there are also some errors that may be experienced when applying the solutions (Flood, 2015). These include:
Exaggeration- If the number of homeless people to be given permanent housing is exaggerated then this may lead to the state using too much money on houses that will not be used.
Guessing- This error may lead to the development of unrealistic solution because there were not founded on facts.
Overgeneralization- The cause of getting to the solution may not be reached over a long period of time because on not having the specifics to a particular solution. Generalizing that all homeless people have mental problems and thus require help is wrong and will lead to no real solution.
Lack of perspective- The angle at which the problem was analyzed may lead development of wrong solutions.
Solutions for the Needs Homeless
Some of the solutions that can serve to end the problems that the homeless people face include providing for the healthcare needs trough government programs, providing food through ensuring a balanced diet, Providing education for children who are homeless, providing financial aid for the adults and for the adults it can go a long way if permanent housing can be provided. If the people are provided with permanent housing then this can be very important in terms of the government can be able to easily help the people in that particular location and not having to trace the people in the many shelters. These solutions will help build the social part of society. The provision of those needs to the homeless will help them raise their status in society and hence live a more comfortable life. This is important because people who live in good environments are more happy thus preventing psychological problems and other diseases. The other benefit of settling the homeless is that it saves the government a lot of money that could be spent in solving the problems in the shelters because the problems would only increase. It is important to note that if housing is first provided to the homeless people then this becomes the best route for ending the problem of homelessness (Peters, 2015).
Implementing the plan of providing housing for the homeless starts with the government having a budget for the project and the approval of the plan is necessary. The next part of the implementation plan would be to identify or acquire land for the development of the projects. The project should be set aside in a plan that accommodates the provision of affordable houses, supportive housing and also shelters. All houses should be self-effacing even though we need many houses. It can be cheaper and more beneficial if the government uses some of the existing building for the projects. This will help in settling the people faster. The time that will take for the housing project can be about 5 years but in between the people can be settled in the projects that will be completed (Acosta and Toro 2000).
Acosta, O., & Toro, P. A. (2000). Let’s ask the homeless people themselves: A needs assessment based on a probability sample of adults. American Journal of Community Psychology, 28(3), 343-366.
Flood, P. A. (2015). Critical thinking skills and information literacy skills: Discerning online information among high school students. Liberty University.
Peters, M. G. (2015). New York City Department of Investigation: Probe of Department of Homeless Services’ Shelters for Families with Children Finds Serious Deficiencies.