Grace Lopez

Homelessness

The issue I have decided to work on is homelessness, specifically, respect and awareness. Living in the area that I do, I see a lot of homelessness. You cannot go to one corner in this area without encountering one homeless person begging for change or sleeping in a tattered sleeping bag. It is very upsetting to see so many people in need.
The topic of homelessness falls under the social and economic pillars of sustainability. Social sustainability is the ability to have complete equality within society. Everyone contributes and benefits from the programs that the government provides. It is important because it affects the lives of those living and their descendents. My topic has to do with this pillar because it is a result of an unsatisfactory social sustainability. If there are homeless people, that means that they are not contributing and/or benefiting from what the government is giving to everyone else. To have economic sustainability is to be able to support a level of economic production. This is important because it keeps society from falling apart and allows the people within it to sustain their standard of living. Homelessness causes instability in this pillar seeing as they do take up resources that require money and often do not give back.
One of the many problems that the homeless experience is a lack of respect. Like with any things, being homeless also has its very negative stereotypes like drug and alcohol abuse. People assume that they ended up in the streets for those reasons or something around that premise. Seeing as though they are in the streets, many fail to see that they are also human beings and that not all of them a heroin addicts and alcoholics. Not many stop to think about all the things that the homeless people had done before. I have met a homeless person before near my old apartment who was a victim or domestic violence and escaping her abusive husband left her in the streets. I have also heard of stories of people who lose their jobs and end up in the streets out of nowhere due to the lack of jobs. Some are men and women who went to school but have no idea how to get a job, abuse victims, and people just born in poverty. And even if they are heroin addicts and alcoholics, they still deserve a better living style than what they currently have. No one deserves something like that. All of this leads to them having problems with providing for themselves.
I hope to bring awareness to the fact that homeless people did not choose to be where they are today. A lot of people assume they are homeless because they don’t try. That is false. I hope my audience is the average person and that my chime will change that. The reaction that I hope to get from people viewing my chimes is to see the issues the homeless have which will hopefully make them understand that no one would ever willingly be homeless . I am doing that by displaying items that represent all the problems they face. I want the simple things that are on my chime that many people see often to forever remind them of the homeless and their struggles whenever they see them outside of my chime itself.
My first material is a pill bottle, preferably with something pill-like inside such as tic tacs. The orange bottles that hold prescription medication are typically made of polypropylene ((C3H6)n) Light can damage medication; therefore, the bottles are usually tinted. I want to use this specific material because it represents the mental illness that plagues the homeless community. “According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness.” My second material is hypodermic needle. Needle are produced from steel that is first heated until it is molten and then drawn through a mould. The steel is rolled into a continuous, hollow wire and cut to form the needle. I wish to use this material because it represents the drug addiction that many homeless people have to battle. My third material are a pair of tampons. The tampons themselves are made out of a mix of rayon, cotton, and a variety of other materials that are tightly compressed into a shape that makes it easier to insert. The applicator that it comes in is made up of plastic (composition of which I am unable to find). This is supposed to represent how homeless women struggle to find something as common as feminine hygiene products, something that many people take for granted. My final materials are a ziplock bag that is made out of low density polyethylene and plastic spoons made out of polypropylene and polystyrene . They are supposed to represent the hunger that the homeless have to go through. Their lack of food is a large struggle for them.