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A Rebuttal of Brother, Don’t Spare a Dime

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A Rebuttal of “Brother, Don’t Spare a Dime”


In “Brother, Don’t Spare a Dime,” L. Christopher Awalt says that homeless people are homeless on their own accord. He believes “many of them seem to have chosen the lifestyles they lead” (Awalt))).. This article states that most homeless people would prefer to escape responsibility rather than fix their social and economic problems. Awalt uses an example of a man who had been on the streets for about 10 years. He provided this man with resources to improve his life and within four months he was making progress. By the sixth month the man had checked himself out of the hospital and was back on the streets drunk again. Awalt does show a few people are the victims of tragic circumstances and will bounce back in a short period of time. Awalt believes homeless people have become dangerous to the public, and they do not deserve our money to help them out of their predicament. We do not agree with Awalt’s assumption that the majority of the homeless people in the United States are there because of their lack of responsibility. There are many causes of homelessness that cannot be avoided, and the majority of the people that become homeless will not be on the streets for long.

Awalt states that for every person who is temporarily homeless, there are many who are chronically homeless (Awalt). Yet, according to the National Resource Center (NRC) on Homelessness and Mental Illness, 80% of the homeless population is off of the streets within 2 to 3 weeks. The NRC is the only national center specifically focused on the effective organization and delivery of services to the homeless and the mentally ill. It is important to note that the NRC reports 10% of people are homeless for 2 months and only 10% are chronically homeless. This fact shows that many people want to get back to ordinary lives and will work hard to do so, in spite of Awalt’s claims.

One reason why people become homeless could be due to the decline of housing units affordable to extremely low income households (National Resource Center on Homelessness and Mental Illness).

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This fact shows that many people who do become homeless become that way because of unavoidable situations. These are the people that have jobs but just can’t find jobs that pay enough. There are many other reasons as to why people become homeless. The break up of a marriage or relationship, the loss of a job, addiction to drugs or alcohol, or a mental illness are all reasons why many people become homeless (The Passage). Many of these causes can not be prevented. There are also many people who have been in the armed forces who now find it difficult to live an everyday civilian life (The Passage).

Awalt says we shouldn’t help the homeless because they are lazy and do not want our help. He provided us with an example of a man that he tried to give aid to. In the end Awalt determined that this man did not want his help. This was not very effective considering he only provided us with one example. By doing so he is stereotyping the entire homeless population. This is only one case and he assumes that all homeless people will respond in the same way. We believe citizens should help the homeless because if we were put in the same situation we would want all the help and support we could get.

Homelessness is a huge problem in America. The rates of homelessness and poverty have increased 35% to 45% in the last two years (Shaft). We do not believe that all of these people can be lazy and irresponsible. There are certain circumstances that can not be avoided like rising housing costs, being laid-off from a job, and certain family issues. Many people do not chose homelessness as a way of life and Awalt fails to recognize this. We believe that the homeless deserve a little more sympathy and support.

Works Cited

Awalt, L. Christopher. “Brother, Don’t Spare a Dime”. The Genre of Argument Irene L. Clark. Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1998. 141-143.

National Resource Center on Homelessness and Mental Illness. 13 April 2004. http://www.nrchmi.samhsa.gov/

Shaft, Jay. “US Homelessness and Poverty Rates Skyrocket”. Information Clearing House. 30 July 2003. 13 April 2004. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4305.htm

The Passage Day and Night Shelter. 13 April 2004. http://www.passage.org.uk/how.htm



В тридцати метрах впереди продолжалось святое причастие. Падре Херрера, главный носитель чаши, с любопытством посмотрел на одну из скамей в центре, где начался непонятный переполох, но вообще-то это его мало занимало.

Иногда кому-то из стариков, которых посетил Святой Дух, становилось плохо. Только и делов - вывести человека на свежий воздух. Халохот отчаянно озирался, но Беккера нигде не было .

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