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The Hidden face of Homelessness: The Untold Story of the Working Homeless

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

When we think of homelessness, we often imagine disheveled individuals on street corners. But there is another side to homelessness that often goes unnoticed - the working homeless.

When we think of homelessness, we often imagine disheveled individuals on street corners. But there's another side to homelessness that often goes unnoticed - the working homeless. According to a 2021 study from The University of Chicago estimates that %53 of people living in homeless shelters and %40 unsheltered are employed. Many of those living in shelters or on the streets are employed. In this article, we'll explore the journey of Don, a qualified and educated man who finds himself trapped in the heartbreaking reality of homelessness.


Meet Don:

Don is a 60-year-old man with an impressive resume. He's a PMP Project Manager certified professional with over 20 years of C-level experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a Master's degree in Cyber Security. He's a symbol of professional success. However, despite his qualifications, Don is homeless due to a series of unfortunate events. His story highlights the challenges faced by working homeless individuals, including underemployment, discrimination, stigma, and the lack of affordable housing.


Exploitation and Prejudice:

For over three years, Don has been trapped in a cycle of low-paying jobs that don't even meet the poverty level. It's no surprise that professional jobs matching his qualifications are hard to come by for someone nearing retirement. Don's experience reflects a wider issue - vulnerable individuals, particularly the homeless, are often taken advantage of. For example, Don was fired from a table games training program after falling ill due to a heat stroke, and a hiring supervisor at a UHall office consistently avoided job interviews despite advertising a signing bonus. These instances highlight the prevalent trend of exploitation faced by the homeless.


The Invisible Similarities:

It's crucial to realize that those seeking employment while being homeless aren't so different from the rest of us. They're part of our daily lives, working as security guards at the front desk or baristas at Starbucks. Their struggle is disheartening, especially when their exceptional qualifications are overlooked due to prejudice and preconceptions.


Conclusion:

Don's story shines a much-needed light on the hidden struggles faced by a subset of the homeless population - the working homeless. By sharing his journey, we hope to raise awareness, inspire action, and foster empathy towards addressing the challenges they face. Together, we can strive for a more inclusive and compassionate society.


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