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How It Feels Like To Be Homeless

Wong Shu Lee  


  October 09, 2021


“There’s no place like home.”


Home provides security, control, belonging, identity, and privacy, among other things. Most importantly, it's a place that provides us with a centering—a place from which we leave each morning and to which we return each evening.


Living in a flat with windows, doors, and space for privacy is a luxury that most of us take for granted. For over 100 million homeless people though, it is not always a matter of course.


Homelessness is lacking stable and appropriate housing. People can be categorized as homeless if they are: 


  • Primary Homelessness: living on the streets; 
  • Secondary Homelessness: moving between temporary shelters, including houses of friends, family, and emergency accommodation; 
  • Tertiary Homelessness: living in private boarding houses without a private bathroom or security of tenure.


World Homeless Day started on October 10th, 2010, and has been recognized annually on 10/10. 


The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to people who experience homelessness needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides. 


Let’s be honest, what comes to your mind when you see homeless people on the street? Are you one of those people who think they deserve it for making bad decisions in life? Or do you stop and ask yourself how you can help them?


Admit it or not, most of us do the former. We blame the homeless for their plight instead of trying to help them get back on their feet. As a society, we’re wired to distrust people who we feel are not making good contributions to the community. In the news and even in some movies, homeless people are often portrayed as criminals and spreaders of diseases. 


However, we often forget, there’s no one who wants to be homeless by choice. It only takes one failed relationship or the death of a loved one to turn someone’s life upside down. In many cases, it’s not really about the decisions they make. It’s mostly about the circumstances that they found themselves in, to which there is no easy way out. 


In a commencement address, Steve Jobs revealed that he was once homeless. Most of the time, homelessness is just temporary. Sometimes, all they need is someone to help them get back on their feet. Contrary to popular belief, some of them are really trying. 


Thus, let’s offer help so that they can become productive members of society again. 


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