Is homelessness a moral issue?

Aayush Mahera – Quora User

Is homelessness a direct moral issue? No. Homelessness is not a direct result of the decisions of a person outside of the financially responsible party.

Is homelessness an indirect moral issue? Yes. If you pass a homeless person on the street and make no offer to help, within the bounds of your financial and material capabilities, then this is a problem which is indirectly perpetuated by your lack of empathy and assistance.

“But they will probably use the money for drugs and alcohol”

This is not within the realm of your knowledge. You have no way of knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a person will abuse your assistance. Regardless of how they choose to use your assistance, they are incapable of appropriately or inappropriately utilizing assistance which is not given. If you don’t give someone a chance, they don’t have a chance to let you down, but they also don’t have a chance to prove you wrong.

It is our duty to assist those within our society who need our help, and this assistance may not always be directly provided. Rather than giving money directly to someone, you may opt to direct them to the nearest shelter or pantry for assistance. Of course, this requires you to assist, financially or physically, the specified shelter in order to ensure that they are properly equipped to assist persons in need.

Government assistance is also an option, but this requires constant oversight by each citizen to ensure that government funds are not being misappropriated or abused in any way. Also, quality assurance is dependent on the local populace, which is an authority not typically granted by government authorities. These are issues that need to be worked out and addressed within society before we can consistently rely on such services.

Ultimately, homelessness is not your problem (yet), but you are more than capable of improving the situation of others in your community, which should most definitely be your prerogative. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If you enjoyed this post, check out more of my answers on Quora!

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