According to Arapoglou & Gounis (2015), homelessness is considered as a glocal (global + local) crisis among humankind. It is more critical in the developing countries as compared to the developed nations. The underlying reason is that there is a lack of shared responsibility among the people for common good. The common problem among the humankind is that the privileged ones do not seem to care about the issues faced by the less privileged ones. This is resulting in the increase of the severe issue of poverty and homelessness rather than mitigating it.
For instance, blacks are always considered inferior by the Whites; women were considered as mere objects for the entertainment of the male society; third gender people were neglected and looked down. The difference in attitude of the dominant society is responsible for the deterioration of the poor and homeless. Instead of helping them, they are pushed more towards the darker world (Dawkins, 2014).
Poverty and homelessness is an integral part of each other. Etzioni (2014) found out that 12% of the total population in Australia and 17% children live in poverty. With respect to poverty, poverty line is a major factor that needs to be focused. It refers to the range of income below a certain level and it depends on the criteria to meet the essential needs. Australians are referred to as poor when their standard of living does not match with the standard of the entire community. Mattson & Reed-Bouley (2017) opined that poverty is misunderstood by some as the lack of money but in reality, it is the rejection of opportunity.
The following section will highlight the probable options for coping up with the challenges that comes with this glocal issue. The theories and principles of common good will be emphasized during the discussion of the proposed strategies.
There can be different ways associated with poverty where work and income plays a major role. In order to overcome the issues related to poverty and homelessness, certain potential ways can be suggested in accordance with the common good of people. Following are the general ways, which can be implemented by humankind to relieve the poor of their problems.
According to Melé (2015), reducing poverty is the responsibility for every individual. The governments must take an initiative by implementing different policies and strategies to bridge the gap of social strata. Australian welfare system should provide an opportunity for all the citizens to earn their bread. Apart from that, there must be investment in housing instead of other irrelevant expenses. Among the entire population of Australia, more than 250,000 Australians are queued in the list of public housing. Therefore, it is essential to make sustainable investment for providing the basic amenity to the needy people. The NGO and business sectors should start involving the less privileged ones in employment, training, social and academic activities.
In accordance with addressing the issues of poverty and homelessness, Catholic social thought can be referred to promote human dignity. Such human dignity must be observed as relatable to the promotion of common good. It is important to contribute to common good by solving the problems of poverty and homelessness. Tax payment is one instance of contributing to common good by reallocating income with the intention of reducing poverty and inequality in the society. According to Sharam & Hulse (2014), there are certain principles of Catholic Social Teaching or CST, which are outlined below:
“It is imperative that no one…indulge in a merely individualistic morality. The best way to fulfill one’s obligations of justice and love is to contribute to the common good according to one’s means and the needs of others, and also to promote and help public and private organizations devoted to bettering the conditions of life.”
The principles of CST is based on common good of social beings interrelate with human dignity and community engagement. In terms of human dignity, every human being is born in the image and likeability of God or the Almighty. Sison, Ferrero & Guitián (2016) stated that no human being should compromise with their freedom or dignity. Human dignity forms the basis of CST and not dependent on age, gender, ability, caste, ethnicity or class. Therefore, the probable strategies were outlined in terms of dignity, which was denied because of poverty, homelessness, hunger, injustice and oppression. It is the basic right of each human being to access general goods and resources of the society. There should be an optimum balance between these basic rights of possessing resources and the requirements of the needy and underprivileged people. It can be done by prioritizing the societal development programs in all the sectors of community for the promotion of common good. The process will become easy with proper management and planning of action and resources.
Thompson (2017) remarked that according to the principle of common good, benefit of one individual is related to the welfare of the entire community. This is because human beings took birth to love as a part of community and not in solitary. The probable strategies, which were outlined above will be accountable for benefitting the needy and underprivileged as a part of the entire community. This is because the existence of political community is dependent on the common good. In terms of advocacy and community engagement, common good endears the condition of the people and families in association with the society.
Tranter (2017) mentioned that the advocacy and community engagement would be helpful in developing the individuals in a socially responsible manner to enhance the standards of living for the poor and homeless, which will advocate common good for the entire community.
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