Homeless and Their Children

Published: 2021-07-16 10:30:05
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Category: Children, Literacy, Homelessness

Type of paper: Essay

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David F. Wiley English-111-OFA Summary and Response First Draft Jonathon Kozol, the writer of Illiterate America in 1985, takes time to study Illiteracy and poverty in America and he wrote a Novel in 1988 called “The Homeless and Their Children” where He told a story of a woman and her four children called Joanne (Kozol, 1985). Jonathan spent a lot of time to get to know Rachel and her children who lived in a homeless hotel in New York called the Martinique, which was located at Sixth Avenue and Thirty Second Street. This hotel was known to be the largest hotel for the homeless people in New York.
Jonathan Kozol was enlightening the facts that there were so many homeless and illiterate people in America, giving the facts that at least one third of American citizens were affected. With Joanne’s illiteracy she couldn’t read her mail, didn’t know if it was important or if it was about her children and this made her very scared not knowing if she did the right thing for her children. Martinique Hotel is home to over 400 hundred families and 1200 children. The hotel itself is in a very dilapidated condition, and it’s like living in the slum.
The conditions in the hotel were horrible, from walls that are were crumbling covered in lead based paint, to plumbing issues in the bathroom that has made raw sewage stand in pools on the floor, This was a terrible problem for Joanne and her children. They had 4 beds set up in one room that were on unprotected bed frames, which made a very unsafe for the children to sleep on. Joanne had a radiator that is was spewing hot steam which was located at eye level to some of the children. The crib for her youngest child who is only just months old was falling apart; this made Joanne worried for his safety.



There were green mold looking smudges all over the walls from leaking plumbing from the rooms above hers. The lighting in the apartment is bright fluorescent lights that made it very hard on their eyes. The television set they have was borrowed and didn’t even really work at all and the antenna for the television set is a wire coat hanger. Joanne complained to the management of the Martinique Hotel and never received any help at all on any of the unbelievable problems she is faced with on a daily basis in her apartment that she has had to live in with her four children. Her oldest hild whom is 7 years old had been to the hospital a couple of weeks previously because of the sweet tasting lead based paint on the walls. ” Kids will be kids” he had eaten some of the paint and got sick. The sad part that Joanne couldn’t read her mail so she didn’t realize in a mountain of mail that was piling up, one of the mail was from the doctor’s office telling her to bring the child back for follow – up to care on his lead poisoning issue. Joanne didn’t read the mail as she couldn’t, so she didn’t take her son for the follow up doctor’s appointments that he needed.
This is sad to see in this generation that we allow our American Citizens to fall as victims to homeless and illiteracy and living in devastating conditions. Our government needs to step up to investigate the problems. This article made me sick to my stomach. The more I read this article the angrier I became. This makes me wonder how America the richest and highest technology advanced nation in the world can just discard and leave the homeless un-attended as if they don’t exist. I have always had a soft heart for these people in need. This article has just made me more compassionate to the cause of helping those in need.
It simply breaks my heart to know that we spend billions of dollars sending money and food all over the world to help all these other countries with their homeless and starving problem, but we aren’t close to solving solve the same problem in our own country. In the article it talked mentions about the tremendous amount of rent she pay’s at the hotel like fifteen hundred dollars a month and it enrages me so much I can hardly contain myself while typing this. We as a nation have to make this cause of homelessness and illiteracy of our citizens a top priority.
There is so much (me me me) of selfishness in our society that I am afraid this is something that will always be pushed as lower priority. Our leaders in this country give big speeches on big issues just so they can get into the office and once they make it to office they forget what they promised to the public they serve. I feel we as individuals can make a difference in life by not just thinking about ourselves only, but by doing the right things by, giving love, care and help to our fellow citizens in need. Bibliography Kozol, J. (1985). Illiterate America. Garden City, NY: Archer Press/Doubleday. Words: 864

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