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The Villages
Sunday, July 31, 2022

What New York City’s complacency can reveal about the world

To the Editor:

Any person living in, or even just visiting, New York City is keenly aware of the homelessness issue that faces the city. It’s hard to miss because you see it everywhere– homeless people sleeping out on the streets as you head back to your apartment, asking for money on the subway during your morning commute, or setting up their bed on a park bench during your walk. So why, if the issue is prominent, has seemingly no progress been made to eradicate it?
New York City has a complacency issue. People have become all too used to seeing homeless people and now regard it as just another aspect of living in New York City. When a homeless person steps onto the subway and asks for money, people bury their heads in their phones and books instead of acknowledging them.
Unfortunately, these lackluster reactions from New Yorkers resemble the manner in which we all have come to regard homeless people around the world. As homelessness knows no boundaries, the entire world has seemed to settle into complacency as the homeless fill the streets. Luckily, though, there is the prospect of a realistic solution– appropriate legislation. As an intern for The Borgen Profit, a nonprofit organization seeking to make global poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy, I have learned about the power of going to those in power and advocating for specific issues beyond the scope of an individual’s help. So, the next time you come across a homeless person – in New York City or beyond– and don’t have the personal means to help them, consider turning to those in power instead and fighting for the issues you see in front of you. Maybe then we can all fight back against the alluring trap of complacency together.

Sarah DiLuzio


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