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One can have a house but not a home; and to according Dordick (1997) in his book 'Something Left to Lose' this is a statement can be justified easily. Homelessness to him can not be judged in the way media does it. They focus on poverty, drug abuse, security, hygiene, lack of shelter and poverty; yet being homeless is a different aspect all together since home is not only the comfort of a Porsche house. This paper describes the author's view of homelessness by identifying the four different settings i.e. the Bus Terminal, a shantytown, a large municipal shelter, and smaller privately run shelter. It gives a summary of the setting and gives the setting with the most freedom; in addition, the paper agrees with the author's argument and explains it.
In the three part book Dordick (1997) explains on the streets, in the shelters and from a distance. In his experiences with the people living in the four setting through visiting and hanging out with them Dordick identifies their lifestyles, and their flow of life.
For those living in the bus station this was at Manhattan which the author describes as a hell's kitchen. It has high level of poverty and insecurity but the people still lived there. However, they don't only live there they are proud of their home and some even describe themselves as too good to beg. Those living there find it enjoyable and see it as an opportunity of being able to do a lot of things one will never do in a normal setting. But one thing is certain they enjoy their environment and have become used to it. Despite feeding on discarded food, using makeshift toilets sleeping all the time with all their belongings they still consider it their home. The police on the other hand harass them every time for being homeless and even deny them justice. This same case applies to those living in the shanty town which ends part one 'on the streets' of the book.
The second part in the shelters gives more on the opposite side of life where there is plenty to eat spare and throw away. Having adequate shelter and comfort of their house and with adequate security around their homes. According to Dordick (1997) the place has no rules and though there are rules nobody enforces them. These areas have many cases of drug addiction and alcoholism. The people are always indoors and never want to be disturbed in any way. They are never welcoming to visitors and always are insecure of new faces in the neighborhood.
The author views the four different settings as home to different people and with what they want in life. In addition coexisting in the home is all that is required to establish a home. In essence, lack of conventional houses does not mean they are homeless. Though people live in unconventional places they still coexist with each other in their settings making it a common and purposeful setting. Each setting has its own challenges and conventional private dwellings cannot guarantee lack of problems. They all care about each other in their same setting.
According to Dordick (1997) more freedom is on the streets where they don't have the many worries of life as compared to those in the shelters. They are more adjusted to life in their minds since they don't have to care for what is left but what is to come. On the other hand, they have acclimatized to the life of lack of necessities and difficulties in their setting. This argument maybe true since one does not need to have a house to have a home. Home is where the heart is and if the heart is already content with the environment then its comfort is already found, so one can never be homeless.