Many religious groups have unique principles and concepts in order to address various social problems. For instance, the Catholic Social Thought (CST) focuses on the best practices that can support the changing needs of different communities. This approach can ensure every society achieves the best social and economic goals.
The Catholic Church offers a powerful framework that encourages more believers to address most of their social, economic, and political challenges (Whitmore 62). Every believer can also use such thoughts and principles in order to make the world a better place. Many religious organizations and institutions can use these ideas to support many people in every society. This paper examines the aspects of the Catholic Social Thought (CST). This concept can deal with poverty and homelessness in the United States.
The Targeted Social Issue
Homelessness and poverty are critical social challenges affecting many American citizens. According to Shinn (20), “over 3.5 million American citizens become homeless annually”. The most affected individuals include women. Most of these children are usually between 5 and 18 years.
According to Shinn (21), “around 25 percent of these homeless people have mental complications”. The number of homeless citizens has increased in different urban regions. The “main causes of homelessness include poverty and mental illness” (Burt 3). Some “social and political factors have contributed a lot to the problem of poverty in America” (Shinn 34).
Some social challenges such as “addiction, drug abuse, and mental complications have increased the number of homeless people in the United States” (Burt 4). The country is also experiencing new challenges such as unemployment and discrimination (Burt 5). This fact explains why poverty and homelessness will continue to affect many American citizens.
That being the case, the targeted service-learning experience is volunteering at the famous St. Vincent de Paul Wellness Center. This center is located in San Francisco. The center’s website is “http://svdp-sf.org/”. This Wellness Center offers a wide range of integrated services to many homeless people in the region.
This institution has transformed the lives of many people in San Francisco. This discussion explains why poverty and homelessness are critical issues affecting many people in the country. These problems have made it impossible for many citizens to achieve their goals in life.
Poverty affects many individuals in the targeted region. Although “a large number of the affected persons are from different minority groups, the agreeable fact is that poverty is a common issue affecting all American societies” (Massaro 4). Homelessness has therefore made it impossible for many individuals to succeed in their lives (Massaro 8). Poverty and homelessness explain why more people should use the Catholic Church’s social thought.
Three Major Themes to Deal with Homelessness and Poverty
The Catholic Social Thought can make it easier for many individuals to deal with the issues associated with homelessness and poverty. The targeted Wellness Center uses this thought to support every homeless person in San Francisco. The Catholic Church’s social thought identifies various themes and principles that can transform the world. Such themes will ensure every believer addresses the challenges affecting humanity today. Some of these themes include charity, human dignity, and preferential option for the poor.
1. Human Dignity
The Catholic Social Teaching offers several themes to support its practices. The theme of Human Dignity explains “how God created man in his own likeness and image” (Whitmore 76). Every person possesses “the best dignity and immeasurable worth” (DeBerri and Henriot 16).
This fact explains why human beings should treat others with respect, dignity, and love. This notion will ensure more individuals from different backgrounds interact with one another. This theme can ensure every society addresses the major issues affecting humanity. The theme explains why human beings should denounce every malpractice resulting in death.
The principle of Human Dignity also compels Christians to support every person in need (DeBerri and Henriot 8). The above Wellness Center uses this theme in order to achieve its potentials. The Catholic Church believes strongly that Human Dignity should become the foundation of every religious society (Jones and Walter 285). The theme will encourage more people to support one another. The practice will also produce the best societies and nations. The practice will bring more people closer in order to deal with poverty and homelessness.
The Catholic Church also promotes the best social practices. The church believes that every person should promote the living conditions of his or her neighbor. This approach will produce a “common good that can make the world much better” (Shinn 25). The church also embraces the concept of “love”.
Many Christians also understand why the idea of charity can improve the lives of many people. The world is characterized by numerous “challenges such as inequality, poverty, unemployment, diseases, and insecurity” (Shinn 26). Many people have also suffered because of such problems.
The Catholic Church therefore explains why human beings should embrace the theme of charity. This theme will ensure every Christian addresses the challenges affecting humanity. Such individuals will be ready to support one another. The Catholic Church explains why man “should be the focus of all social and economic life” (Jones and Walter 285).
The idea of “common good” will support many people in the world. This concept will “offer the best support to every vulnerable, weak, or sick person” (DeBerri and Henriot 9). The concept of charity will address most of the problems affecting humanity (Argandona 2). The above Wellness Center uses this theme to support the needy in San Francisco. Similar organizations will address the problems associated with poverty and homelessness in every society.
3. Preferential Option for the Poor
The Holy Bible explains why human beings should support the less fortunate in the society. God instructs every person to consider the needs of such people. This practice is necessary because the universe is characterized by inequality and discrimination. The Book of Matthew 25: 31-46 encourages Christians to embrace the best practices and ideas.
This approach will encourage them to support one another. The Catholic Church has a unique tradition that supports the poor. This tradition has promoted a theme called “the Preferential Option for the Poor”. The rich should therefore address the needs of the poor. They should also embrace the best practices in order to have a better society (Massaro 13).
The St. Vincent de Paul Wellness Center embraces this theme in order to support more people. The agreeable fact is that these three themes are complementary in nature. Every believer should be ready to support the less fortunate in the society. The Catholic Church therefore offers “a unique social approach that can supports the needy” (Jones and Walter 289). This notion can make it easier for many individuals to support those in need.
Homelessness and Poverty: Using the Above Themes in Every Society
Christians and believers must identify the most appropriate ideas in order to deal with the problem of homelessness in the country. The Catholic Church’s social thought offers appropriate frameworks that can support more individuals in the society. As mentioned earlier, the Catholic Church encourages its believers to respect their friends, neighbors, and relatives.
They should “also promote the concept of equality because every person is superior in God’s eyes” (Whitmore 78). This notion explains why the Catholic Church expects its people to respect one another. The knowledge can encourage more people “to support their neighbors through volunteering and charity work” (Whitmore 78). This approach will support every person in need. This understanding is what guides St. Vincent de Paul Wellness Center to support every homeless individual in San Francisco.
Poverty and inequality are common in different American societies. Every person should therefore embrace the best ideas in order to support every poor individual in the society. The “important goal in life is to achieve happiness” (Whitmore 69). Believers should therefore be ready to support the changing needs of different people in the society (DeBerri and Henriot 12). I will always use the above themes in order to support more people in the society.
Many religious groups encourage their believers to respect one another. This kind of respect will address the inequalities and challenges affecting our societies. The strategy will eventually make all people equal in the society. The Catholic Church explains why “no one should be marginalized in the society” (Massaro 4).
This knowledge is necessary because all people will remain equal in the eyes of God. Human beings “should begin by loving God” (Massaro 11). This love will make it easier for people to love one another. A society that shares this kind of love will address the challenges affecting every poor person. The Catholic Church teaches its “believers to love one another in the name of God” (Massaro 9).
This knowledge will make it easier for more people to deal with poverty and homelessness in their respective societies. The practice will produce the best ideas and eventually support every unfortunate person in the world. The doctrine of the Catholic Church promotes the best practices in order to make the world a better place.
It is agreeable that “every human being has an intrinsic value” (Whitmore 81). This intrinsic value explains why every person is unique. There are many challenges associated with homelessness and poverty in the United States. The above social issues therefore explain why different individuals in the United States are unable to realize their potentials. Christians can use the three themes identified in this paper to tackle different issues in the society.
This discussion also explains why every believer should support one another. This understanding will ensure more people safeguard the rights of their friends and neighbors. The same understanding will ensure every person supports those in need.
Many societies can therefore deal with their social issues using the above CST. Every person should embrace the best religious principles in order to deal with homelessness in America. This practice will ensure more societies support every person in need. The practice will support many people in the world.
Argandona, Antonio. “The Common Good.” IESE Business School 1.1 (2011): 1-10. Print.
Burt, Martha. “What Will Take to End Homelessness?” Urban Institute 1.1 (2001): 1-6. Print.
DeBerri, Edward and Peter Henriot. “Major Lessons of Catholic Social Teaching.” Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret. Ed. Edward DeBerri and James Hug. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2003. 3-35. Print.
Jones, Patrick and Robert Walter. “A Model of Catholic Social Teaching: Assessing Policy Proposals.” The Catholic Social Science Review 15.1 (210): 283-296. Print.
Massaro, Thomas. “Social Justice and the Mission of the Catholic Church.” Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action. Ed. Thomas Massaro. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008. 1-16. Print.
Shinn, Marybeth. “Homelessness, Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United States and Europe.” European Journal of Homelessness 4.1 (2010): 19-44. Print.
Whitmore, Todd. “Catholic Social Teaching: Starting With the Common Good.” Living the Catholic Social Tradition. Ed. Kathleen Maas Weigert and Alexia Kelley. New York: Sheed and Ward, 2004. 59-85. Print.