Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hobophobia: The Fear of the Homeless

Hobophobia is the unreasonable fear of the homeless or of “bums” and “beggers”. It is believed that this phobia is caused by the lack of knowledge of the homeless.  
Homeless people tend to have poor hygiene and poor social skills, which may contribute to the fear. It’s hard for people to view the homeless as normal people who are just down on their luck and it’s hard for the homeless not to become defensive and give off the impression that they are mean. These are things that increase the fear factor of the homeless.
I have to admit that I came face to face with a homeless person who was living under a bridge and he scared me to death. He didn’t even have to say anything. It was just his appearance and demeanor. I felt so bad afterwards and I think about this man often, wondering if he still lives there or if he finally caught a break.
The most successful cure for this phobia is to have be homeless yourself. It is only then that you realize that anyone can become homeless and it doesn’t make you a bad person. What is your take on this phobia?


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