Each gender, every race, and all religions have to deal with stereotypes. We face them everyday without noticing it, but we often fail to comprehend how or where these stereotypes evolved. When we were born, there were many factors that influenced the way we viewed and observed the world. Our parents were our primary authority, which swayed us to their beliefs and customs. It is only human nature to become ethnocentric, where you feel that your way of life is superior to all others. I believe this is the basis of all stereotypes. No matter what a person looks like, believes in or does, we have to remember that we are all still human beings. Some of the most predominant stereotypes in our world are those of the homeless and prisoners. Many characteristics used to portray these groups of people are false. Most of society sees the homeless and prisoners as outcasts of society where only a few make a bad name for everyone. The majority of the population will judge a group of people by just one individual, making generalizations that are incorrect. It is unfair to say that all homeless people are drug-addicts. The essays "Creativity Has Got to Find an Expressive Channel Somehow" and "Past Present" by Angie and Jimmy Santiago Baca affected my views and beliefs about homelessness and prisoners, because they showed that many of the stereotypes which people often obtain are false. For example, it is hard to remember that each person is an individual and that not everyone can be grouped into categories or social statuses. .
In the story by Angie we learn about the struggles she faced and the problems she overcame. She is very personal with the information she reveals to us, which makes it easier for us to relate to. One of her biggest struggles was the fact that she was homeless. Although the meaning of homelessness varies from person to person, Angie defined it as "not having a roof over one's head to call her own" (151).