Hollywood has the same attitude toward the poor. In many television shows and movies, the poor are portrayed as "simple decent folk" who often save the day or are helpless victims of "big evil corporations." They are depicted as more spiritual or as having supernatural powers (as in The Green Mile). They rarely are depicted as evil, violent, and stupid people (which they usually are) except in such movies as Deliverance (which was made a long time ago, before the poor were noble).
The reality is, of course, that the poor are often very violent, racist, ignorant, and dangerous people. This is directly the cause of their poverty, in most cases. If you grow up thinking that being stupid is a virtue, then you won't likely ever climb the economic ladder.
It is like the family I met while RVing one time. The little boy asked his Mother, "Momma, am I a redneck?" to which his Mother replied, "Yes, you are son, and you should be proud to be a redneck!" Talk about setting the bar pretty low!
But poverty and homelessness are not economic problems.
Yes, there are a few people who fall down the economic ladder due to economic setbacks. These represent the minority of the homeless or poor (and by poor, I don't mean someone who is working at a job, collecting food stamps and assistance, and living in subsidized housing - they really aren't poor are they? Their taxable income may be low, but they have a comfortable lifestyle compared to the really poor or homeless). Someone who ends up tossed out on the street, who really is "down on their luck" doesn't pitch a tent in a public park or begs on the street. These people get help, and get back on their feet.
And yes, there are homeless people in places like New York, who live in shelters and work for a living. But those folks work for a living and simply cannot afford housing in the nation's most expensive city. Likely those working folks are just as glad the shelter does have rules to keep out the violent and aggressive types who just want to do drugs and start trouble.
What got me started on this was when I went to get gas today. There was a "homeless person" loitering around the gas station, begging for money and looking for open cars to steal from. It was a hot day, and my windows were down. He kept circling me as I pumped gas, like a hyena circling his prey. "Hey mister," he said, "Can I ask you a favor?" I didn't respond.
When I didn't, he circled around my truck, looking for something to steal from the inside. I chased him off, and was going to report him to the clerk at the station, but she was on her "smart phone" and talking to her friend about her latest prescription to Oxycontin. He was probably her husband.
Needless to say, I won't be buying gas there again. Gas station, or homeless shelter? The owners have to make up their mind.