It's hard to be absolutely certain without the context. However, it seems to me that the writer believes that 'society' prefers not to think of homeless people as individual human beings, with their own individual personalities and stories and reasons which lead them to be without a home, but rather to group them all together and consider 'homelessness' as an 'issue'. The reason, the writer suggests, is that by doing this we can all minimise our own responsibility, possibly even direct responsibility, maybe we could have done something to help an individual but did not. By grouping all homeless people together as an 'issue' rather than a 'collection' of separate and individual human beings we protect ourselves from having to realise our own individual roles and responsibilities.
I think that's the gist of it.