19 April, 2005

ANSWER TO MR OR MRS ANONYMOUS what do homeless people want

Homeless people are just people, like you and me. Not aliens from another planet although some members of the public think they are. Homeless people just want to be treated like human being in today's society. They want the same rights as you to medical treatment, getting a dentist, getting education. What if it were your sons or daughters? In fact, they are someone's sons and daughters.
To say we should not care goes against everything I was taught (which wasn't that much) when I was growing up. So, what if it were someone you knew, a close friend maybe? What if it were you in a couple of years? The thing is none of us know what's going to happen tomorrow. Something might happen beyond our control. I pray to God it doesn't happen to anyone, but what if? I don't think you'd be asking the same question. You would want someone to listen.
Take me for instance, I would not be where I am today if people had just turned their backs and not cared.
Yes, people do make mistakes. Some even pay the highest price - that's why they are no longer with us but that is life and sometimes it can be hard and demanding. Some people cannot cope and turn to other things like drugs and drink. But should we forget they exist?
I hate giving people for instances, but I will.
In this country we have a lot of ex-service men living on the street and in hostels. What you are basically saying is why should I care about them?
There are also people in the same situation who have worked all their lives, got made redundant, their marriage has fallen apart and have had to leave the home. So once again, you're saying we shouldn't care.
Then there's the young man or woman who has not really had a life because they where picked on for most of it and now they are suffering. The only way they can forget their daily pain was to use drugs or drink. Should we also forget about them too? You see everyone has their own set of problems. Some can cope and some just let them grow and grow until something happens. A breakdown, attempted suicide, turning to other things to hide their pain and some just don't know anything else.
The funny thing is, homeless people are not asking the government for anything they are not entitled to. What they are saying is, we are not invisible. Some of us are not drug users or alcoholics as some of the public seem to think. Yes, we do have problems yet we are categorised as all being the same. The stigma attached to being homeless affects us when trying to get a job, open bank accounts or even get doctors. We have not done anything wrong except sleep on the street; not through choice but through necessity. We are in fact treated as second class citizens. But if we were drug addicts or alcoholics should we still be ignored?
My question is should we treat anyone any different just because they live on the streets? Shouldn't they have the same rights as me and you?
We can hear what our prospective parliamentary candidates have to say and we do have the right to say what we think. Not just because we have the right to vote but because we do have opinions just like other people.

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