13 June, 2005

Homelessness A Way Of Life

Last night I went for a walk and ended up just a couple of miles away from where I live. I was sipping a cup of coffee and noticed a couple of homeless people. One sitting by the tube station entrance and one sitting right by the cash machine a few hundred feet away. So I went across and said having a good day. I was assuming the one by the cash machine had made the most money. That always seem to be the case even I assume from their look that they where both addicts. In fact one was an addict and the other just an ordinary man. Who had a bit of bad luck. When I told them I was a blogger who was trying to give homeless people a voice, they both said they had read my blog at the day centre. They thought I was doing a good thing by showing people that even though homeless people are sleeping on the streets, they are not dumb. They are just unlucky as one of them put it.
Asked how they became homeless? One said it was because of his addiction. The other said it was his way of life moving from one town to another. When I asked why? He said that it was what he was used to. Even as a child his family moved from place to place.
I was thinking that the saying we follow in our parents footsteps might be true after all. I know several people who have turned out like their parents some not so good and some just like them. Me I followed after my mum.
How can this cycle of lost hope be broken?
How can you empower these people to think differently?
I think it's a bit like smoking. It's a real bad habit that's maybe taken you most of the life you've lived so far to acquire. Now it's become the hardest to kick. It takes time and effort, not to mention will power. The smoker also needs that bit of extra help to change the habit of a life time.
This is what some homeless people need that extra bit of help to give them hope for the future. One bright chance is all someone needs to change the whole course of their life.
If this government can't see that. Then they should visit some of the centers that see the change in people day after day. I know I shouldn't be doing this but I'm going to anyway. I dare any MPs to come to see the skylight centre at crisis.They could see for themselves what the right fundng can acheive.
They should also see what the lack of funding is doing to whole communities that have problems with drugs and homelessness.
I think what this government don't properly see is the lack of hope in the people. This government needs to do something positive in this term of office. I do believe that most of the parliamentary candidates we met on our big voice tour signed our pledge to end homelessness.
Some are now in fact MPs. Will they honor their pledge? Only time will tell. I shall certainly be here to remind them.

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