11 August, 2005


Below are pictures I took last night in one area of London. Westminster. These are the homeless that live on the street. It's bad enough having to live like that and this only the summer. So can you imagine what it's like for these people in the winter. When it's really cold or if it's snowing. It's bad enough when it's raining and cold. We like normal people wrap ourselves up in jumpers and scarfs, wooly hats, gloves and thick coats but a person on the streets can only carry a certain amount of clothing and most don't. All they have is what they stand up in and their sleeping bags and blankets. So try and put yourself in their places. Let's say you still have the clothes you wore in the summer. In fact lets say they are the clothes you have worn for most of the year. Now imagine your cold and hungry and that you don't have a drink problem or drug habit. So you don't have what I call the shield to reality. Because you are aware of the cold you feel it. I don't think you'd last more than a night on the streets. It's charities like the Passage day center that opens its doors at seven in the morning to give people a cup of hot tea. Then for a small price a breakfast. You can then have a wash or a shower. Which to many homeless is heaven. I've been in that position and I can tell you it really does help to have places like these, but the Passage, I believe is the only one that opens that early in the morning.
Last night I counted a total of twenty four people sleeping rough in just one small area of Westminster. So how many rough sleepers do we actually have sleeping on the streets in London. I know it's more than the official figures. Westminster council now have what they street wardens. What they do is wake a rough sleeper and give him a ticket to go to a day center so that he can be assessed to go into a hostel. Which are mostly full by the way. This will be done three times and if still sleeping rough will told to move on. A bit like a parking ticket but the fine is a moving on.
Westminster council say it's bad for business when people see the number of homeless we have in the area and their drinking and harassment of people that live here cannot be tolerated. Isn't worse for the person that's homeless? After all they are already being treated as outcasts of society and now Westminster council seem to be making them the their test for future councils to do the same by putting all homeless people in the same category. Shame on you Westminster council. If there was a medal for unfairness you'd win it outright.

No comments: