05 October, 2005

Risks of the street

Just got in from the west end of London where people are sleeping rough. On the way home I was sitting on the bus thinking. I was thinking about all the homeless people that I have talked to over the last few months and the things they have done just be where they are. One thing I have not spoken much of yet is the temptation to get involved in what's called the sex industry. When you are living on the streets and if you are young there's a high probability you will be approached by someone looking for sex. The temptation at first will be easy to refuse but as times rolls on and things get harder like tonight for instance. It's getting colder and your thoughts are on how to survive beyond tonight and what you can do to get off the streets even if it's just for one night. Any proposition is tempting. The people that making a living off the young runaways and homeless people are always hanging about. In my early years there was this place called playland it was an amusement arcade right in the heart of Piccadilly it was featured in the film Cathy come home. This was a place the young could hang about at night and of course so did all the perverts ect. It was easy to get caught in the sex trap in those days. People think because it's gone it has decreased the risk but it hasn't really. It still so easy to get caught in the trap because these people that prey on the vulnerable have no morals they actually go in search of their prey. Life on the streets is hard but it's made harder by these people. I was thinking how lucky I was. I was a drug addict and too busy enjoying myself and making my own money selling drugs to other users. I only mentioned this because tonight I saw a seventeen year old girl I have spoken to and who was sleeping on the street in Victoria with a man three times her age. When I went to speak to her she told me she was with a punter. The funny thing when I met her last time I asked her what she'd do if she was approached by someone looking for sex. She said she would never sell her body for money. The constant struggle to eat and have one good nights sleep probably got to her. It to me was just another child surviving the streets the best way she knew. I have seen it before and the worst thing is no doubt I will see it again and you have to remember this not only happens to women it young men as well.
It does make me angry to hear people say that we are dealing with the people that are sleeping rough by putting them in to hostels and B and Bs. If they think that is the end of it. Then they are sadly mistake we have to go beyond that we have to find fresh ways of repairing lives that have been abused and ruined. Its people like Mr John Bird founder of the big issue that make these senseless comments that the homeless are being mollycoddled. Here a question how should we treat people that have been abused.?

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