27 December, 2005

Answer to the suns a dossier is for life not just for Christmas

Well firstly I have been a guest and am now a volunteer at the crisis open Christmas. I know how important it is to take that first step in changing ones life. When crisis first started yes it was just about getting people off the street for the seven day Christmas period but it has become more than that. It has now become about showing homeless people how they can change their lives for the better. The seven days is now the first step. The first point of contact
As for the statement there's is no need for begging this is down to the individual and remember it is an offence to beg but would you rather give to a beggar or be robbed blind because there is no other way of surviving on the streets.
As to saying no one should be homeless in Britain. I whole-heartedly agree but the fact is there are and there will be even more. This year for instance their will be around 250 rough sleepers applying for vacancies by the time the crisis shelter closes its doors and only forty of those will be housed because that is all the hostel places there are. This is the highest number of rough slepers we have seen for quite some years said a housing advisor.the strange thing is most of these are long term rough sleepers.
I was also one of those addicts Mr Gaunt of the sun was on about. Let me tell you something I know to be a fact. Anyone who has a habit whether it is drink or drugs will not be cured just because they are forced to have treatment. We have already seen people who have been sent to prison for two to three years come out clean and return to their former lives. Yes we do have a drug and drink culture in this country and it does seem to be getting worse as we see younger people become entangled. It doesn’t take much to make someone homeless and it could be you or me. It’s that easy. If this government don’t do something positive soon then we will be back at square one where we have over one hundred thousand around the country rough sleeping the way things are going.
Not all homeless people are drug addicts or alcoholics or mentally ill. Some are just homeless and even they cannot get into safe and secure accommodation.
No worker gets paid for the work they do at Christmas. They pay there own fares to get here and the fact that they come at all should tell you something. I have seen with my own eyes how hard charity workers who get paid actually do work. Homelessness is not just a Christmas thing it’s all year round and trying to get the message across that things are not working is the hardest. The trouble is homelessness has been around hundreds of years and it has become common place to see and no cure has yet been found.
Last but not least if it hadn't been for crisis and their Christmas shelter I would still be an addict and homeless.

1 comment:

Donnard White said...

Hi Jamie - I am homeless (not street homeless and I won't lie to you - I have actually been taking care of a nice flat over Christmas, which has been wonderful) I went on Christmas Eve and yesterday to COC, which I describe in my blog: http://www.livejournal.com/users/indigosurvivor/. Unlike you I am very cynical about Crisis as an organisation and the homeless industry in general - there is a vast amount of empty housing in the North (and yes, some day I may get there - I would think about going tomorrow if someone actually made an offer) but it suits the homeless industry to keep people homeless so they can make money out of them. The "solution" that the homeless industry offers to homeless people is to put them in a hostel so they can make money out of them, but once there they have control of you and mess you about - not to mention the benefits trap that hostels cause - it can be better to stay out of them. I don't know why you say that no-one at COC is paid - I know for a fact that a lot of people get paid large sums there. Just to give one example, two Christmases ago I was waiting for a martial arts workshop and Helen (ex director Crisis Skylight) said I don't think much of them being late after the amount of money I paid them - and this being Helen it must have been a fair sum - it means that all the providers of workshops get paid - last year the maintainance technitians were on £250 a day.

Donnard