31 January, 2006

Sozzled Jaime

Who knew that one day a man would be at a computer completely sozzled? Not me and me being the one. Only puts light on the subject of how easy it is to become part of a community that does the same everyday. They do say that you have to experience what alcoholics feel when they drink and believe me when I say don't. If the blurred vision is not enough to put you off for life. Then nothing can prepare you for what's coming but it's that feeling of nothing else matters that I think masks the problems. I'm absolutely at one with the universe and that means I'm so bloody sozzled that I don't think I make sense. So I think I will become an MP.

Jamie member for who knows what rant

Well ladies and gentlemen I have been told by a certain few that I am not politically correct. I have to agree and anyway who wants to be politically correct all the time. It just means that you have to watch your p's and q's and that's just not me. I am a member of the freedom and independence movement my own I must add. To me freedom must be complete. After all isn't that what we go on and on about? You must be able to choose your own paths in life and if you choose the wrong one then you will have short comings. It sometimes seems that you are free to make your own choices. So long as it doesn't affect anyone else but that's what you do sometimes. Take me for instance the choices I have made through my life haven't been the ones most people would make but they have affected people around me. Often to their dismay. I sometimes wonder. Am I normal and sit on my sofa pondering this and of course the meaning of life. Which I now know is not 42. Another thing I ask myself is why we say life begins at forty? When in fact it started when we were born and why in the bible it says we should turn the other cheek. When we all know it bloody hurt the first time and there's no way in hell we will let it happen a second time.
oh and why do parents say if you do that again you'll know about it? When it's pretty obvious we already do. These are the sort of things that I sit pondering. Oh and why we elect MPs that don't really do what we want or need? Well I've ranted enough till the next one. Have fun in life and don't jump of any tall building as it's too far to fall and there's a good chance you might change your mind on the way down.

27 January, 2006

Just got home to this

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I just got home and outside my house were
police galore. Someone had been hit with a bottle in the car park down the road and the injured man had left a blood trail as he staggered to the main road. The government said crime was on the way down and that voilet crime was up a notch. well mr blair lets see you walk round here without your minders on a dark night. you might last a night or two but you will eventually be mugged, beaten and even shot. mind you I think there are some who'd like to do that to you anyway but that's niether here nor there. only one thing to ask when are we going to be safe or can we expect to become like the states and have a gun culture that's permantly here.

One busy street one more homeless guy

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26 January, 2006

We want to work

People might be surprised to learn just how many homeless people want to work. When I spoke to people this morning that actually lived on the streets. They said they were disappointed at not being able to register for work with agencies because they had no address. I have also spoke to several addicts over the last few days who told me they were willing to work but because they lived in hostels and the rent was still too high that they just couldn't afford to. So the perception that addicts cannot work is not true. Many of the people I personally know are single and want to work but they are all worried about being worse off if they go to work, This is only one of the problems that people face whether in a hostel or a place of their own. It's about time the government put something into play that would counter this. The fact that some were still attending more IT courses at the skylight centre is a testament to the fact that most are gearing up for work.
Single people are always at a disadvantage because I supposed they are seen as having only themselves to support and supporting only one person is supposed to be easy. We all know this is not the case. Single homeless people are even more disadvantaged. Imagine not having a home, living in a card board box on the Charring cross road in the London but you are still willing to work at any job that's available but because you have no address you have virtually no chance. How do you break out of the cycle of homelessness when no one is willing to give you that chance. Being in a hostel doesn't give you any advantage either. There is still a certain amount of discrimination there as well. Politicians and people will tell you there's not supposed to be but we all know there is. Chances are few and far between for homeless people to break out of the cycle of homelessness and for people to think that most homeless people do not want to work is wrong.

Empowering people.

I have often been outspoken and do shout the loudest when I believe in something which I must admit is kind of new for me. Why? Because of the number of years that I have been in a drugged state is some what ridiculous and now I am awake and drug free I see things in a different light. It has taken me a few years to get to the position where I feel I am ready for work but the stumbling blocks are put in my way. My past and my age for instance. We all know this should not happen but it's a big factor when someone wants to employ me. Last year I said I have all this experience about homelessness and drug addiction and it was in this area I wanted to work. Then I start this blog and met all kinds of people from different backgrounds and I started to learn more and more. The more I learned the better Idea I got what I wanted to do. Now after months of talking to people I have come to this conclusion that most charities deal with homelessness from the start of actually being homeless. Then it seems to concentrate on getting them back to some kind of normality. Not many charities or government bodies really concentrate on empowering people, by this I mean having a separate scheme that helps them actually get employment. Everything seems so temporary. I know by empowering people to do volunteering is one way to get them back into the swing of employment but where do you go from there? The way I see things are simple enough but really hard to put in to action and they do say action speaks louder than words. So I am now talking to as many people in the business community on a idea I have about starting an employment agency that is run by ex-addicts or ex-homeless people. To also do peer to peer training so they can move on to other agencies after a while. So over the next few months I am going to get together with a few people and get together a business plan with the hope that we can get funding and that we have a business that is viable and it will eventually become self sufficient. This will be another busy year for me and by the end of it I hope to have achieved a lot more than I did last year. To have nothing to having something is better

Banks still failing the poor

As this government try to get people's benefits put straight into bank accounts. According to the BBC business web site this week banks are still putting obstacles in the way of the poorest people like very stringent identity checks . It is staggering to find that 3.3 million people in this country do not have bank accounts and after interviewing a few people in hostels and that are living on the streets this has not change since the subject was brought to my attention some months ago. This government need to make agreements with banks because as I see it everyone in this country has an insurance number and that number is unique and for that person only there are no duplicate numbers so what's the problem? Debt seems to be the major stumbling block but if the banks set up a simple basic account then there shouldn't be any. An account where they cannot be over drawn is so simple.

He's out and he's come out

There's a couple of things to talk about today in the office as you go about the office trying to find something to talk about. One is George Galloway being ousted from big brother. Was it inevitable? My humble opinion is he should really have been one of the first out. He's a bloody politician lets face it he was what I call having a last political fling with the public and if he thought people were going to take him seriously then he was mistaken. I understand that a petition with a least twenty five thousand signatures was got together. People where demanding he stepped down from office. If that's true then the view that I and several other people took is right. The other thing is Simon Hughes coming out and saying he's gay and has had a few lovers. My view is that this is his personal life and it should be just that. He's quite capable of doing the job of leader and he has already proved that by being the Lib Dem's party president and shadow attorney general. The question really should be would he be the ideal person to lead the Lib Dem's? His being gay shouldn't enter in to it because everyone is entitled to have sexual relationships whether gay or heterosexual. He is the MP for where I live and I have to admit he's doing ok.

24 January, 2006

The poverty trap

The question, what does being in the poverty trap really mean? It has sort of eluded some people as they go to work each day in the knowledge that at the end of each month they will get a wage that will see them through to the next one. The thing that I see as poverty is those that struggle from day to day making ends meet and quite often these are the people that are on benefits they often find their benefit only stretching for six days instead of seven and their are also families of three or four children who have to manage on beans on toast. So they can make ends meet. This is what I call poverty but even these are not the worst off. There are in this country many homeless people who through no fault of there own end up living on the street. Having to eat out. I myself was once one of those people. I used to make what little money I got last for five or six days and that was after I came off drugs.
If we have people no matter whether they are homeless, addicts or families that have to struggle to survive everyday then we do have a problem and this government instead of sorting this problem seem intent on creating a society of the haves and have nots. Yes many would like to get back to work but if you get a job that pays less than what you are getting on state benefits then what's the point. Families do have a system in bridging the wage gap ie: tax credits. Rent rebates, child benefit ect. For the single person there is hardly anything. So as poverty tightens it grip the endless circle one finds themselves in never seems to end.
This government and ones yet to come have a duty of care to its people that's why they were elected and will be elected and one of the issues should be to eradicate poverty on it's own doorstep.

And another thing

While were on the subject of politics. I have been listening to the parliamentary debates on anti social behavior and the issuing of asbo's. Some have been issued in parts of the country for stupid things like someone feeding the birds in their own back garden. We have all these programs on TV about nature and how we should help with conservation and we then give asbo's to people who do just that. Aren't we deciding how people should live? We don't complain about feeding ducks and swans and pigeons in parks. So just to make things equal should they be asboed as well. My personal feeling on asbos is they are a useless form of deterrent. I can be seen to keep my nose clean for a year. Another asbo was issued to a prostitute who was also a drug addict not to have condoms in her possession in a certain area. When her drug centre was in that area and they gave out condoms and I am not right in thinking whatever the case we have to protect society from the spread of aids as we all know a prostitute will always work and if they have a drug habit it is a must for them and there are only certain areas in a city where they can work. Which is more important the use of the asbo or the safety of the public. Asbo's don't seem to work where I live. I have had a crack house in the flats above me and when that was closed down one opened next door and when that one was also closed they moved across the road. I know a few people that have reported them to the council and the police and they have suffered even more for doing so. Being an ex-addict I know how addicts think and work. I also know how pushers work and the hardest thing is see them coming because they are normal people. Like me and you. The other use of issuing asbos to homeless people for just sleeping rough is disgusting and I will always be naming and shaming councils that do so but I will always have the evidence to back my claims up. As you can gather I am really vexed today as I believe all the measures I am hearing about, are just quick fixes. The New Labour sticking plaster mentality they might as well give Santa an asbo for making a mess when coming down peoples chimney's. It only takes a couple of disgruntled people to complain and the councils as they say have to act. I think it is about time we the people said enough is enough and got tough on what I call civil crime that is abusive behavior. Isn't that's why asbo's where invented in the first place.

Labour try once again to reform incapacity benefit

Well, it's back to the political stuff that I have been writing about over the last few months. No one has ever taken notice of what homeless people have to say or come to think of it me, myself. Maybe today is that day. Plus the fact today is the day that once again the Labour government will say look we want to try to get 1,000,000 people of sickness benefit and reform incapacity benefit. Oh and we want to rename it after all it's a legacy we the three time election winners want to leave. The last time this happened I believe there was a government back bench revolt and from what I've heard so far there will be another. I have a lot to say about the system we have in this country but from what I hear about government incentives to doctors to give fewer sick notes, is just a plain old bribe. I think this is just another attempt to reduce the 12 billion bill we have every year. Will this lead to more poverty and the worsted being worst off? I know so. This government was elected on a small majority and I think they will oust themselves at the next election if they keep on going the way they are. Because the people of this country want proper reform. Not reform that takes people that are just getting by into the poverty trap. So many families I know will be affected by what this government is proposing. This government want to penalize people who are already genuinely ill and suffering. To more suffering and hardship. Many claimants around the country have had to fight for the right to receive these benefits in the first place, by having to see independent doctors employed by the DSS themselves. This will only cause more confusion. If the government want to beat the people that defraud the system then they will have to think up something else. What about those people that are homeless they lose their right to the little extra that most receive and it's been like that for years. Tony Blair says he wants a fairer system and more people back in employment but I think he just wants to make his mark before he steps down. Sorry Tony but you have already made your mark remember Iraq.
What I think is that we should have had the two tear system. People who could not be expected to work because of the severity of the their disability and those that could be eventually helped back into work. Now that's what I call a good system. Not one that can be malipulated like the one that is being proposed and believe me. It will be.

23 January, 2006

Try and try again

Last week was quite a painful week for me but me being me and not being able to sit in doors longer than I have to I decided to go to Covent garden and do my thing of talking to people and getting their views on politics, war, homelessness, drugs and everything else you can think of but it is not always that easy. So as I mingled within the madding crowd at Covent garden. Trying to gauge peoples reactions after I asked them several quick fire questions, like if they failed at something they were doing, would they leave it or attempt to try again until they succeeded? Would they ask for help? Would they accept help? When I explained that I was trying to find out why so many drug addicts and alcoholics now lived on the streets and why so many failed several times in their attempts to beat their addiction. There were a few people that said they were fed up with seeing people on the streets with a bottles of cider in their hands or we have been too soft and should now force these people into clinics until they're are cured. So I asked what if it doesn't work should we keep on helping them in their attempt to beat their addictions? They thought I was some kind of reporter. Which to me was kind of a compliment as I must have been asking the right question and who wants to talk to a strange toothless wonder that you can only half understand what he's saying? But the reaction I got was well, amazing. They answered nearly every question with an answer. I think I'm going to do this more often than I have been doing as I think the public give me the insight as to what they would like to see being done on most matters.

19 January, 2006

More mad thoughts

Every so often I hear something on the TV or radio and I think to myself what if. Take for instance the question of obesity they say 60% of this country is suffering from. I have thought of a great cure. What if we pass a law that says everybody that is over weight has to use a pogo stick for 30 minutes a day or has to go to work on one. Now that would be a site for sore eyes. Not to mention the fact that we'd have a healthy nation and no more congestion charge. Here's another, a lie detector for politicians who are known to embellish a bit with the truth. Now that would be something new wouldn't it. How about river dipping these yobs like they did in the old days with the witches. Some how I don't think they'd be yobs for long and how about hoodies who slap people for fun being slapped 3 times a day for a whole year. Just what the doctor ordered. Well that's the end of my mad ten minute sensibility has returned. One last one. How about making a prime minister from birth. Now that would be a designer baby.

Another sleepless night and another rant.

It seems like this week is not my week at all. I have a bad tooth. Which has caused an infection in my mouth and has kept me awake now for days. This morning I got a bill once again for something I have never had or come to think of it never ordered and now my living room heater has decided to quit. So now I'm dressed up like an Eskimo in my dressing gown and pajamas at 4.30am. Too bloody early in the morning for anything else. All I need now is a bloody fishing pole and I would look a right muppet, besides all this I am listening to prime ministers question time on the parliament channel. For a few months now I have listened to all these politicians and I have come to the conclusion that to be a politician all you need is common sense an idea of what the people want and people appeal and if you appeal to the right people you might become a party leader. The other thing that I have realized is that I wouldn't make a good party leader because I am too blunt and I would be too honest. Lately I have been pondering the idea of a magazine like the big issue but everything written by homeless or people in temporary accommodation because I have been on both sides of that fence and I always thought that was the big issues grand scheme. Another thing that I am seeing are organizations now attempting to change the way they approach homelessness. I have been to a few meeting where they are saying, we all have the same goals so lets pool our resources. This can only be a good thing but it's the organizations that talk about getting people back in to the main frame of society and work. Yet they don't have anyone working in their organizations that has been through the ordeal of addiction or homelessness and come out the other side. Here's what I think. (I bet you knew I was going to say something.) Most charities depend on the generosity of the public to keep their charities afloat and simply cannot afford to employ that many people but the people they do employ are young and have enthusiasm and have a certain sympathy for the job. Plus all their university degrees. Yet the question I'm asking is what do they really know about being homeless or a drug addict or an alcoholic? I'm always hearing them say we can only imagine what it's like. We can only go on what we hear and what we have seen. Plus what we have learned on the job. The fact that a lot of homeless people or addicts don't trust these people because of their inexperience has large say in their lives as trust play a bigger part in helping people than people think. What I would like to see in the near future is instead of the government saying they will spend so much on helping the homeless off the streets by getting them into temporary accommodation. But by also funding projects while they are in temporary accommodation. Like helping ex-addicts, alcoholics and ex-homeless people back into work but in that sector of work. These are the people that know about homelessness, addiction from their own first hand experience and we need to start to cure the growing problem we have in this country. Not only would this country save money in the long run but by employing some of these people we might just learn something plus the fact that we would be preventing some people from becoming societies outcasts. Addiction and homelessness go hand in hand and that's a fact. Why waste all that real knowledge that has been gain first hand? Once an ex-addict or a ex-homeless person sees you can break out of the vicious circle and life can be better than what they have. We will see a true fall in the number of people suffering.
Oh by the way anyone want to employ a fifty three year old man who has never really had a steady job but good with a computer?

18 January, 2006


Still can't sleep my teeth are playing me up something terrible. It's ten past five in the morning and I thought that I'd catch up on some emails and stuff. The things that still amazes me are politicians and some of the ideas they come up with. I have often been in the last couple of months out spoken when I think that something is a waste of time and I have to say the prime ministers speech on give respect and get respect. Its one of the lamest ideas for a long time. How can anyone expect people who are terrorized daily by drug dealers, muggers, thugs and young kids on street corners to shop them? It just makes me laugh. Fear is one of the greatest human traits. It stops us from doing most things we are afraid of but until the government decide enough is enough and treat these people as they are treating other people then we will always have a society that lives in fear. I know people will say we have to stand up to these people but I truly believe we have been too soft in the past. We live in a time of huge discontent and the class of no hope is so prevalent today that it does seem to me that we are steadily slipping backwards and not moving forwards as the government keep saying. We see more and more job loses. More people in temporary accommodation. More young homeless and vulnerable people and a majority of these come from the run down estates all over Britain. How do you get a society back on track? There is no where in this world that's perfect but it would be nice to walk down the street and not be mugged. It would be nice if we could leave our back doors open and nothing would be stolen like in the old days. I think we need to get back our communities but we wont until this government stop pussy footing around and get tough. Then we might see the fear in people subside and we might get the communities we dream of.

17 January, 2006

My own thoughts

Writing this blog is I think is a privilege for me just to be showing everyone just how far I have come in such a short space of time but it still seems strange for me to see pictures of people on street corners buying their drugs and homeless people sleeping out on the streets and the fact that I am no longer a member of that club is still strange.
What is really frustrating for me and so many other people is that so many people like myself needed that extra helping hand. I was lucky I met some really nice people and the rest for me is history but some are not so lucky. They don't see anyway to escape the vicious circle of homelessness, drugs, alcohol or even illness. I hear about people suffering from anorexia or depression. These are just a couple of the things that can cause people to become unsettled. The outcome? They suffer a mental illness as well as physical and the struggle to survive is terrifying, but it's just another cause as to why someone might become homeless and end up with another addiction.
In society we have a number of problems from young people going to jail and coming out with no hope. To the long term homeless with no real prospect of being housed too many problems are what some people are saying. To normal everyday people just not being able to cope.
We have all these people shouting at the top of their voices saying prevention, prevention. I know like so many others that we need to prevent the young from becoming those people without hope. We need to prevent people from suffering the humiliation of sleeping on the streets and becoming societies outcasts. We need to see mental illnesses coming before they get to the stage of breakdown. Because that's what it really is one persons inability to cope. I'm still of the opinion that helping someone recover from what illness they have suffered is only half the battle. Learning how to cope if that illness returns is the other half. It's doesn't matter if you are homeless or not. The toughest battle is to fight something you know and are afraid of like myself. I am afraid that one mistake could be the end for me. It's not that I wouldn't try all over again. It's the question, have I the strength to go through all that again? Funny here I am writing this not really thinking about what I'm saying but just knowing what's right. Strange don't you think?

16 January, 2006

Another trip to the dentist.

I thought the problems with my teeth were over after seeing the dentist last week but alas the pain returned with a vengeance. So this morning after looking in the mirror and thinking that the face in front of me was one of the muppets. I decided to go back to my dentist who I had so much trouble obtaining as NHS dentist seem to becoming a rare thing now days. Anyway he wouldn't see me as he put it I need to go the dental hospital if I needed urgent treatment as he couldn't give me any more treatment until my next appointment. So now I'm off to the dental hospital to see why my mouth is so swollen and why the teeth are painful. I am one of the lucky ones. There are so many that can't get a dentist that they have to stay in pain or their teeth just rot away. I am so glad I am not homeless anymore things are a little easier but not by much.

13 January, 2006

No fiver under my pillow

In my younger days I believed in the tooth fairy and that they would put the teeth that the dentist or for that matter I myself had pulled out under my pillow to get sixpence but due to inflation it's now a fiver. I have had this toothache for a few days and had to go to the dentist. Who to be honest I am in great fear of but anyway I went and had some teeth pulled. What really irks me is now I am having bloody nightmares that I can actually remember. This was one such dream I had. I was in so much pain that no one in the world could cure me. So I just put up with it and went about my business then I met all these MPs in a meeting and Charles Kennedy God bless him kept trying to give me nips of brandy from his hidden flask. All he kept saying was it'll do you good instead of me. Then I had Tony Blair saying everyone should be able to see a dentist but as for treatment well that's another issue. Then to top it all I had John Prescott saying I am working class lad and don't need to see a dentist I am a mans man. What a nightmare. I'm just happy that I saw a dentist who pulled the tooth out and gave it me. I put it underneath my pillow and this morning not a sausage not a bloody penny. Just goes to show fairy tales are just that and dreams are just dreams and not many do come true but when they do it turns out they were your goals in life.

11 January, 2006

Is it too little to late

After hearing hey Jamie what do you know about things? After all you have never really lived in the real world that long have you? My answer to that was to say the world I have lived in for the last five years sometimes makes you wish you had never really joined it but such is life when I have to tolerate idiots like yourself. Yet as I realized what I had said, as per usual my mouth started to open before my brain got into gear. But was I wrong? That was the question. I mean hear I sit with all this knowledge about homelessness and being on the breadline. It seems such a waste. But as I struggle to come to terms with my own past I realize that there are people like myself that are still trapped in the vicious circle of drugs, homelessness and poverty and they think that there is no way out. I think what I am trying to do is to say hey its never too late use what you know. If you think people need to know just what's it's really like to live on the streets or in hostels then say so. Blogs are a great way of reaching more people and sometimes you get an MP reading it and then they want to know more and from there things do get better. Is it too late ? No it's never too late

10 January, 2006

Politicians or TV stars

Firstly I know people look forward to hearing what I have to say but my computer has been on strike I think as it just refused to work for a few days. Now everything is back to normal I think. Well, until I get the code to activate my windows properly again. Now for the juicy bits. What did you think of George Galloway in the big brother house? Who is doing his job? He is a budding TV star or a politician? When people voted, they voted for someone who was going to be in office trying to get things done. Not in big brother. Is he going to give the wining to the homeless in the east end?
Today we have the government on about this give respect get respect we already hear of so many things but this is just an old idea rehashed. We need to get tough on these yobs whatever age they are. I know well to do kids who purposely go out to cause trouble. You can't keep on blaming the parents. I will think on this for a while and see if I can come up with a more suitable way of dealing with thugs because that's just what they are.

06 January, 2006

Those where the days.

When I was on the streets as a teenager homelessness wasn't so much of a big issue. It wasn't until the Cathy Come Home film that it became a huge issue. But I can remember when I ran away from home and came to London in search of a different life but being a drug user not being able to read and write wasn't the best start and at that time in my life I was already a mess and my life became a nightmare after I moved to this city.
Being homeless for most youngsters at first was like starting a new adventure. The big city and it's bright lights. Where the magnet as they are still are today. There are dangers to being homeless, which are still prevalent today. Drugs, prostitution, alcohol
Youngster's runaway to this city to hide from whatever because its big and in doing so they can disappear off the social radar. The trouble is they get permanently lost. There were thousands in the early sixties and seventies all over the country the same age as me. We were sleeping in make shift huts in the bullring in waterloo, in cardboard boxes at Charing Cross, in shop doorways along the Strand the fact that we were seen and ignored is what made the situation what it was and still is today. Things are slightly better but it's still a struggle to get into accommodation and to get any kind of education is not easy. When I go out to talk to homeless people at night I have seen an increase in youngsters on the streets and they all say the same, had to leave home, can't get any benefits, can't get work. And there are some that have moved off the streets to the vice of Soho. It's such a pity because a helping hand is all some need.
What we need is to teach children in schools of the dangers of running away and try to show them real life and what homeless people go through. We also need to show them how degrading life can be when you become desperate.
I only succeeded in changing my life because I had help. Without it I probably would have returned to the street the same as I was. There are many people that I know that have not made it as far as I have. Some are still homeless with no hope of getting out of the vicious circle of homelessness and that's all homelessness, drugs and alcohol are, vicious bloody circles with no end. If you have ever seen a magician with the three ring trick. the rings are looped together and with one quick slight of hand they separate. Well that's exactly what we need to cure the homeless problem we have in this country. A white wizard would be better.
I can speak from my own experience of the streets and believe me when I say I have been close to doing things I would regret today

Answer to comment paid workers at crisis

Well firstly I'd like to say a big thank you to all the people that gave up their time at Christmas volunteering. Now to answer the comment from cynical Donnard. The information that I have is that no one except for crisis staff who work all year round where paid. Learning skill workers gave their time voluntary . No one at the shelters got paid. Things have changed since the days of Helen (ex director of skylight). This year people wanted to give up their time and if you recall it was year of the volunteer. I even worked as volunteer and did the whole seven days and quite a few hours extra and as usual I got told off. As to your comment that it suits the homeless industry to keep people homeless. Well, firstly there wouldn't have been any need for homeless charities if years ago it had been realized that we had a serious homeless problem. Since the Cathy come home film, homelessness was put in the spotlight. It has now once again become a problem that's in the background. No one wants to admit that we still have a problem and that's why we have so many charities dealing with homelessness. Not all homeless charities think that putting people in hostels is the answer but how do you help someone with a drink or drugs problem or even a mental health one. You can't put someone in a flat and expect them to cope with keeping a flat and cope with whatever they are suffering from. That to me would be a waste of time and money because they'd be back on the streets in no time at all.
Yes you're right about the benefit trap but everyone that's sick or unemployed gets caught in it sooner or later. This is what I think causes the most suffering not only for homeless people but for everyone. Being dependent on benefits can become soul destroying and getting out of it is such a hard task.
you say if you were offered a flat up north you would jump at the chance. You must remember that there are some people not as confident as you. They know they need help and charities like crisis are there to assist them in learning

05 January, 2006

Wish I'd been there

Tonight Charles Kennedy admitted he had a drink problem and that he hadn't had a drink for tow months. A thing that I recognized myself. I'm sorry to say this but while fighting this illness because it is an illness as he says. He won't be able to fend off the doubters because stopping drinking is the hard part. He has the hardest to come and that is staying sober. When he is under pressure to perform will this be the catalyst that drags him backwards was the question I would have like to asked him but I would have put it better because I have seen so many good people with alcohol problems and I have also seen how hard it is to keep a job and try to give it up. Not many people succeed in both.
As I watched the host of reporters surround him and throw questions about his political career. No one bothered to ask him how his family was coping and he will need them around him in these early days but all in all I think everyone already suspected that he had a problem. It was only a matter of time before it was confirmed. I wish I'd been there at the press interview because there were lots of questions I could have asked because I have been there as well and no one believes you can be the same again.
I hear the whispers of thank God Christmas and new year is over from some people as I travel round London and I think that there are quite a few people who are afraid to open their letters just in case it's their credit card bills. The first letter I got this week was a bill and I haven't a penny to my name. The thing that I have learned is by phoning or writing to the people you owe and making a reasonable offer of payment it does work and it stops those nasty people called bailiffs from calling. I was not used to having to pay bills but I am learning because I am just like everyone else I like to miss a week or two just to have something special.
I have had a break from using my computer for nearly a week, just too recharge my batteries so to speak because I am at my computer or one at the crisis office nearly everyday but when I thought about it I compared it to the crisis open Christmas. My thinking was if all year long you are homeless or lonely. Then for seven days you are given the chance to rest and forget about your troubles. Then that seven days will have meant an awful lot to quite a few people. The one thing over Christmas that I did notice was that even though people had hostels and such. Many were people of my age that were just lonely. I've heard the talks from people like John bird and that geezer from the sun newspaper saying places like the open Christmas shelters are not needed and I do beg to differ. We have a homeless population and curing it seems to be a rather difficult task. Is it our fault or the governments for not seeing how bad it really was in the first place? John Bird says we need to focus more on prevention and I agree but not at the expense of the ones that are on the streets now and that's where me and John Bird disagree. We need extras money from the government to be spent on prevention.
I believe anyone can change given the chance but the truth is chances are few and far between and to be really truthful, some people have already been given so many that some people have given up but saying that if I hadn't taken one of those chances I wouldn't be writing this.
This is what I think, we need to update the way we see homelessness and that there is such a thing as hidden homelessness. As many seem to think that just having a roof over your head is enough. We need to think more about getting people work skills and we need to focus more on empowering people after all making the right decision for ones self is half the battle. We need more people that know about homelessness or drugs ( have actually been affected) to actually work in this sector.
I think that this year will be more of me blogging about more than just the streets. Got nothing better to do now I have already broken my new years resolution.