30 March, 2006


When I think of education I always think about the trouble I had getting into college because I was on the streets and a bit lost in a world I knew nothing about. It's normal for people to assume that because you are on the streets that you don't want to be educated but that's not quite true. although the main focus for someone that's homeless is survival. Some homeless people visit day centers to keep ahead on things like reading and writing, using a computer. art and so forth. Emailing has become one of the fastest growing forms of communication amongst the homeless because it's free and simple to use. When I think of all the courses I went on because I was in so much a rush to learn things. I have always said that learning to read and write was like having a brand new toy that you couldn't throw away and I still feel that way. Now I ask the questions like are there too many courses that really shouldn't be a courses for instance, underwear study a course someone's taking. Should it be a course at all. Knowledge is the fountain of youth so I have heard but some how it's eluding me.

Old and means tested

Getting old, we all have to do it but today we still do not give old people the services they should get for Free. Most pensioners have worked all their adult life and it's such a shame our society doesn't reflect this. We talk the talk but we actually don't do much about it. Now a government adviser has said what we have been saying for years. That pensioners should have minimum level of state-funded social care and means testing should end. Although the report did stop short of saying the word free. We are always saying that pensioners should be treated with respect but are we? When we don't see them as people, just pensioners.
I dread getting old but I dread even more the hassle I would have to go through to get a decent way of living in an old peoples home. Back to the present though I just wondered what had change for pensioners this year that they had to lose the two hundred pound bonus and if you think about it. It was what kept some pensioners afloat last year. Nothing changed this year from what I can see. Oh yes silly me there's no election this year so the next give away is in four years. Oh and gas and electric prices have gone up. so it's going to cost more. Well how's that for a change?

A step backwards

Every now and again things happen that we cannot control. Some of us can just about manage to get through what we call tough times others cannot and that's just how life is. Imagine though you have just got your first flat after living on the streets for so many years. You have a lapse because you let yourself drift back to the streets because to put it simply it's all you know. Slowly but surely you find yourself on the streets more than in your flat.
This is one of the ways many people who have been homeless find themselves back on the streets. Simply because they could not handle the loneliness of having a flat and being alone. Living in a hostel has it's drawbacks but at least you know people and have the chance to speak to them. I have interviewed many homeless people that are back at square one.
This is a step backwards and although many organizations are trying to find away of stopping this trend. It does seem we can't find an answer. The thing I find funny is if we want work then we retrain, we re-educate. So why can't this be used with homeless people? When say for instance they are in their hostels. Teaching people that have had nothing is one hard task because no one knows what to expect and habits are hard to break. The toughest habit is actually not being able to ask for help. When you have been surviving on your own using whatever it takes to survive. It's all you know. Asking for help is the last thing on your mind. How do you stop people taking that step backward I think it's by retraining, learning them to cook, pay rent, buying things that a home needs. Budgeting, paying bills all these skills most people already have and for homeless people to stay off the streets and in their flats. We need to give them same skills. This year there are maybe 480,000 people in temporary accommodation i.e. living on the streets, hostels, friends sofas, B and B's. Of them I would say most need to learn the basic essentials of maintaining themselves and a flat. it sounds so simple. yet once again it all comes down to money.

Another day and people agreeing with me

I never once stopped to think about things and how my life has become so shaped. I just thought that I'd wasted so much of my life that everything I do now that is right for me, is a bonus. When I have said something it does seem strange that people have sat up and taken notice and all the emails( 74 today) people have sent me over the last year to say what a good read my blog is and that at last someone has a voice and is willing to use it does say quite a lot to me. Where government seems to fail. It does seem when people get together and focus on a subject they can actually do some good.
I am making plans for the next year for a bigger better blog maybe even a proper web site with guest writers. Cartoons and so on. So who knows what's in store for jamiesbigvoice but to make this a better year just keep on reading. By the way it's when you make comments that my blog works well.

28 March, 2006

Twice as much to learn

This government seem to be doing things back to front as they try to take a giant step in the right direction they always seem to get things wrong like this double charge for night classes to fund low paid workers. 47% of the people that attend night school are actually low paid workers or single parents in the first place. They are there trying to get ahead in life by learning more. Now it's going to cost them twice as much. Where do they get this thing that it's the middle class that use these courses to better themselves is strange as I was under the opinion that it was the government that advocated extra schooling but stranger still is this government commitment to education but only if it's on the cheap. This move will affect not only those that can only just about afford to pay the fee but it will affect all who want to learn. The right to education should be there for everyone no matter what social standing but to make everyone pay double is ridiculous and not fair. Once again here's my opinion if at school you leave not being able to read and write then something must have been wrong with the learning system. For someone to slip through the learning net today I have heard it is a bit tougher but there are still people that do. Which means the system failed them. Some see night school as a way of making up what they have lost but as this government seeks ways of getting things on the cheap many things are now beginning to suffer and high on the list are housing, education, when are we going to say enough is enough you promised better but have failed to deliver.

27 March, 2006

Another blinding thought

It's funny how a few days away from someone or something can really do you the world of good. Me, I haven't been near my computer for a few days, one because my broadband connection was still down and the second because I didn't want to. I needed a rest and did I get it? Did I hell. Firstly my girlfriend who was my old one but became my new one once again. Who by the way never stopped complaining, dumped me again with the words I am a selfish pig of a man and I might as well be in love with my computer as I think more of it than I do of her. Even though I hadn't touched it all weekend. So my unhappy mood today can be put down to this phenomena that seems to happen to me on a quarterly basis. I must be a glutton for punishment because she like that film called they always come back again. My life is better already. Which reminds me why I am blogging today. My history if it were read today would read reformed character done nothing special and I would have to agree but when you read history about this country it seems we all have done nothing special either. You may ask how come. Here's what I think. For years and years we have had this problem it's was called being rich and being poor and for years that's how it stayed then a clever few decided if we can't join them then we'll be the one's in the middle. Not rich but not poor. So they started to use the words middle class and then started the three class system and that's what we had for along time. Those that still had nothing were in fact forgotten till now. Now we have a fourth class of people and we call those the socially excluded. To become a member all you have to do is become homeless an addict, mentally disabled or physically or even be a little bit simple, not as smart as some or even lose everything you have. Throw in a little poverty and age and presto your a fully fledge member. The trouble is once you become a member it seems you can't get out of the membership. Too many clauses. In a world that we are all supposed to be equal. Doesn't it seem strange that we have what we call social classes? Everyday on our way to work we see people laying in shop door ways or at night in the heart of our cities we see them crowd around some charities soup van. Some are addicts some are just homeless, some are there because of the company. Like everything else in life if you do things long enough they become habits, part of your life and that's what's happened to these people that have unknowingly become members of the socially excluded. When I hear people say it'll never happen to me. When it can happen to anyone and often does. I sometimes just smile.

23 March, 2006

Not one surprise in the budget

When Gordon Brown sends an email saying he is doing this and that you can begin to worry. Especially when his budget has not given much to anyone. Prudent or not his last budget just proves that it was a get Labour in power one. If you look at the chancellors budget realistically he has taken away from pensioners. He has given back to the well off in many ways. He says that pensioners now get free travel but didn't they anyway? Education seems to be high on his list but there's nothing that says if you are one of the forgotten or one of the not so bright. Many of whom with help could become someone but he said nothing like I have ear marked 45 million so you can learn the basic for free or you will have to pay something if you a part time earner. Everything is family orientated and geared towards home owners but with many more people staying single and becoming disillusioned then it seems you will continue not to reap the benefits. This budget was one of the quietest on record there was not much reaction from anyone. It looks like we are in for another gloomy year and poverty to continue to strike the less fortunate. The struggle I suppose will continue until we all get a fare and proper budget. To be honest this was not one.

21 March, 2006

It always happens to me

Things have conspired against me. I have been vandalized again. Now I'm going to housing association to tell them I want a move. The police have just been and the broken windows have been replaced but I have had enough. We know it's the people in the crack house in the flats opposite but we can't prove it and nothing seems to be being done about moving them out.
So far in this area this year, we have had two mugging, one rape and a spate of burglaries and it's only March. I so f---ing mad. I'm feeling so f---ing frustrated. I've listened to most of the debates on law and order but I have yet to hear anything that would inspire people to come forward and do what the government want and that is help clear up the crime on estates. Fear is one stumbling block and because there is not a tough enough deterrent at the moment crime pays. Why because if you get caught you go to prison and in some cases prison is short holiday not the deterrent. All these people that say the punishment is loss of liberty but shouldn't we now be looking at making life tough in prison rather than saying, just lock them away. This is the 5th time in the four years I have been here that something has happened when I have gone out for a night. I guess, I'm just mad that it's happened to me again.

20 March, 2006

Common sense

When I listen to MPs I expect to hear them talk plain and simply and what makes no sense to me is all the long winded jargon they use. Me I say what I mean although sometimes I do ramble on a bit but to word things that only they can understand seems a bit weird to me. Common sense tells me if I want people to understand what I'm saying then I have to talk in plain English. I have been trying to make sense of what they call white papers on homelessness and vagrancy ect and although I get the gist I find it hard to pin point what the law is. It seems there are so many applications to think about that once again dumb old me is confused as per usual.

17 March, 2006

Birthday boy

Yesterday was my birthday and I just wanted to thank all the people that sent me happy birthday messages. Now it's back to normal and I'm thinking about things again. One thing that keeps on popping into my mind is why on earth when I am on the tube or bus don't people talk to each other? Last night when I was out with friends I asked about this and the answer I got was not so shocking. I believe the art to a society getting along together is surely by conversing with each other? Not just friend but with different people. Before we had TV's and radios, we had to talk to each other even if it was only to say good morning as you passed by someone but we seem to have lost that art. So is the art of conversation dead as a dodo or do we need to be encouraged to talk to each other. My opinion is that if you wake up in a dreadful mood and get on the bus or tube and saying nothing to no one then you start work in the same vein and it will probably be a whole bad day but imagine having a conversation with someone sitting next to you and they make you smile that could just be the thing that makes the day a pleasant one. Well, it's just a thought

Talking with Conservative MPs

Meeting MPs in the houses of parliament can be a very daunting prospect but I have come to the conclusion that they are the same as you or me. Maybe a bit smarter (I don't think so) but basically the same. So on Wednesday when myself and three other members of the homeless panel met with some Conservative MPs( photos above) to talk about homelessness and what it's like to be a member of the socially excluded. They did seem to listen to us. We talked about hidden homeless i.e people in temporary accommodation , sleeping on friends floors, hostels ect. The fact that we were there and that they wanted to hear our stories and views was a positive thing. The fact that homelessness is rising at a rate of knots seemed to be a concern of theirs . Three years ago an estimated 380000 people were considered to be homeless or part of the hidden homeless. Today the figure is estimated to be much much higher. New ways of tackling homelessness have to be found sooner rather than later. I must admit that I do have a bee in my hat about the use of people that have been through the mill and come out the other side. I strongly believe that their expertise in this area can be utilized to the max after all who better to know what problems homeless people face than someone who's actually been there. The same goes for drugs and alcohol.
The problem is not solely that homeless people are on the streets. The problem is that when they are there, they are forgotten. What doesn't help is that the publics perception of homelessness. They only see the faces of these people and that's usually with a can in hand or they see someone begging that seems to be in another world and automatically assume that here's another drug addict because that's what we have begun to expect.
How do you change the publics perception of homeless people? A difficult question to answer but if you see them as people then you start to get an inklings that they're the same as anyone else. They have creative juices just like me and you and because they are homeless and have these problems they can't be create what should come natural. It's one thing to know that you have a talent but it's another to believe you are useless. The fact that there are people living on the streets and holding down a job says a lot about most homeless people. Most don't want to be homeless and feeling useless. Most just want a roof over there head and to be able to get by just like ordinary people.
The question I keep on asking is how can a country that is supposedly rich let things go on the way they are? isn't it better to have homeless people improving thier lives rather than them just stagnating on the streets and being basically being forgotten.

15 March, 2006

Vulnerable and disadvantaged groups

How can a society which is supposed to be equal have several groups of people that are categorized as disadvantaged and vulnerable. I'm not only talking about the homeless but the elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill. We have a society still after centuries that some shun the people that I have mentioned. Sometimes it's not intentional. It seems to be an in built piece of mechanism we humans have. If I was an alien ( which some people think I am by the way) I would be confused. Although some of us are different in colour and looks. We are all still basically the same. We have red blood, eyes and ears, legs and all that stuff that makes us human but what should make us stand out as a compassionate world seems to be lacking in some of us. How come?
I would have thought the two world wars would have made us different but it really hasn't. We still fight wars still over pieces of land and religion. Instead of trying to live together as we should. We still rob and cheat our way to things. I'm not saying all society but if you look at the level of crime and stuff. It does seem that way.
When I see things like I did yesterday. It even makes me think more on actually who needs to learn how to be tolerant of other people. I sat in the my local Job center yesterday again ( actually got somewhere this time) but there was a girl who was partially deaf and when she spoke it was with sign language. These people came in sat down then after seeing this girl started to take the mickey out of her. They weren't young I would say in their late twenties. Anyway it got me to thinking that as a society we say lots of things but actually do the opposite like for instance when we go for jobs age isn't supposed to matter but all employers look at the likelihood of someone say 54 not being able to cope or someone with a stammer not being able to communicate. It doesn't matter that they can do the job. It's that thing of first appearances. The government say it's illegal to discriminate but society does. Is this one way on how we are perpetuating more disadvantaged and vulnerable people? It's just a thought.

13 March, 2006

Is nothing secret?

Waking up this morning to a brand new day, refreshed and feeling brand spanking new with none of the spanking if you know what I mean. Anyway first thing I hear is that policemen don't trust anyone and by anyone I mean the attorney general why else would you tape conversations. Oh yes for your memoirs. Was sir Ian Blair wrong to record the conversation? Only if he believed by doing so a crime would be uncovered and prevented. As there was none then he was wrong it's as simple as that. My question is how did they find out? somebody must have been recording something or somebody knew something.

10 March, 2006

It's what I've been saying all along

I have been saying for sometime now that the homeless figure has been rising but no one seemed to be listening. So for a while it's just been my tiny voice shouting. Now it seems I do have an ally, another charity are saying what I am saying and they estimate that the number of homeless is seven times more than the governments figures. So how do the government get their figures. Oh I know, they get councils to go out at night after they have made sure that where they are going to do the count has been cleared of most its rough sleepers. You might think that I am being a bit harsh but its a known fact.
I think the trouble is because homeless people are socially excluded they are always in the back ground in any society rich or poor. I suppose like an artist always draws in the details last. So homelessness wont figure in his picture of city life. Unless it's a picture of homelessness. I think we are all like this artist who doesn't see the full picture. I'm sure even if the government had seen the full picture years ago. We'd still be where we are today regarding homelessness as the problem was so great then and it's not that much better now.
Although rough sleeping is once again on the increase you can see there had been an effort made to reduce the number but this has only caused more problems. All that's happened is one lot of rough sleepers have been taken off the street and lodged in hostels with no hope really of progressing further because this country has an acute shortage of housing.
The greatest problems are sky high rent, delays in benefits and landlords not willing to accept people on benefits. Once we can get a system that does regulate for fairer rents and a system for landlords to accept people on benefits. Then that would be a start but while we have a government set on a course that does not see that not everyone can afford to buy their own houses or Mps that say well you can but to rent then we will always have this situation of the haves and have nots. We will see more and more people stuck in temporary accommodation, in hostels and on the streets. More and more people in run down housing estates. The future doesn't look that rosy for homeless people does it? It doesn't look that rosy for anyone come to think of it.

They're at again

I can understand why so many people that claim government benefits get so mad. Last year I think I spent quite a few long days in my local job shop besides having to sign on. The latest fiasco from yesterday. Leaves me dumb founded. All I have done is everything they have asked of me. I have signed on sick because I have been unable to work or as they put it unable to seek work because of being on crutches. So I put in my sick note. Filled out their long winded forms once again and think to myself I'm so glad that's over. Now I can get my income support without any trouble. How wrong can you be? The answer is very.
No money in my bank account and nothing in the post. So yesterday I go to my local office early and sit there for hours. Then I get to see someone who tells me I haven't put in a sick certificate or filled out an income support form. I just sat there dumbfounded because this was the woman that took my forms from me and last week said my money would arrive on time. Now she's telling me I have to either get a duplicate certificate or a back dated one. So I can't get any money or a crisis loan to pay for gas , electric, or food or fares to get around because I, according to them don't have a valid sick certificate in. Now the best part, I can't see my doctor till Monday 13 because it's appointments only no exceptions unless medical emergency. So now I'm up that proverbial street without a paddle. It doesn't really bother me that much but it's the bureaucratic red tape that drives me nuts. Instead of just plain sensibility all I get is sorry but rules are rules. What would of happened if I'd have had children to look after? This is why we see people begging on the streets. Imagine being completely homeless and solely reliant on benefits to keep you going because you won't become a beggar because it's too degrading. Suddenly you don't get paid because of some bureaucratic error or mistake and there are a lot believe me. I've talked to homeless people that do get benefit and the trouble they have to go through is sometimes unbelievable. One homeless man had to fill in three income support forms in three weeks and only got paid when he went to a solicitor for help. One man who lives in a hostel in south west London hasn't been paid for eight weeks since he signed on because his medical card and old UB 40 they said wasn't sufficient id. The social security system seems to me to be under so much pressure to get things right that in fact it's not working. I'm hearing more and more stories from ordinary people about not being paid at all or not being paid their proper benefits or having to wait weeks and weeks. One woman who is a friend and employee of the job shop told me. That they are under staffed and that there is so much pressure to perform. That it's a miracle anyone gets paid in her job shop.
As the government get tough on fraud. I'm now beginning to wonder if all the red tape that has now been put into place affects the decisions that some social security workers are making because it seems to me as I inquire more, people who have appealed against decisions. A vast majority I have spoken to have actually won on appeal? With this government putting in place more rules and regulations. I am now beginning to wonder, Is this a system that's going to collapse eventually and will we end up with an American version of a welfare state?

09 March, 2006

It's the same old thing

I am now always listening to the radio or watching politics on TV and just lately I am finding it more and more tedious. Politicians argue about the same things over and over again. Take the law and order bill. I hate to tell them it's in effect. So why not see if things work before making amendments. It just gets me so confused one minute and doubly confused the next. Lets say you're allowed smoke but its illegal to throw you cigarette end away in an ash tray in the street ( just made that up by the way) but if you can see the point that I am trying my best to make. It's not that we know it's not right. It's that we have this thing about stopping smoking and this might be a way of gently making them stop but we don't give things a chance to see if they works. We start making amendments soon after. I have my own feelings on smoking and that is how can a government force anyone to pay tax on something that they know will eventually kill you? I smoke and I am really trying to stop. But things in the houses of parliament are a bit slow at the present by the look at the amount of people that are attending these discussions and when the house is full I'm getting bored with the same old questions and answers. I am a bit miffed that we have a rising homeless population again and it's not even been mentioned. It does seem that once again the subject on homelessness is taboo. The number of homeless people and people in temporary accommodation always has differed from the governments but you can't massage what you see day in day out. When will we known just how bad homelessness really is? We will we stop hiding the fact we do have a problem and if not dealt with now. It will only get worse.

08 March, 2006

Prime ministers question time

Well, what a time the prime minister was having answering questions on the health service. My own opinion was that if he was getting rid of people then it wasn't working and I think the conservatives had the right to question him on this but as he came back with the answer on how much money was actually being put into the health service. This was all well and good if it was working but we all know it's not. Like many schemes the government has come up they are not working and it's mainly due to management and targeting. This coming from a some dumb smuck like me. How can you put money into something that is falling apart if not enough is being put in and then expect people to run it like a business? We have a health service that is crumbling around us and things are just going from bad to worse. While we would applaud a government that is trying. We can't applaud a government that is being wasteful with tax payers money. We need a new health intuitive. A way of still giving needy people a health service. I believe the system we have at present is out dated and needs to be completely overhauled. It's that simple. Why waste money? Labour are pretty good at new deals lets see what they can do to put the health service in the black. The same goes for our schools and education. They've had eight years to do it and they have been given another four. Will they waste it again?

Just having a bit of fun

Well, I thought for a change I'd have a bit of fun and tell you a story about some aliens that came from the planet Prime M. A planet by the way that has only been discovered in the last ten years and which we now know to have human life on. Plus we know through our intelligence network that the human inhabitants are trained as world leaders and the rejects are sent all over the universe and this is the reason I feel I must tell the nation this story as I feel this maybe the reason I can not sleep at night.
Anyway one night in 1997 a strange craft which had strange New Labour banners and stickers all over it was seen to fly over the houses of parliament. It hovered for what some people might say was an eternity but was in fact only a few minutes but in that few minutes a strange beam of light was focused on the houses of parliament. Then the strange craft was gone just a quickly as it appeared. This was thought to be some publicity stunt dreamed up by PR men.
Later that same night the country had gotten itself a new prime minister. It was thought by several people and security guards that they saw the new prime ministers appearance seem to change as he stepped up on the podium to give his winners speech. Was this in fact when the real Mr Blair disappeared and the alien imposter appeared?
My conclusions and investigations lead me to believe that the prime minister is really an alien imposter from the planet Prime M and his strange allegiance to the American president leads me to believe that he is also an alien imposter sent to mislead the people. Several eerie things lead me to my conclusions. One is that don't you think it funny that homeless people have been given the vote even though they are socially excluded and now are being taken off the streets and put into these hostels and never to be heard from again and the fact that the American president makes so many mistakes and looks lost when he's asked so many questions he can't answer. Just like our prime minister. Then there's the gestures they both make which only seem to be understood by their followers. Are we being slowly brainwashed into believing that all is well with our national services like health and education or are there some other answers we may find if we dig deep enough? Don't you think it strange that these are the leaders of their countries and they are alien to the real needs of it's people? Well, I'll leave you to draw you're own conclusions.

07 March, 2006

Just me and my way of thinking

For years and years I have been known as a half wit, just plain dumb and unintelligent. For someone that is supposed to be as thick as two short planks. I think I am doing ok. I have my own way of provoking thoughts from people but I can't seem to get what I am trying to say across to these so called clever people especially those at NTL my phone company. They do say if you don't at first succeed try and try again. For the last year I have been trying to get the message across to everybody that homeless people are just people with problems. Maybe some are addicts and some alcoholics. Some are just plain and simply homeless. They all have the one thing in common and that is that they are homeless and that is the only thing. All human being are just people and everyone is unique but there are a few of us that some would say suffer from addictive personalities. Lets use the internet as an example there are so many people chatting on sights that I wouldn't but they can become quite addictive like some of the game sights. Imagine talking to a different woman every night of the week. Well what can you say? The next thing you are doing is having cyber sex and to get that far you must have some sort of addictive personality. Well it works the same for addicts after a while you become addicted to whatever your taking. Habits are hard to break and that is the thing that I think we have to work harder on. When you switch a light on you know what's going to happen it's basically the same with our brains. Once you learn that certain things trigger what happens to you. It's a matter of relearning how to avoid using that trigger. Sounds easy? It's not. It's a lot of hard work all round but it's a lot better than shoving people in a rehab and releasing them back into society unprepared.

06 March, 2006

Homelessness, drugs and drink

I have just read I think you would a manuscript for a book called Homelessness challenge your preconceptions by Anthony Morgan and Alan Ferguson. I know Anthony from the crisis office as he used to volunteer there. As soon as I opened the book the words, there is no social issue that reflects a greater compound failure of governmental policy than homelessness, really do stand out. Even though this government have done something about street homelessness. We now have the same number
in temporary accommodation and now a growing street problem again.
When I listen to parliamentary debates on the TV. I never hear about homelessness or what's being done for the 400,000 that have now become the hidden homeless. I am beginning to believe it's a sort of taboo subject and that really does irate the hell out of me. Especially now we have the right to vote. Why give us the vote if you're not going to do something worth while for us instead of leaving us in limbo with all these promises.
I'm quite a simple man and I can understand a lot of things that are said in parliament and all I see and hear are MPs trying to constantly argue the use of asbos or the new powers on terrorism or the best one yet school being funded oops I mean sponsored by industry. Now that's a good one. It is getting quite boring. asbos are here now. So let them be used but not to victimize homeless people with.
The thought of sleeping in a shop doorway and being woken up and some police officer saying it's an offence to sleep here in the town center I find ridiculous. Firstly I know that by sleeping in the town center I will be reasonably safe. Secondly outside town centers there's not much shelter and thirdly I am not causing anyone any harm just by sleeping there. So I want to clarify a few things with a few MPs if they will see me? As I read on I read about drugs and whether or not it is a cause of homelessness. I think it becomes an issue when the target of drug dealers are the homeless and vulnerable. I do believe in most cases that addicts become addicts when they are homeless for sometime. As drugs are now more widely available all over Britain. The idea of this government is to say right we know drug users commit most of the offences against the public to get drugs. So we'll give them the choice clean up or else prison and we know that sending someone to prison or forcing them into rehab isn't the answer because so many fail after getting themselves clean. So move answers are needed. As I read more and more maybe I will be able to shed light on things by giving you a look at drugs and their consequences to real lives

Hopes and dreams

The funny thing about me and my life is that I now have hopes and dreams I want to fulfill before my demise and that got me to thinking just how many people like myself who have been lost in the world of drugs and drink and the never ending cycle of homelessness had hopes and dreams which have never come to anything because of the situation they have found themselves in. John a twenty eight year old, an addict for eight years. Gail a alcoholic since God knows when as she says. Both had hopes and dreams. Gail wanted to be a nursery school teacher, to be married and have children. She even started college but never finished and has had several failed relationships. John was a sales assistant who wanted his own business.
There are so many with lost hopes and dreams and there are some who think it's to late to realize them. Well I'm here to tell them it's never to late for anything unless you're covered by soil. Change is the hardest thing to do in anyone's life even for people without problems but we all must do it. It's a bit like being the slug that turns into a butterfly it takes a while to shed the old skin but when it does it shows its true colours. Well that's how I see myself now. Good things are just around the corner all you have to do is look.

04 March, 2006

Drug dealers target vulnerable

Drug dealing from flats and houses. One of the most common things you see if you live in tower blocks or on a run down estates. No one ever really asks who lives there or who's house was it? People are to scared to. Drugs are the get rich quick schemes for people who don't want to work for a living. The easy life some would call it. More and more dealers get caught dealing in plain sight like on the street corners or outside the local shop. So what better way than to promise an addict a better supply. Free drugs or free booze if they can use their flats to deal from. It's all the incentive they need to get their foot into someone's door. Once in there they take over. The tenant doesn't have any choice because of violence or physical abuse. Their home becomes a den for addicts and dealers but it doesn't only affect the tenant it affect everybody around them as the place becomes more widely known among the drug community and the volume of people coming and going increases. Fights and arguments start to increase. Robbery and violence starts to increase. People start to be afraid to even go out on to the street. They turns what was probably once a half decent estate into a drug addicts paradise. You may think this is a rare thing but it's not. Its one of the most common occurrences on estates all around the country. I've had it in my tiny block of flats not so long back. It took the police months to get them out and all they did was move into a flat up stairs. And that took more time to get them out. Then they moved into flats just down the street. I live in and near blocks of flats that has a lot of vulnerable people and they are easy marks for drug dealers who need places to deal from. You maybe have a crack den near you. The man who used to live there has probably left because he had no choice. Victoria, a housewife who lives on the old Kent road has phoned the police hot line so often she's thinking of having a bed installed in her phone box as nothing has been done in the nine months she has been phoning. Dealing drugs is a business. They don't take the drugs they sell. All they do is cause misery and I believe if we are to defeat them. Then we have to find some how of taking away the profit from drugs. It's the only way that I can see working. If there's no profit there's no business and it's one way of getting this country on the right road. The other thing is, most drug users are victims and should not be seen as outcasts of society. It is one sure way of society saying it's all your own fault and we as a society are saying you made your bed now you must lie in it. Things shouldn't be like this. Most people who I have spoken to always say to me. Why should we as tax payers fork out because of their inadequacies? Well that's the point I tell them because we are supposed to be a caring society where all are treated fairly then it's what we must do and to save someone wasting their life to me is more important than any amount of money.

02 March, 2006

We are all just people

Since I started this blog I have met all kinds of people. From politicians to the homeless I have even met prince Charles on one of his flying visits to the crisis building in Aldgate. I must admit most people I have met have been homeless but I have always tried to get across the message that homeless people are no different to anyone else. They are just people with problems and no home. Either because no one listened to them or they simply had no other choice but to become homeless. Now this could be because of drugs and drink and believe me when I say paying rent is the last thing on anyone's mind who has a habit or they have out stayed their welcome on a friends floors. Maybe there can be so many reasons more serious ones. Why someone ends up on the streets and we all know that once you have reached your lowest it's hard to motivate yourself. It seems to be a human trait we all have but imagine having all these what we think are unsolvable problems and becoming homeless or hiding them by drinking or taking drugs. Life just goes on around you and things only get worse but because you are already in a bad situation you don't see it. So your life style becomes just an existence. It becomes your way of life and you now have greater extra problems because you now have a drink and drug habit. Which started at first maybe to help you forget whatever demons or problems you had. To forget about the loneliness of being all alone. How do you get back in touch with your life? Manchester authorities think by making homelessness illegal in it's city center it will help cure the problem as if it were some kind of disease and they are not the only council that are now reverting to this way of getting people off the city center streets. They are now using the excuse it leads to drugs and vandalism and unruly behavior. It does seem that this is fast becoming a revamped council law. A modern day vagrancy act if you like. Why don't they go the whole hog and have a stop and search policy and if they haven't got a pound coin then they are vagrants, well that's how it was in the old days and it seems to me that were we are heading. Since when is it a crime for anyone to sleep in a shop doorway? It's a crime that they have to but who am I to ask this? I have heard politicians and well respected members of the public say, we now have centers they can go and get treatment. Yes there are but the waiting lists are growing and by the time someone wants to change the wait has put them back again. I think there is an art to catching someone who is ready to give up their habit. Rehabs should be available for them but because we have an ever growing drug culture. Is the expense is far too great to build more rehabs? Even when we see the youth of today suffering. The question is it worth it? Always comes up. You all say, if one or more rejoins main stream society. Then it's saving the tax payer money. They wont be stealing to fund their habits street crime and burglaries will be reduced. Some might even get back to work and then pay tax. Not to mention other lives are not going to be wasted. Which is more important money or life?