30 March, 2006

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.

No comments: