05 April, 2006

Is the man next to you homeless

The typical stereo type of the homeless person is fast disappearing as the pictures we would normally associate homeless people with disappears. The man or woman carrying their worldly possessions seems to be just a thing of the past. Although you do see it now and again. Today it seems that homeless people only carry what they need to survive on the streets (which by the way is not a lot) We see all kinds of homeless people from business men to shop workers to just old people or the drug addict or alcoholic. They all dress in their customary work dress everyday. So it does become harder to distinguish homeless people as they try to hide the fact that they are in fact homeless. Why? Because being homeless is something people don't talk about or accept. Even the government steer a wide course.
I have stopped people in the street when I have done my on the spot interviews with ordinary people and it seems that some people believe it's the individuals fault that they are homeless. Some I would go as far as saying believe it's a genetic disorder someone suffers. It's so funny because when I tell them I used to be homeless and a drug addict they just look at me wide eyed and amazed. All I have to say it does not matter if you are a business man or a shop assistant you can fall into the homeless trap quite easily. All it takes is one mistake, a bad landlord, something you can't control or just plain and simple one moment of stupidity. It just doesn't matter. What matters is when you reach this crisis in your life that there is help. Today the problem seems to be that people are taken off the streets and stuck in to temporary accommodation that has no end. A quick fix would be to open all the unused flats and stick them in them but this would have the opposite effect for some people as they wouldn't know how to keep a flat. The fact that homelessness is a way of life for some people leaves them automatically at a disadvantage. The only way round this is to retrain them. Which takes money and time.

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