05 June, 2006

Homeless not hopeless

It’s been one of those weeks when you know the holiday is over and you have rested enough and are now raring to go. So after reading and deciding to leave what she wrote on my blog because I strongly believe that there are two sides to every story and both should be told, oh and by the way I don’t pick my nose before I go out.
So this morning I snuck out of my own house while the girlfriend was snoring her head off. I decided that this morning I was going to take some photos of homeless people actually sleeping and if they were awake to get some insight as to why they had become homeless. I did get a shock when I saw just how many rough sleepers there now was. There is a definite rise in the number of homeless sleeping in the west end but there is also a rise in the number sleeping on the outskirts of the west end. The borough high street there where seven rough sleepers and in a park near me there was another three. As I walked further and past waterloo station there was another ten. Then as entered the west end I started to take some photos as you can see. What surprises me is that this government say the number of rough sleepers has been reduced but from what I have seen and what some of the public are now beginning to see is another rise in people sleeping rough but as someone said every summer there is a rise.
The trouble is when you become homeless it might seem that it’s okay for a short while but when you start to become invisible to people I think that’s when the trouble really starts and the vicious homeless cycle gets a grip. You may have been innocent when you first slept rough but I can guarantee that surviving the streets changes everyone. Many homeless don’t want to be put in a bracket of sad and lost that’s why so many hide the fact that they are homeless but if you have an addiction it’s much harder to do and this is were the publics perception get hazy and they think most homeless people are either druggies or drinkers. The fact that I say to people, it doesn’t matter what sort of background you come from you can become just as vulnerable. This is why I argue with a lot of people that say poverty is the cause of all this suffering. It’s only one of the causes. There are so many different reasons. So when you pigeon hole homeless people in one category I think they are being let down. After meeting with so many MPs last year and the same questions being asked I think it’s time for homeless people to stand up and say this is what exactly needs to be done. Then it’s about getting that message to as many people that matter. The words that were used this morning as I interviewed a couple of homeless people were we are homeless not hopelesss.

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