10 June, 2006

On Thursday evening I was on my way to the crisis square mile run to meet and ask people why they took part? When I came across a man lying on the ground doubled up in pain. He had cuts and bruises all over his face. It wasn't the fact that I stopped to find out if he was alright because I am not a hero. It was the fact that so many people where just walking by without a second glance or they did look and as soon as they saw the state of him. I think they automatically assumed he was either a drug addict or a drunk. I phoned an ambulance and stayed with the man for what seemed like an eternity in St Thomas's hospital. It turned out that he had been begging and was having good day and on his way to get some food a group of young louts robbed and beat him just because he was homeless and begging. From what I gathered this group of youths had been pestering him for an hour or so. He only went to get some food so they would leave him alone. Not many people know that there are more assaults on homeless people by ordinary working class people out on the town than on normal people. I have experienced it myself when sleeping rough in Westminster. Anyway David whose name I now know. Is now back on the streets and is doing ok. He is now trying to get somewhere to stay. I gave him a couple of addresses where he could get help and advice. It was all I could do at the time. It's not a new thing as this does happen quite often but you never hear about it on the news. In fact you never hear of a homeless man dying on the streets in the cold weather unless it's from violence.
We live in a violent society where the old and even young children are afraid to go out in case they get stabbed or shot and it does seem to be getting worse. This is not how we want children to grow up and we centainly don't want a society built on fear. We must try to end this now before it gets any worse but the question on most people's lips is how and why is this happening? Does it have a lot to do with drugs and alcohol or over crowded run down estates and poverty or does it have most to do with what seems to be lack of parenting or is it that the law is not tough enough. Tough questions to ask but I'm not sure that the answers are all here. Most robberies of this sort on done on the spare of the moment and there is no thought consequences so my question is should the law be made tougher so that people have to think of the consequences before they act. Its alright for people to say prisons are over crowded and they take the most violent off the streets but when its happening all over the country should something positive be done. I think I am right when I say when there was capital punishment there was less violence. I am not saying bring back capital punishment because I think innocent people could be put to death wrongly. What I am saying is we need to be a society that will not tolerate violence. No matter what.


xsandwich said...

Hi Jamie. I just discovered your blog. I am currently about to start a project for my MSc degree in Human Computer Interaction at University College London -

I am attempting to create an interactive technology which assists the homeless in some way - so much technology is vreated without regards to those who could benefit most from it. I am particularly interested in creating some form of communication channel for those who are so marginalised from the rest of society that they may feel, or may claim, that they do not wish to make any form of communication anymore - or at least convey their predicament and experiences to society at large - as you say 'homeless people' are invisible!
I'd be very interested to hear your opinions on my ideas for this project - especially as you have given a voice through your BLOG.

my email is:

I very much look forward to hearing from you and then I can give you more details of my project :) Also, anything you want to ask, please do!


Emma said...

I came across your blog through another blog that had a link to this one. I think your views are spot on and very honest.. I agree with everything you say.. I have always felt so helpless and yet have an overwhelming feeling that I need to do something to help.. Where to start tho? I am from Nottingham and the homelessness here is unreal.. and all they do is move them on - to where exactly who knows. Keep up the good work in making people more aware.