19 June, 2007

What does it mean to be homeless?

In this country we see people everyday of the week sitting or sleeping in some shop doorway or on some street corner in one of our towns or cities. The question we always ask ourselves is why? The government tells us they are well on the way to curing the problem but are they?
Homelessness is not just about sleeping on the streets. I personally think it’s about not having some place to call your own. To call home. Not having that front door key so you can open and shut out the world and have your own privacy and space. Which most people in this country can do.
Living in one of the many hostels doesn’t give you that as you have to share most of the day with some face you don’t know. You share toilets and bathrooms. You are virtually sharing your life with someone else. Which really is a relationship you don't really want or didn't ask for.
To be stuck in limbo as I like to call it is waiting for a place of your own, which by the way the government is so adamant about but because no houses or flats are being built that wait is getting longer and longer and as that wait becomes ever increasing the hope that homeless people are given fades as they face uncertainty. The problem today is if you’re single and have nothing then you are more likely to stay that way. Why? I think it’s the lack of genuine progressive ideas by local government. Every government over the last 100 years has tried different things from work houses to today’s hostels and the truth is nothing seems to work. We have always had homeless people. No one wants to be homeless. Although people do become homeless it’s not on purpose. Living rough on the streets of Britain isn’t a choice. Most of the time it’s the only thing left and the thing is it can happen to anyone.
How many people do we have that live on the streets and still rise at six in the morning to go to work? Yet that’s what some homeless people do. Not all are the typical stereo types So when you’re passing some homeless person asleep in a shop doorway don’t jump to the conclusion that he or she must be an addict or alcoholic and it’s their fault that they are there. Think about what you would do if you where in that position


Swarovski said...

There was a program on about homeless people a few weeks back where successful business people went to live on the streets with a homeless person for a week and experience how they lived their lives. It really changed my perception of people living on the street and yes your right it can happen to anyone.

Anonymous said...

i have been reading a book called stone cold. Its so good and has tottaly changed my mind about how we should treat them i have alsobeen giving money to them £2 so they can get a happy meal!


Anonymous said...

i have watched that program aswell i was very intrsting how there found out how it was to be homeless i have also read that book stone cold its a very good book i read it in school i like it that much i went to the to buy a copy. right im going to leave it as that take care.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I'm taking a social sciences coarse at my school and a lot of homeless people have mental illness and there's negative stigma around that. People think that homeless people are lazy and it's sad.