25 October, 2007

Still on the subject of hostels

I wasn't thinking about work houses as they used to be called but what I was thinking of was properly run hostels with people having the choice to work there or not and those who did got paid a proper wage. These of course would only be short term hostels with a definite move on to independent living say after a year but it would be the choice of the homeless person not the hostel. The reason why i am thinking this way is as funds will eventually be cut and the cost of living in a hostel rises i think the government will have to look at hostels as a business which i think happens already. It's the same with the NHS it's now looked as a business

23 October, 2007

Modernising Hostels

Homelessness itself has it's pitfalls falls but getting out of the cycle of homelessness once you are off the streets also has it's down falls like, no move on for sometime, not being given any kind of incentive to come off the dole simply because it's easier to let the government keep on paying the high cost of living in a hostel. Ho do you make hostels more inviting and self supporting? After all the public want a system of hostels that do not burden the tax payer more than usual. my idea would be to take people off the streets as we are doing now and have a period of what i call assessment, a getting to know the needs of the client. Then a contract between the hostel and the client could be made to improve the quality of life in the hostel and this doesn't mean job search. it means cooking and budgeting classes or learning skills like reading or writing so when their move on comes they are ready to deal with the fact that they now have to cope on their own. If you think about it homeless people lose the skills they learned to use years ago because there is only the need to survive. What I would also like to see is self supporting hostels where the guest do the work like cleaning and cooking in the hostel and some becoming members of staff themselves but to get there money has to be put into the system and it has to be used more on hostels that do work or use new initiatives. Then you have a hard core of homeless people that have spent the years on the street and these are the most difficult to work with as they recent not being able to live on the streets or they maybe anti rules. We have to find a way of balancing things so we can show them their are other ways to live. we have to get rid of the saying you can take a horse to water but you cant make it drink. Things have to be inviting after all you wouldn't want to live in a place that was run down and scary would you?

19 October, 2007

Thank you

Well, it's been one hell of a week. My friend who I was caring for died on Sunday night and I have had to make the necessary arrangements. I would like to thank all the people that have so far sent me money to help with Alan's funeral and thank you for all the condolences I have received. Some of you who volunteered for crisis at Christmas in the drinkers shelter will know of Alan as he spent the last six of them there and when we put computers in the shelters you could always find him sitting at one. It's funny to look back and see us both there me with my drug problem and him drinking. I sometimes sit quietly at night thinking of things and how life is sort of strange and sometimes more complexest than anyone can imagine I quit drugs and now lead something of a normal life and my friend Alan finally quit drinking only to die at the tender age of forty nine. the last months of his life where spent trying to learn the guitar and listening to Alabama free. I can understand why so many people get so worried about paying for funerals and all that goes with it. It's so expensive which I find hard to understand and it takes so f--king long to get the funeral payment from the dss social fund and then it doesn't cover the whole cost of the funeral. I still have to find 500 pound to give him a decent send off. I believe strongly that all people should be buried or cremated at a reasonable price and if you get benefits before you die then it should be free or come out of what you leave behind if you leave anything. so as I wait to see if I have to raise any more monies for the funeral. I will think of the good times we spent together and smile at the funny moments.

11 October, 2007

Thanks to the postie but

Thanks Mr postman whoever you are. Here's a scenario though say you get what you want and next year things are now even tougher and on the decline for Royal mail due to the Internet and other things like private mail deliveries because actually much it's cheaper and the competition are much better and they have a better time frame delivery. Now Royal mail has to make sweeping changes and you are in the frame, lets say your sorting office has to close along with three others which means two hundred jobs or more have to go but because the year before you demanded less hours and more money and went on strike to get it. It has cost the company. When in fact you should have been negotiating and offering something to Royal mail. There is a saying a fair days pay for a fair days work and this should be the basis on any employment deal. Times are tough with new things like email and other things coming along and any unions should be looking at keeping men employed and looking ahead to the future. I'm sorry but I truly believe that's not what's happening it seems to me that the union has taken leave of its senses. You should be fighting for job security and by saying you'll deliver mail at seven in the morning so most people including businesses get there mail and don't lose because they didn't. It's only then more people will once again trust and always use Royal mail when that happens profits accrue and job security is assured but who am I to talk?

09 October, 2007

Royal mail, I'm on strike

Most postmen are not going to like what I am about to write but it's fact and I think most people will agree with me.
Over the years the postman was always the one man we could rely on to deliver our mail come hell or high water twice a day. Once in the morning between 7 and 11 and then between 12 and 2 in the afternoon until a few years ago. Now we are lucky to see one letter before midday and they call it modernisation. I know we have to move with the times but when you have modern sorting machines in most sorting offices today what is the problem?
Why should any company let alone the Royal mail pay workers for doing less work than they did three or four years ago?
What really annoys me it sometimes takes three days for a first class letter to get to me posted from Birmingham and you can guarantee the cost of a first class stamp always increases. The fact is that postmen do need a decent wage to live on but not at the cost to the public. Me, I would like to see the mail back to twice a day and on time after all, this was all done before modernisation wasn't it?
I have listened to most of the speeches made at all the party conferences and not one mention on homelessness. Loads of things on housing. Concentrating on house buying and first time buying but nothing really on social housing except for what was said last year and the year before that and just repeated this year. The fact that we actually spend less on social housing now than at any time this century has to be a worrying fact not only for homeless people but for all that urgently need housing. When I met with the housing minister last year she said there was a high demand for family housing IE: three and four bedroom housing. Well this might be true where she lives but what I can say without a shadow of a doubt is that most people want basic livable housing. Not the fancy housing that most councils see as the future of housing. Housing stocks by the way has dwindled to about 3% of councils total housing.
Affordable social housing needs to be looked at urgently as the population rises at an alarming rate due to the influx of people from different countries and a vast majority of people now making families . If you don't build houses you can't make communities and if you can't make communities you can't get people living together and then you get a class divide. The rich and poor, have not and haves which is exactly what is happening at this moment in time. This government has claimed that it is investing in people. People don't believe in the government because they are not actually doing the things they promised