26 March, 2009

Still on about homelessness years later

Since I became a member of the nearly normal society brigade. I have had several interviews and things concerning homelessness and every year it I am still writing the same old thing and still talking about ways to tackle homelessness. Strange as it might sound but it’s true. The question of homelessness is an unrelenting issue.
I now am asking has being homeless become a minor crime because it does seem to be as council after council try to stop people sleeping on the streets. I have to admit to the ingenious tactics they have used ( why can’t they use the same logic on the state of council estates} but until we all really admit that there is still a big problem, (which by the way is growing once again }It's estimated that approximately over a 800 people sleep rough on any given night right across Britain and that over 400 hundred thousand sleep in temporary accommodation such as friends sofa's, hostels and night shelters and so forth. Now the summer is nearly here there aren't that many night shelters open and to be truthful some you wouldn’t put your dog in over night. It seems to me that over the last three or four years I have met MPs from various parties and they have all sat there and listened and asked questions but to be truthful nothing much seems to have been done. We have had the odd scheme that has run out of funding and we have had several schemes which have been too costly. It all comes down to money said one MP recently. At this present time and the climate we are now in we don't have that much money to spend and what we do spend on homelessness has been tried and tested. We can see a results for what we spend. I have been thinking about this statement for quite a while now and I have come to this conclusion, The results that this or any government see seems to me to be about the same. one year the figures may be slightly down or static and the next slightly improved and of course we hear about this because any government worth its salt would say things are improving. Even I have to admit that compared with the homeless number ten to twelve years ago there has been a dramatic drop but things speak for themselves and the steady rise we are seeing all over the country needs to be addressed especially when you find people sleeping rough out of site of the public. These are the people that need to be included in any government statistic. I also heard that the rise in homelessness is due to the population rise of E.U immigrants looking for work. I know we say we are looking for new ways to end homelessness by twenty twelve but I really do think this is one target that cannot be reached. Homelessness has been with us through the ages as history shows us. Yes it is time to end it for good but with poverty increasing how do we do this? Do we hide it while the Olympics are here or do we say yes we have a problem just like any other country and we are tackling it and we will and can.
I know in the past we have tried work houses as history tells us. Today they are called hostels but its not the brutal regime of the past. It has now become the place where you are ina static posution. Limbo if you like.. Where you have hope that things can move on from here. There is one thing that applies to the past and today situations and that is once you’re in the homeless system its hard to escape. Coming from me that might seem funny as I now have my own flat and live quite a reasonable life. Which is what I would like to see all over the country but what I have now took me nearly a life time to get because no one really knew how to tackle the problems I had and there are so many out there that don't have as long as I have had.
Learning more about homelessness and it's true affects on people.
The root causes of homeless and how to break the cycle and habits of homelessness I think just the tip of the iceberg. The problem is that once you’re in the cycle of homelessness and have been there for quite sometime integrating a person back into society is harder than it sounds. Its about giving a person back there self worth and belief. Yes they have to be taught the skills needed to get back to work and so forth but the real problem is that addicts who have been so comforted by the bottle and drugs has been a crutch and taking away that crutch leaves them nothing. Homelessness has that same addictive quality this is why i believe we have a constant flow of people becoming homeless over and over again. This is where I still believe that former homeless people and addicts are the key to getting things right. But at this moment the main obstacle to this all is the Governments Quick fix target of twenty twelve. Everyone knows that putting a plaster on a wound before cleaning it leads to trouble. Is this government just putting a plaster on so you when the Olympics finally do arrive no one watching it on TV will see the homeless person sitting in a sleeping bag While the marathon is being run?

09 March, 2009

Not saying much these days

I don't write that much these days but there are times I do have moments of bright clarity and think to myself why the hell am I still writing about homelessness in 2009. Well to put it simply we still have a homelessness problem all over this country and as the government introduce all kinds of initiatives to combat the problem I believe we are falling short. Now I listen to the news and I always keep an open mind when I hear things on homelessness. The thing is I have been there on those streets and I can tell you once you get there its hard to get away from them. They say that abuse and family break up are causes of homelessness and it is true but I also believe the shame of poverty is one of the greatest causes of people sleeping rough today because they made a mistake in thinking there was a better life in another new town and things would be so different, its that new place fresh start thing. So off they go with a suitcase full of dreams and a few quid in there pocket and for some they have just what the stand in. Before they know whats happened to their new life it's the old one but in a much much worse way because now they have a huge drink and drug problem and are surrounded by friends in the same situation and most of them came looking for something better. They all were also so full of hope that that hope now lays dormant sometimes never coming back. The question is what is the solution to the problem? Well I think it starts where many people came from and to create some kind of help at the starting point. Preventing it is herder that it seems. Everything has to start somewhere. We all know what the end result if we don't think and act quickly enough. Its fine giving people all these skills but if the underlying cause to thier problems aren't solved its juat a waste. How's that for clarity?