What is Homelessness? We know what it is, but what does it feel like? Not having what we all take for granted, a roof over our heads, that basic human right, how would you feel in that position?
Not having anyone to turn to because maybe your family kicked you out? Perhaps you lost your job and the house? Relationship breakdown? Suffered abuse? Fallen into a dependency of drink, drugs or even gambling?
Ask the people who walk by the homeless on the streets and many would say ‘they’ve chosen this way. They’re druggies etc’
In our society it’s easy to be so judgemental, yes some may have drug or drink addictions, but I can assure you that a life on the streets is far from being ‘a lifestyle choice’.
It’s true some we encounter could be seen as difficult to approach, but there’s many like that we come across in our family and working lives.
Homeless people are not beggars. There is a difference. Yes, some have cardboard asking for help, but they aren’t in your face like the beggars are.
How do you perceive charity collectors outside the high streets shops we visit? They’re often shaking their pots, tugging at our hearts to help – and many of us do, but with them in ‘your face’ are they not classed as beggars?
How can it be right for these ‘charity chuggers’ to do this yet condem a man or woman who genuinely has not eaten for days? Gasping for a hot drink on a chilly day?
If you’re frightened about giving money which may be used for other means, visit a coffee shop which may run a ‘suspended coffee’ scheme. They exist in many towns. Admittedly they could advertise this service, it seems like #FightClub where the first rule is ‘you don’t talk about it!’
It needs talking about. Local authorities need to make the public aware because many want to help but are afraid to. The help you can offer is out there, let’s make it a world where you don’t have to go out and look for ways to help.