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- Social Issues
Homelessness, The Rising Pandemic
Homelessness: The Facts.
- There will be 90 thousand homeless children across England, Wales and Scotland and Northern Island according to Shelter, a charity who deal with those struggling with housing.
- A fifth of all homeless people have committed crime to get off the streets; this is to mean they go to JAIL rather than spend the night on a cold street.
- In addition to this, 28% of rough-sleeping women have chosen an unwanted sexual partner to find shelter.
- Those accepted as homeless, that is to say those accepted by the local authority (councils) as unintentionally homeless was at 130 thousand back in 2005 and dropped significantly to 40 thousand by 2010, since then it has been quickly rising and figures stand now at a similar number as it was nearly ten years ago. according to The Guardian.
- 69460 Households who are considered homeless are families with young children.
- Birmingham has the most homeless households, this doesn't include single households, at a whopping 925, that is to say at least 1850 people are homeless in Birmingham (remember, households can be more than just two people, but 1850 is the lowest number it could be).
- There are a billion and one more facts I could give you, but I don't want to dampen your Christmas any more than necessary.
Help a homeless person to feed themselves today...
That image above, huh... shocking.
So, why exactly am I bothered? And why should you be, more importantly?
The reason I am so bothered is because, as mentioned in previous posts, I have spent five years homeless, that is to say considered involuntarily homeless by the council, (before we proceed to be considered involuntarily homeless by the council you have to be evicted or have your house burned down or something similar, after all nobody wakes up and says "Today, I am going to move out of home and live on the street." If your landlord refuses to put heaters in during winter (where heat is one of the basic human rights) and you choose to leave, you have become voluntarily homeless because the living conditions were so terrible and the government can ignore their duty of care and refuse to help. I have spent five years on the streets, on my friend's sofas and in hostels and hotels (paid for by taxpayers).
You hear all this about homeless men making £400 a day begging? Have you noticed per news story that figure changes. It changes because it is a lie. I am honest, don't get me wrong, a beggar can make maybe £70-80 a day on the run up to Christmas, this is the generosity of those who feel the spirit of giving and have an ounce of goodwill. This isn't true every day, day in day out, this is definitely not true of every person who begs. And if it is true, is it so wrong that another human being is compassionate enough to give a man £20 when he doesn't know them or their story?
And so what if that £20 is spent on drugs? Listen, if you were alone in the cold with nowhere to go on Christmas day, would you not turn to drugs/alcohol to make you forget? Don't you dare say "No" until you are in that situation. I seen mighty men with brains destroy their lives due to a stint of bad luck. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says "I am going to inject myself with a life-ruiningly addictive drug and become the scum I looked down my nose upon every day for the past ten years."
The most common thing I hear people say when a homeless man asks for change is "Get a job." and do you know, these men who are begging would love to go to work rather than embarrass themselves in the fight for survival by asking kind strangers for help; after all, is this not better than burgling your house?
But then again, those menaces to society, the homeless, always breaking the law for example asking for change in itself is illegal. And according to UK bylaws passed by most local authority councils, to sit on the floor is also against the law to the point London has put Anti-Homeless Studs outside many shops and businesses which provide shelter, these are dubbed Anti-Loiterer studs but in these areas where they are used, loitering is rare.
Help a homeless person sleep safely today...
Who you blame for homelessness?
As you can tell, I can go on for hours and hours. The statistics are endless and each time slightly more upsetting. But enough is enough, what can we do to help?
The first point of call is those on the street. I, personally, never give money to these people as it is a common theme that a lot of them are drug abusers or alcoholics. However, if they're hungry, go to the shop and buy them a sandwich or a couple of tins of beans (with ring pulls). Advise them about services on offer in your area should you know any, for example in Leicester you have:
- The Salvation Army
- The Bridge
- Regent's Road Church Group
- The Holy Trinity Church
- Open Hands
- The Gudwara (apologise for spelling if this is spelt wrong, I mean no offence, I'm talking about some sikh temples with Langar halls who will be more than willing to help those in need).
There are also many places operated by the YMCA, such as YASC (The Y Advice And Support Centre). The YMCA itself is a supported housing provider renowned around the world.
The next point of call is Homeless Charities, such as Shelter and Voluntary Action Leicester, Crisis and CentrePoint.
A lot of homeless charities offer similar services for the homeless community but we rely on these charities more than ever now most local authorities have cut funding for homeless communities by up to TWO THIRDS leading to a rise in homelessness and the closure of vital homeless services, including hostels.
The third point of call is contacting your MP and to raise awareness through word of mouth to make a change. If you have the funds to do so, you can part-fund private hostels in your area, a quick google will help you find some, but not all as many are extremely private, even those owned by Local Authority, I wouldn't even pretend to know the names of every hostel in Leicester.
You probably pass five hostels on the way to work each morning without realising.
Another point of call is contacting me at email@example.com and asking me to find out what is going on in your area or donating via paypal for any upcoming charity events I am running.
The Above Video.
The description of the above video, taken from YouTube, is as follows:
Focusing on interviews with local food bank volunteers and Sheffield MP’s ‘Food Banks: Britain’s Hungriest’ is a short documentary exploring the issues of food poverty and worrying rise of food banks being used by the UK public each year. Filmed and edited by media students from Longley Park Sixth Form College, this insightful documentary asks vital questions about how food banks have become a much needed resource for more than 900,000 people in the UK each year.
Rev. Louise Collins (Fir Vale Food Bank) and Nick Waterfield (Mount Tabor Food Bank), founders of two food banks in Sheffield, explain how they cope with providing increasing numbers of people with emergency food. The outcry for a solution to food poverty in the UK is also explored with David Blunkett MP (Sheffield, Brightside & Hillsborough) and Clive Betts MP (Sheffield, Southeast) both giving their reasons for supporting the work done by local food bank volunteers in Sheffield.
For more information about the documentary please email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Parson Cross Initiative: http://twitter.com/pxinews
Sheffield Food Collective: http://www.sheffieldfoodcollective.co.uk
Trussell Trust statistics: http://www.trusselltrust.org/stats
That is all on offer for today, stay tuned for more on Foodbanks and Homeless Charities, another charity in question which we need to know about is The Samaritans, volunteers who help those who are struggling with their emotions by just listening, sometimes that is all we need.