Yesterday the centre for the homeless based behind Sheffield Cathedral were happy to accept my donations. Some day soon a bunch of lucky homeless fellows will be strolling around our city's streets wearing a selection of Yorkshire Pudding underpants. though I expect that these will be hidden from view. At least, I hope so.
Homelessness is not a massive problem in Sheffield but underthe last two Conservative governments headed by David Cameron and Theresa May, we have certainly seen a significant growth in the numbers of rough sleepers. I take my hat off to all the good citizens who give up their time to help the homeless. It can't be easy - what with associated issues such as mental ill-health, drug taking, alcoholism and violence. But there is a crying need out there.
And there but for the grace of God go any of us. It would be very easy to find oneself being thrown from the carousel of life - unable to get back on again. Mental breakdown, a broken relationship, losing one's job, drinking too much, personal financial crisis - these are just five reasons why homelessness might happen.
Of course Sheffield's homeless people all know about the support they can receive at the cathedral so in the daytime a good number of them are magnetised to the area. After I had dropped off my donation I had a bit of a wander and spotted a "down and out" fellow sitting on the doorstep of a Georgian building along an alleyway known as Wheats Lane.
Secretly, I took a couple of pictures of him then slightly nervously I approached him and asked him if he minded. He really appeared "out of it" - on a distant planet and didn't seem to get the gist of what I was saying. Thin-faced and glassy-eyed, he gave me the impression that he had been out on the streets for years. I gave him a couple of pound coins then went on my way, leaving him sitting there with the rest of his life ahead of him.
The western world is wealthy enough to make sure that all of our people have somewhere safe and warm to sleep at night. There really shouldn't be any homelessness. Who is to blame? Personally, I wouldn't say it was the homeless themselves. You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one...
I hope some day you will join us and the world will be as one.ReplyDelete
You remember the song too Ms Moon.Delete
Luck enters into our lives more than most of us would like to admit. Luck of birth country and family, luck of good health, physical and mental, luck of brains and drive and good examples to follow. And even those who start out well, as you say, can end up in a very different place.ReplyDelete
I revere those who help the homeless face to face and hand to hand. I could not do it, but I'm glad they can.
You are right Jenny. Luck directs the courses of most people's lives.Delete
I don't think there was hone less people when I was a kid. Families looked after some. There were institutions that looked after some as in the large mental institutions we had. There were large institutions for mentally handicapped. Today the mentally handicapped are on the streets. Yes, there are things that could be done.ReplyDelete
That is a good point Red. Institutions for the mentally ill provided refuge for a good number of these people.Delete
In one year, the western world spends ten times more on wars and their military than it would take to eradicate poverty and homelessness the world over!!! Shame on us and our governments!ReplyDelete
That is a one hell of a statistic PT. Thanks for emphasising it.Delete
Sad. Especially when our president is enriching himself by spending time at his Scottish golf club.ReplyDelete
You don't get many homeless golfers.Delete
I agree that some of the homeless are they by their own doing/fault. But not all. The veterans suffering with PTS that get no help from the military and don't know where to get help when they're discharged. And not forgetting the kids who get kicked out of home or their home is so insufferable they leave with nowhere to go. I feel that these are the ones that need or help the most.ReplyDelete
When we were in Seattle and Portland in 2014, we were shocked by the numbers of homeless people we spotted. It was just the same in Vancouver. This cannot be acceptable in civilised societies.Delete
I know how lucky I am, having been born in the place, at the time and to the parents I was born - anywhere else, at a different time or to different parents, and I might have never had the chances I did have; going to school, learning a trade or profession that allows me to support myself, earning enough with honest work to have my own flat, and buying reasonably good food to remain reasonably healthy. I do not take any of it for granted.ReplyDelete
Hats off to all who actively contribute to making tough lives a tiny bit less tough.
I am glad you are not homeless because if you were homeless blogging with you would be exceedingly difficult.Delete
A few years back my Grandson left home. His Mother had remarried and moved out of the area. He arrived on our doorstep with a rucksack and asked if he could live with us.ReplyDelete
Of course we said yes as the alternative was that he would sofa surf and probably eventually become homeless, he is a stubborn boy.
He stayed with us for four years and we experienced things with him that we did not with our own children, but we came through it all. He worked and got into Uni and is now an A&R manager working for Universal in the music industry.
Before people condemn the homeless they should look further into the causes.
Here in Brighton we have so many people needing help.
Looking back, I guess that those sometimes trying four years were also life-enriching for both Tom and your good self. How wonderful that with your love and support your grandson came through and found a successful path to travel upon.Delete
I have a vague dream of doing something meaningful for homeless people but I have no clue exactly what. The road to hell is paved with good intentionsReplyDelete
In England The Salvation Army does a lot of great work to assist the homeless.Delete
Jared really does look rough.ReplyDelete
Ha-Ha! Nice one Adrian!Delete
I was talking just before our summer break with some CO-WORKERS about how the number of homeless people in our part of London seems to have climbed. We're seeing many more than we did even six months ago. I think some of it may have to do with the warmer weather -- maybe it's easier for them to sleep out than in a shelter.ReplyDelete
(You donated your underpants? I'm all for reusing but I think I would have drawn the line at that. :) )
That's okay Steve. Homeless men are not fond of leopard print thongs!Delete
The Guardian did an excellent write up on Amazon and what it has done to Seattle.ReplyDelete
Housing prices have increased by 70% in the last five years, driving many people out into the streets. 35% of the homeless have a college degree. It's just tragic to see how many people are on the streets. Seattle did pass a head tax on tech workers, which would have been put towards low income housing, but Amazon forced them to repeal it.
Are Amazon run by Donald Trump?Delete