I’d seen the statistic in the news that 1 in every 200 people are homeless, coinciding with a few days of horrible weather. I couldn’t help but think about how awful that must be.
I was washing up in front of the kitchen window when the rain came down in sheets, it was so heavy. It looked like an opaque curtain at one point and it seems quite a while since we had such heavy rain. The same day someone was picking Jane up for an errand and it just managed to ease off a bit while she ran up the drive. ‘Thank goodness’ I heard her say as she grabbed her coat and ran out of the back door. I couldn’t help but think about all the homeless people who have to live on the streets in this kind of weather and even worse, it must be awful. There isn’t a night goes by that I don’t think myself fortunate enough to be in a warm house, especially when I’m in bed and listening to the bad weather. It makes me feel all snug and safe.
1 in every 200 People are Homeless
Not so the people who are out on the streets, laid in a doorway wrapped in old blankets and laid on cardboard, how dreadful that must be for them. Did you know that 1 in every 200 people are homeless according to Shelter, the housing charity. They’re sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation such as hostels or B&B’s. Having shelter for a night is one thing, until you have to go out for the day to goodness knows where, before returning at night, hopefully to a warm bed. On programmes that I’ve watched, often people can’t stay anywhere due to there being too many people wanting a bed, or other reasons. That must be awful, not knowing where you will sleep. Some are lucky enough to go in a hostel which is OK if you can get it, but what about those who can’t.
Shelter say that 320,000 people have been recorded as homeless in 2018 and there are probably more, as the real number of homeless people isn’t known. That’s a lot of people don’t you think.
A perfect storm
At the moment, 36 people a day are new to becoming homeless for whatever reason. Shelter blames ‘a perfect storm’ of rising rents, welfare cuts and a total lack of social housing for the rise in homelessness. The government is investing 1.2 billion to help tackle the problem, including more help for rough sleepers with mental health, drinking and drug addiction problems. Where will it all end I wonder.
These people are victims of their own circumstances, but one thing I must say is, what a stupid idea it was to stop paying rent direct to landlords and giving it to the tenant. I just can’t for the life in me understand why that was done. To give money to people who are probably already in debt and struggling must be like a windfall to them. When you’ve never been taught how to budget, to be given a big lump of money at the beginning of the month, you’re going to use it for other things, and maybe not the rent. Not everyone is taught or understands self discipline, whether it is taught in the home or, as in my case, the school I went to. It was so strict it made me what I am, for good or bad!
But I’ll harp on again about the very thing that Jane’s being saying since she was 12 and at high school. Why isn’t ‘life skills’ on the curriculum at school? Why aren’t kids taught how to budget, look after money, run a house, cook, pay bills and all the real, practical skills that they need to have? If their parents don’t teach them how on earth are they ever supposed to learn? All that’s happening is that children are increasingly growing up thinking that the world magically happens around them, so there’s no wonder that they can’t cope when they get out into that big wide world.
Hopeful little children
Going back to homelessness, nobody knows what goes on in other people’s lives and it’s difficult not to make assumptions when you see someone curled up in a heap under a dirty blanket. Personally I feel so sorry for them, and sorry that they don’t get the help they need. They’re all somebody’s son or daughter, they all started out life as hopeful little children.
I just thank my lucky stars that I didn’t end up in that situation, because rich or poor it can (and does) happen to people from all walks of life. It’s just the luck of the draw what kind of family you’re born into. Whether you’re lucky enough to be brought up properly, whether you’re lucky enough to have the skills, brain and personality to do well. And what is it that they say, most people are a paycheck away from being homeless?
I’m thankful for my dry warm house on days like this. That I’m not out in the rain and cold like some have to be. I can stay here to my heart’s content, not so for some poor people, unfortunately.
While you’re here…
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