There should be no stigma to reaching out for help whether for mental health issues, life’s traumas such as deaths including miscarriages and also accommodation issues.

This article from the guardian raises stigma to speaking out about miscarriage.

Apparently some young people rely on what they call sleepovers rather than admitting they do not have a home because of the stigma of being homeless.

Thursday 9th March: Lent contemplation

Amount collected: £2.25

The average life expectancy for someone living on the street is under 50. DePaul aims to get young people off the street before it is too late. I know a little boy turning 2 on 9th March, he shares his Mother’s birthday and I hope both these special people live to see 50 and beyond.

Collect 50p today.

Lent summary so far:

Amount collected: £2.25

For spotting homeless people in Sheffield on Wednesday 1st March: 75p

In contrast I have been in Amsterdam at the weekend and not noticed anyone begging on the streets.

Thursday thinking about lonely places, I was thinking lonely places are not necessarily where no people. You can be alone but with people around you that you are cut off from. Like on streets with people passing by ignoring you. The feeling of being alone would be intensified seeing others in groups that you can not be part of.

On Friday I tried to go in The Greko to pray. I did go in, but you had to pay to go in main church. So I just had to take a moment in the gift shop, peeking into main church.

I have lived in 10 houses and therefore collected 5p for each.

On Saturday night, I had a great lie in in a comfy Ibis bed. I was reading on it when got in so all together was there about 10 hours. I will add 10p as it was all made up for me with all the cushions when I came back to it.

On Sunday night I felt safe in the Ibis hotel bed I was sleeping in therefore collected 50p.

Tuesday 7th March Lent Contemplation

17year old Kieran was pressurised by older men to take drugs whilst staying at an all age hostel.
Take time to appreciate whatever freedom you have to make your own decisions.

In my time in Amsterdam this weekend no one has asked me if I wanted drugs let alone pressurised me.

Round up of 1st day of Lent 1st March

Amount collected total: 75p

I have collected 5p per possible homeless person I saw. Most were people sitting down as if someone is just wandering around how do you know whether they are homeless. Also did some of the people I saw at least have a hostel place for the night.

After I left work at about 5 I saw the following.

1.Sat on a step by the hole in the the road outside Waitrose I saw a man eating with a small rucksack and another bag. How do you judge whether someone is homeless or just sat in a random place to eat? For the purposes of this I will count this.

2. There was someone selling big issue outside Orchard square.

3. There was someone sitting with a sleeping bag outside Sainsbury’s on the moor.

4. There was someone sat with a mouth organ outside Sainsbury’s on the high street (near the cathedral).

5. Someone asked me for change on the Moor.

6. A manwith legs in sleeping bag next to Yorkshire bank cash machines on Castlegate.

7.There was a man Heavon nails just up from the British Heart Foundation shop that is opposite Debenhams.

About 7:

8. A man asleep half sat up in a sleeping bag outside British Heart Foundation shop on Arrundal gate, however he was not there when I walked past again about 9.15.

9 and 10 two men sitting separately on Division st.

11. Asked for change by one man walking down Division Street with a sleeping bag round his neck.

12. A man sat with legs laid out on a bench again did he have accommodation issues or was he just resting?

13. A lady sat in one of the tunnels of the hole in the road by Waitrose.

Coming out of the Lyceum about 9.15.

14. A man sat in Tudar square.

15. Asked for change by someone as left Tudar square.

First day of lent: 1st March 2017 Contemplating Homelessness

Over the last year I have become increasingly aware of those apparently living on the streets in Sheffield. An e-mail to Sheffield council confirmed my suspicions that there has over the last year been an increase in those sleeping rough.  Information on the DePaul website suggests the number of people sleeping rough has doubled since 2010.  From my communication with the council and a representative of DePaul charity, it seems precise numbers are difficult to pinpoint because some people drift in and out of accommodation.  Those in hostels may or may not be counted as homeless. Sheffield council estimate at any one time there is approximately 15 people sleeping on the streets rather than in hostels. Homeless is certainly a complex topic; over lent  which starts tomorrow 1st March. I’m going to consider it further, following some daily prompts I have found on the DePaul website. This will involve collecting some money together.

Therefore on the first day of lent take note of how many people you see today who appear to be living on the streets. Collect 5p for each person you see.