I have become more aware of issues around homelessness but, still find it a complicated confusing subject. From the daily prompts I found on the charity DePaul’s website I collected £7.60 for example by collecting change to represent number of journeys taken in a day because some homeless people sleep in cars or on buses or counting conversations with family.
£7.60 is not enough to pay for one nights accommodation from DePaul as this costs £15. I will of course donate £15.
Although important to help those without homes I believe, it is even more important to try to prevent homelessness for example, by being aware of government policies such as reducing budgets for mental health issues or addiction which means people do not get the help they need and this can lead to homelessness.
When the daily prompt was to reduce stigma I designed the below. I wanted to make point that people who become homeless are the same as others but may have been less lucky in life; losing parents or being in care then having to leave care as a child of 16years.
I twisted my ankle yesterday so wanted some ibuprofen in case there is some swelling to reduce. To save money I bought Wilkinson’s own brand rather than going into Boots to buy same thing for more. Not all young people may know if not living with parents that all ibuprofen is same drug but can be packaged differently, with singnificantly different prices
to 7. Chose to back 3 horses each way at 50p each on the Grand National tomorrow.
Asyha’s behavior had reached a point at which other organizations would have given up on her and asked her to leave. But at DePaul, we specialize in working with the most venerable and challenging young people.
As I said yesterday I have two Godchildren and if it came to it in the event of their parent’s death, I would provide them a home for as long as they needed it. Whilst other children are not so lucky and end up in care which they have to leave at 16 and some can not cope and ultimately end up homeless. I would like those cases to be prevented before young people become homeless. Support for vunerable people can turn their lives around. Helping with that would be a great achievement.
At the moment I’m enjoying my own space and I’m past the stage of house sharing. Selfishly because I love my house I would not want it damaged.
Additionally I would worry about my safety if I invited a stranger in to my house; I know it would worry my Mum as well. This view has possibly been back up by the possibility a homeless man last week killed members of a family in Stourbridge who had been helping him. Just a possibility right now so he may prove to be innocent.
In summary, it is not something I’m going to be doing right now.
According to DePaul charity 62% of homelessness is hidden and may not show up in statistics.
Talk to friends today about homelessness and share what you have learnt.
What I have learnt
I have learnt it can be hard to put numbers of homelessness, in particular not sure how the DePaul charity is able to put a figure of 62% on hidden homelessness when it is hidden as opposed to visibility of some rough sleepers.. Examples of hidden homelessness include:sleeping on friends sofas or at strangers houses where there may be a risk of abuse, or in cars or on public transport. Shelter says hidden homelessness involves 120,000 children in hostels or living in cramped conditions including sharing with strangers.
However, I do have some statistics found on BBC website relating to a report from Crisis. Crisis have recently said more than thousand people a night are sleeping rough in England. Which is 16% increase on last years figure of 3569. It is double 2010 figure of 1,768. The following figures were also mentioned:
288 under 25s
714 other EU countries
194 from countries outside EU.
I therefore deduce most homelessness in Britain affects British men.
The numbers sleeping rough on a particular night for individual places between 3rd October and 30th November were counted. The following in ranked order had highest numbers.
In the capital, homelessness has risen by 3% since 2010 and outside capital by 20%.
Problems of those that are homeless according to St Mungo’s homelessness charities
4 in 10 rough sleepers have mental health problems.
41% need help with alcohol dependency.
31% need help with drug abuse.
Sleeping rough increases risk of abuse by 17% according to Crisis.
St Mungo homeless charity believe cut in welfare services covering mental health, alcohol abuse and drug abuse have contributed to these figures.
A risk for homeless people is the drug Spice. Spice or Black Mambo is the street name for synthetic cannabis i.e. it stimulates same parts of brain as cannabis. It was previously a legal high but has been banned since 2009. It is possible to make a splif out of spice for a little as £1. It has caused deaths in the US amongst homeless people. Side effects include vomiting, seizures and psychosis.
What is behind done by the Government
Government is investing 550million to tackle the problem between now and 2020.
How individuals can help
Common advice is not give mony to those begging as it might be spent on drugs or alcohol.
Instead could give food directly.
Could give 5minutes of time to talk to ease loneliness of homelessness person.
I have come across a number of homeless charities:
in Sheffield Archer project supports homes people in a number of ways including breakfast clubs for homelessness, soup kitchen, annual shoebox collections at Christmas time for homeless people and their pets.
The Hope project provides free and subsidized veterinary treatment to dogs for those who have housing problems.