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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Left outside alone

Stumbled across this blog, Jamie's Big Voice, today. It's certainly thought-provoking reading about a subject I've often grappled with after passing Big Issue sellers, beggars or touts. I have to admit, beyond twee generalisations, I don't have much idea what to do about the problem of homelessness. We ought to ensure that there is a clear path available to allow those who are homeless to get back into mainstream society and find a place to stay. We ought to ensure healthcare and mental health support is available and homeless people are made aware of it. We all benefit from people being given a second chance. That said - when there are such options available - I would have concerns over bending too far backwards, accommodating every homeless person by handing them as great a subsidy as they'd like for life.

Here's Jamie's story though.

Perhaps it's just about helping everyone find their niche in life. But do we all have a purpose?

I'll try to muse more on this later in the week. It is an issue I have always wrestled with, but it's occupied me more since moving into the Temple. Every weekend that part of central London is all but deserted apart from those who live there - but live outside. It really brings home to me the scale of the problem. I am amazed by just how many homeless people come to a van which provides them with a hot meal all but on the doorstep of the British American Tobacco HQ in the evenings.

The traditional class system may have fragmented and greatly altered. I still struggle to accept Tony Blair's assertion that "we're all middle class now" in a classless society when you see such troubled people scrabbling to stay alive in and around the basements of the financial motor of Britain.

4 Comments:

At 12:10 am, Blogger jamiemccoy said...

in an ideal world we'd all like to have a home and a job and that certain somebody to wake up to some of us have it. but it's not about those things for someone who is homeless or has an addiction. it's about survival it's not about anyone bending over backwards. it's about showing there is a different way to live. all over the world there is homelessness and people with serious addictions.it's only when you come to realise that you're not the worst off and there are people in this world that are starving everyday. knowing how lucky we are is part of the learning process and for blair to say we are all middle class now is nonsense unless he's now saying the poor are the middle class and there's only the rich next on the ladder

 
At 9:55 am, Blogger Edward said...

Thanks for coming, Jamie. I'm fascinated by your thoughts and experience on this.

 
At 10:19 pm, Blogger womble said...

Edward, perhaps you are in a position to do something, in even a small way to help the plight of the homeless. Jamie was helped initially by Crisis. They do a lot of sensible stuff, enabling people not just giving handouts. Why not see if you can do something?

 
At 4:45 pm, Blogger Edward said...

Thanks Womble. I've done that after I wrote the piece. Do you have ideas what more we can do beyond supporting such charities?

Are you involved with homelessness?

 

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