We Need to Talk

 In Life

We need to talk about all those people living on our streets.

I’m not an expert on this sort of thing, far from it in fact. And so, because I’m not an expert, I don’t understand it.

I don’t understand how people can wind up having to live on the streets in the first place.

I don’t understand how, once they end up homeless, there’s no help for them to get rehomed.

I don’t understand how they make it from day to day, especially in winter when the temperatures drop and the snow arrives, and the ice, and the freezing rain.

I don’t understand how they can protect themselves, and the few possessions they might own, from those who would do them harm.

I don’t understand why the government doesn’t do anything about it.

Or the local councils.

Or the church.

I don’t understand why we don’t do anything about it.

I don’t understand how I can walk past those people sitting on the pavement, some of them in sleeping bags, some not, and not help them.

Except . . .

I’ve tried.

I’ve given money. I’ve bought sandwiches. I’ve offered a bed for the night. I have sat and talked with them. Shared my lunch during my lunch break, me in my suit sat next to a homeless guy in a subway in Birmingham, both of us eating a sandwich and chatting and laughing about something or other we saw as lunchtime workers hurried past us.

I have tried over the years, and yet none of it feels anywhere like enough.

But, as someone said on another forum where I was expressing my distress at the numbers of homeless we are currently seeing in my town and how I wished I could do more to help, you can’t beat yourself up and feel guilty for actually doing something to help.

And I’m not the only one. I know many people feel the same way I do.

Where I live in Stourbridge a group of individuals from the local community are getting together to collect donations of warm outer wear such as coats, gloves, hats, sleeping bags, which will then be distributed to homeless via local charities.

In reality these people could do with a home.

Or at least a roof over their head.

But it’s something.

And this is a spontaneous outpouring, a need to reach out and help the defenceless and the disenfranchised who are living and sleeping rough.

Still . . .

We need to talk about all those people living on our streets.

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