My search for a solution to homelessness has so far failed.
I would still very much like your comments on that article, as I know there’s more info out there, and you may well know more than me.
I’ve been considering homelessness because of Blog Action Day, and this year’s theme of poverty. I wrote earlier about my short stint sleeping on the streets when I became homeless, and recently I talked about how there must be a solution.
Alas and alack, unless you’re a young or vulnerable person, there is no legal requirement for the local council to directly help you get a roof over your head. I have learned that the council must advise you, but they don’t have to do anything for you.
I completed this online questionnaire from Shelter to discover what was available for an adult.
I was pretty bored to find that Shelter, despite their name, do not provide accommodation for people. I’m not sure what the hell they do at all in fact. Their advice is a little, um, flimsy.
So the crippling catch 22 that I spoke of earlier this week can only be broken by hurculean and creative efforts by the homeless adult, or by intervention by charities. Once again, the UK Government banks on, and plans their policies around, other organisations doing their work for them.
So what the hell is the solution? And again, please don’t tell me that homeless people should get off their arse and find a job. The catch 22 is that you can’t get a job without an address, and you can’t get an address without money (benefits or a job) and you can’t get benefits (or a job) without an address.
Depaul Trust, who I’ve had the privilege to work with, seem to again focus on young people.
Blog Action Day has sparked off a fair bit of blogging, but only some action. I’m committed to donating more of my time and my earnings to organisations like WaterAid, FirstSigns, homeless outreach orgs like the Salvation Army. What can you do?
Check out what Sonia Simone has said about making loadsa money and doing good things.
Read how Brian Clark has worked abroad with poor communities.
What is the solution for a homeless adult like the guy I spoke to earlier this week?[Wedge]
The solution *is* for them to get jobs.
Unfortunately, there’s no proper infrastructure to facilitate that for people in their positions and more often than not it falls to friends and family.
I know that I have maybe one or two friends from all the people I call friends who I could go to (there’s pride, and there’s fair weather friends, and when the two combine that reduces the pool) and if the situation is wrong, they might not be able to help me.
I’ lucky enough to have family I could go to, but not everyone is as fortunate as me.
So in reality it wouldn’t be inconcievable that if I fell, I could fall into the vicious cycle, even though I’m in a stronger position than most. It can happen to anyone. I recall a tale of Prince Charles visiting a homeless shelter only to discover that someone he went to school with was sheltering there that very night, and had been living on the streets for quite some time.
You might find this article interesting: