Saturday, 25 May 2013

Being homeless.

I have only slept rough once. At the end of the summer term after playing an energetic rounders match, staff versus children I used to go home, get the igloo , the dog and the children and drive to Cornwall for the whole six weeks holiday!

Once I slipped up. We arrived too late for the camp site and too early for anything else. The kids wanted to sleep on the beach seeing this as a great adventure. It wasn't. It was cold, scratchy and even waking up to the pink Cornish dawn did not compensate for how dreadful we all felt.

With this memory awakened I was horrified to read this morning that the police in London had been confiscating the belongings of rough sleepers in order to discourage homelessness!

What? Most people don't chose to be homeless as an option! If circumstances have forced them into sleeping in a doorway or on a park bench their few blankets and clothes must be very precious to them.

In Essex I lived by a large park which had its share of rough sleepers during the summer months....I sometimes would take a flask of coffe and bread to those closest at hand...though not without a feeling of disgust at myself as well as them specially when one morning I was greeted by one of my daughters friends as the local Lady Bountiful!

After that it had to be very cold indeed to get me out there!

I wonder what the police have in mind for those whose possessions they have confiscated? In this dreadfully cold weather some might die or succumb to pneumonia.....

As an effort to discourage homelessness this does not appear to have been thought through!

1 comment:

  1. Taking away the very little that these unfortunates own seems an act of extreme unkindness.
    As for the "Lady Bountiful" and "Do-gooder" comments by quite a number of people I would ask, when did doing good become something to be sneered at?
    My own method when faced with someone begging or sitting hunched against a wall in the cold, is to buy them tea or coffee from the nearest vendor and offer a roll or sandwich, buy "The Big Issue", and give when possible to homeless charities like St Mungo's for example.
    No good deed, however small, is wasted even if it is no antidote to indifference.