It’s only natural of privilege to defend itself. It is innately human. It is history. We are headed by the Windsors, fleeced and regulated by Parliaments, presided over and pushed around by “Local Authorities”. I am not criticising it, just pointing out the obvious.
In an industry around homelessness that relies on public charity, government led sociological engineering, and government-led charities the situation in London has changed and always is changing.
Unfortunately as time goes on very little changes for the individual who is left outside society by not just poverty of pocket but poverty of shelter.
Statistics often cannot tell you anything meaningful – the homelessness industry is often guilty of looking too much at the problems rather than the solutions.
So as William may write his article so I may write mine, but sleep outs, experiences, empathy and all the good stuff charity often performs in the capital and beyond do not really make that much sustainable difference to a structural issue – although they may provide aid to individuals so shouldn’t be criticised unduly.
I help run a Sandwich giving service for persons homeless and low-income known as London Street Foodbank… I don’t always have the energy to do as much as I would like, I hardly ever have the money also to chip in, but the value of helping good people stuck in bad times in London is a privilege and sometimes a cherished curse. Certainly there are a few random people who have been attending soup runs and food handouts for years and are housed. Some months myself I can entirely understand – finance is hard in London on higher than minimum wage, on minimum wage it is no life at all, and for those self-employed and working hard to keep themselves and others housed and fed it is a nightmare too often. Let alone sleeping rough for the first couple of weeks.
And it’s not “homeless people” making it so. Often it is the rhetoric of big charitable groups charged with defending, helping, and championing rights for people who can’t do it themselves. Mostly it is the leeches – the parasitic class that rules over us.
Prince William can write all the articles he likes, and it is great he is trying, but when with homelessness, like the environment is all of our problem in the end, shouldn’t those who have most give proportionately? Less than 10% of the UK is urbanised. A four bed home that costs £20,000 to build in material costs hundreds of thousands of pounds. Who benefits?
If I ever receive public money, tax dollars, credits benefits whatever, it is to keep me alive until I can improve my circumstances. Times are hard for everyone right now we are being told. Personally it ain’t been that damn good the last five years either. A lot of public money however, is going on a lot of crap, it dwarfs the charitable wastage – and it is because with such a huge structural problem, you need huge sticking plasters, to continue to benefit from the problem.
So it’s frustrating to see Politicians, Royalty, Buy-to-Let foreign speculators, Landed Aristocracy and Home-Ownerist NIMBY’s dominate the discourse on homelessness, but then, the piper always should play the tune he is paid for. My generation will be the rent generation. Their lives sucked away working to stay still either at the private grindstone or clawing for the public money milk teet.
Some will give up and go native instead, living outdoors and surfing couches the colder months, or squatting moving when necessary. They will save thousands. They will be legislated against and harassed by petty officialdom.
There are hundreds of rooms spare in Buckingham Palace every night. There are Hundreds of Thousands in London every day. There’s land all over the UK going to waste being held whilst airplanes fly processed food into our Kingdom.
We live in an insane world. So you can give your four pound and read the Big Tissue. You can give to the guy selling it and not read it (better), or the guy passed out at 10am Old St tube. Ending Homelessness isn’t for the government, or organisations, but for society. An educated society would accept homelessness and do the best to ameliorate its necessity and brutality but we don’t. We debate it. We have ‘Day’s’ for it now. A day that isn’t interested in raising some big figure of money but raising the question – for a moment of consideration. What can we do to solve homelessness?
Stop seeing it as a problem and start seeing it as a solution.
Luckily this Day is made by the everyday people who volunteer and work in multiple fields trying to help homelessness and I was pleased to help try to spread word of the first World Homeless Day and now the second because there needs to be a mechanism for solidarity across the world against those who cause and those who allow homelessness to be a necessary part of our lives for so many of us. As a world population under the thumbs of global oppression in terms of Capital, Labour, and Land – our economic rights, are a shadow to the weak and weakening corpse of our civil rights. We can do better and deserve better. It’s not about right-wing vs. left-wing, workshy vs. diligent, not fortunate vs. unfortunate. It’s about the quality of our collective humanity. We can change it.
But we need to start asking questions, and refining the response, never stopping working together as individuals to make life better for all people – homeless first.
Thousands want to know why Westminster council and London Councils feels fit to assume food poverty in London is so impossible it can waste public funds on discussing, legislating and funding groups to manage the ‘decline’ and ‘removal’ of free food services to persons in dire need in London…
I want to know what Prince William thinks should change to truly help homelessness, rather than just help; “the wonderful organisations working with it”, or the old ‘building more council houses’ chestnut.
I want to know how ordinary people like you and I can do to change ourselves, and so this system. I don’t think it has to do with giving more to charity. I think it has for one thing to do with changing our concept of charity. I for one know I have given enough charity to William Windsor’s forthcoming business concerns. I want more myself so I can help others and so myself.
Charity begins at home, and when for most of us the streets could be our home through random misfortune at anytime, our streets should be safer and more compassionate as an aspiration we can all share.
This isn’t what I see happening in the “End Homelessness” agenda’s recently presented in many countries.