Resilience is the ability to bounce back when life fails us, or we fail at life, there are times when this is not possible dependent on the problem and the circumstances surrounding it.
I’ve been asked several times recently “how do I cope” simple answer I don’t ,I just live with it, homelessness has become a part of who I am, and just to be able to get to the end of the day with a roof over m head is an achievement.
I can write letters, go to appointments, chase up rooms for rent(that are within my price range) I can go to local government for help, those are my options, I’m not resourceful enough to do anything else, I’ve not yet reached a point where sleeping rough is my only viable option, nor is using sex for accommodation, as many do on a daily basis.
After yesterday and the Homeless Night Shelter wanted a whopping £171.50 per week to stay, it just made me think a little more about the resources out there, because if most Shelters are run along the same lines, where exactly is the money going, and in my town they work very closely with another agency, and not with the larger national agencies like SHELTER and CRISIS, so again I wonder who is monitoring how the monies received are spent.
What also crossed my mind, you go to them because you are desperate, so why would they expect you to have funds, or at least be on benefits, the very fact that you are homeless means that you have NOTHING I don’t expect anyone to hold my hand, but when I ask for help I expect to be given reasonable advice, not be faced with a huge bill, which we both know I’m unable to pay.
This is when you resilience is tested to nth degree, your options are so minimal, I can see why people get sucked into taking whatever course of action they feel is open to them, sometimes with tragic consequences, Homelessness is not a lifestyle and I am the first to say there are those that prefer the street life, but many who would prefer to be settled with a future ahead of them, none of which is possible without a home.
I’m a bit ratty today, another aspect occurred to me earlier often when they video homelessness they show the very worst case scenarios, I don’t think this works, because people see it everyday, it’s part of the landscape and we have become desensitised to the whole process, I wish they would talk to the people who are hidden like myself, and alike all homeless we have a story to tell the difference being is that the hidden homeless aren’t in the official numbers, so the problem is much worse that you see.
I know one day I’ll back at the last few years and shudder, because I was not only homeless, invisible,marginalised, ignored, frightened, poor, living on the edges of society, but really because deep down the problem is going to exist for a long time to come.
If were all to be in this together I would ask:
There be better allocation of funds,(if you want to live in a community, then be spirited about it, work together towards getting people of the streets.
Reasonable charges made to stay in Shelters/hostels
Centralised advice, so we all have access to the same information
Monitor how local charities are spending their money and the level of service they’re giving.
All them to have workable relationships with landlords that benefit the tenants, and ongoing support.
Look at landlords and the types of accommodation being offered and the prices, we don’t all want to live in filth.
You can be resilient of you have some options, otherwise you really are on your own.