Crisis UK Homeless Charity video made by the Crisis Choir featuring Annie Lennox
Thinking about life and my continued good fortune in no longer being homeless, I have to spare a thought of those who are and is there a light at the end of the tunnel.
I can sit here and give the statisitics which never really give the full story, which only serves as a reminder of what it is like to be invisible.
In the UK presently homelessness has reached epidemic proportions, you just have to look at the news to see most if not every major city in this country to see that homelessness and destitution has spilled out into every area of public life.
To try to give a glimpse of what your life is worth when you don’t have a roof over your head, in a nutshell, it’s worth as much as the generosity you are given at a moments whim.
No matter your gender your vulnerable, from ridicule to sexual attacks, freezing to death, dying of hunger, murder, imagine that, those are your choices each and every day this is what you have to face.
There are different types of homelessness, you can sofa surf(which I did for 4 yrs until all options were exhausted and ended up sleeping on a shop floor where I volunteered)) or street homeless neither has a humanising effect on your self worth.
The reports since winter have set in on the street deaths rises each year, which I find to be incomprehensible, this is not the dark ages where there were no resources, we have them however the powers that be do not want to distribute them in a way that can help people make their lives better, we have properties all over the country that stand empty, with investment can be made into homes, it appears thats too easy.
We have hundreds of charities with little or no funding desperately trying to make a difference though they’re not even near the tip of this gigantic gaping hole within our society, I salute these men and women who try to do something within their communities to help, oh yeah local politicians pat them on the back etc, but nothing real that can be measured is done, lip service I think it’s called.
When you sleep on someone’s sofa, it’s ok until they decide you can’t and that can be when you return that night, or in the middle of the night, even worse when the “boyfriend” of your friend tries his luck, which of course its your fault and you have to go.
There are those who offer a sofa comes with conditions, like doing housework etc which can pretty turn into “if you don’t help” you can’t stay I’ve always been more than willing to “help” but not to be enslaved, there again it goes back to the choices you don’t have.
There will be times when you’re so desperate that you will literally do anything to survive, and to outsider you become the architect of your own downfall, it’s just not that simple even the worst option is the best option when your faced with the devil and the deep blue sea.
Mental Health becomes a moot point, you have disappeared so far into yourself, that you cannot think let alone allow yourself to feel anything, you live moment by moment hoping that cracks won’t show for today anyway.
I will say that 18 months on there is always that fear that this won’t last I try not to give into those feeling however there are days when it consumes me, I think the darkest days are behind me, though I still remember what it feels like to be invisible.