‘Homelessness State Of Mind’
Don’t be taken in by the sunshine it’s a bitterly cold late January day. My fingers are numb. Around the small East Midlands town of Loughborough I find seven homeless people sat in the chilled streets. Most sit on the floor with a few belongings around them. Two have garden chairs and sell copies of The Big Issue to passers by. They have regular customers and are always pleasant.
I read in official sources that there are less homeless people on our streets. It doesn’t feel that way and is possibly down to the way numbers are collected, essentially only counting those actually found rough sleeping in the town centre. Those finding a bed for the night be it hostel, B&B or sofa missing the count but still homeless.
I don’t do enough to help. Don’t know enough of the reasons that have seen the number of homeless people on our streets increase to a level I personally haven’t met before. I have to find out more and also think how I can help best beyond buying a Big Issue, proffering a sandwich, a drink, a few coins.
Systemic change towards a more caring society from the top through with action from all levels to get things moving. As artists and poets we have a role to yes show the world as we find it but also to be part of changing it too alongside other workers, other citizens. If we wait for the top to instigate change then we will wait forever.
January 24th 2019