lve been very concerned by the rise of homelessness for a long time now. It’s an issue that won’t go away, infact its increasing at such a rapid rate that is unbelievable considering that we are the 6th richest country in the world. What is astonishing is the fact that many local authorities including my own don’t even attempt to fix it or even attempt a temporary solution. This government has made a sustained attack upon the poor for such a long time now that the poorest in society are too weak to fight against it.
The way that local authorities count the number of homeless people is wrong. If you have a cardboard box over your head or a blanket, if you are sofa surfing then you are not considered homeless. If your a single man or woman your not a priority for housing or help. Finding has been cut to drop on centres to a point where they are on the point on closure. So what do people that become homeless do? They hide in street corners, in the shadows after all local councils don’t want any homeless people littering the streets and making it look scruffy…. A group of homeless people in Manchester have joined together in solidarity. They’ve had enough.
Last week there was a march in Manchester protesting against homelessness. It was very well attended and supported by the homeless in Manchester. After the March the homeless people living on the streets in Manchester decided enough is enough. They grouped together and decided to set up a camp together. They set this camp up at Albert square Manchester in front of the town hall. They want Manchester town council to start helping the poor. They have had enough of being woken up every 45 minutes by the police. They’ve had enough of being robbed and beaten up by people. So they now camp together. This has given them an immense sense of belonging again. And so they should. I spent a couple of hours with them yesterday and they are the nicest people you could ever meet. They aren’t prejudiced unlike the people who persecute them on a daily basis. All they want is a place to live, but they need support. Many have issues that they need help with to be able to cope with everyday life living in a warm, dry home.
How can you help? Go and say hello. Bring them something to eat and something to cook on. They need water also. They need support. Also Manchester City council have decided to take them to court on Wednesday. They need a representative or someone to support them.
We need to highlight this issue much more than we are now. The people that I met yesterday are Heros in my eyes. They’ve taken a stand for each other and that is fantastic. Now we need to stand up for them.
Remember we are all just a step away from becoming homeless and it’s a very small step.