So I was walking down the High street today shivering in my long black coat, scarf and gloves and I thought to myself “If I am freezing and numb in this -1 degrees weather, how the heck are the homeless coping right now?”
Seeing all the homeless sat on the floor in an old coat or an old blanket, staring at everyone with their eyes and wishing for something more. I bought a man two cheeseburgers and a tea and I asked him where he could go in this horrible weather and he said “Just a B&B but that costs £16.” I was shocked. Why isn’t there somewhere for these unfortunate souls to go to when there are snow warnings and temperatures dropping as low as -6?
I feel like I can do my best and try as best as I can to help but there is only so much I can do. There is only so many cups of tea I can buy and so many sausage rolls. I can sign petitions and join communities who are trying to combat this however I feel there needs to be more.
My personal opinion is why haven’t the council done more? Why haven’t they thought “It’s going into the minus temperatures and there are many people lying on the high street freezing and struggling to keep warm. We should really do more to help.” I completely understand that there is issues with funding and that they may be doing some things to help, but I don’t think it’s enough.
Why are they not being placed into emergency housing or caravans or B&B’s? Why are they not a priority? Why are they the forgotten individuals? Why is this still an issue in 2018? Just why?
I really fear for rough sleepers who have to sit in a shop window with a rucksack that is falling apart and a blanket wrapped around them just trying to keep warm as the snow falls to the floor and a sharp wind keeps blowing into their ears and they shake and shiver. How can these people stay warm? How can they look after themselves? How can this be acceptable?
How is it fair for a person to be shooed away from the council or to be sent to A&E just to stay in the warm until it closes and they have to leave there too. How is it fair to be told to stay on the streets? How is it fair that a homeless man died on the March snow weekend due to freezing to death? How is it fair that peoples lives are at risk from the cold weather and are dying due to the coldness? How is this fair? Why isn’t more being done?
“These people have to endure frighteningly dangerous weather conditions while living on the streets.” There was a case just last week when a homeless got attacked and those on call met him at A&E. He was bandaged up and cleaned up before being sent back onto the streets. How is this right?
The shocking reality of normal people, like you and I who are shivering on the streets in the cold. The difference is that some of us are lucky enough to have a roof over our heads and live in a warm house and a warm bed where as these people have no place to call home. A street that in some places are beginning to start fining people for “begging” and purposely designing benches and chairs to prevent the homeless from staying there.
Here are some useful websites to look at with the homeless and the weather and what issues there are now for them:
I think it is very important to be aware of this growing issue and do whatever you can to help when an opportunity arises. If you are able to buy a cup of tea or a sausage roll from Greggs, please see what you can do to help. Although it isn’t solving it, it is ensuring someone has had something to eat and drink in a day. I find some people who say they haven’t eaten in days so it is good to just do that. Once they have eaten and drank, it is then good to see if you can help keep them warm by donating blankets or coats etc. We may not be able to get them off the streets ourselves, but we can at least try and deal with the basics and keep them as warm as possible.
They won’t bite. Smile at them and wish them a good day. Ask what their story is and why they are on the streets. Every story is different and it is remarkable to hear their experience. They are people just like us and deserve to be acknowledged and treated like humans. Working together and making this issue known can make such a difference.
If anyone has anything to donate or spare to give to the homeless, please let me know or any nearby charities that help out. It may just be a blanket in the spare room to you screwed up in a cupboard, but to one person It could mean the world.
I also wanted to mention about the Weston Super Mare community called “Weston Super Mare homeless (A heart of Weston Partner.)” that is trying to help the homeless and is aiming to find some shelter for these people to go. They are attending council meetings, trying to fundraise and some have volunteered to be on call if ever they have a problem or need help. I feel this is a very promising group who really do want to help and change this. Try and join the group which is on Facebook and see if you can help in any way or attend any of their meetings. It would be great for people to all come together to help try and combat this problem. Have a look on Facebook for this group and join the page!
Until next time,