. . When we got to England I thought about changing subject to the pub culturebecause it seemed easier to write about, but after a few days I had seen so manyhomeless people that I got used to it and therefor dared to talk to them and askthem questions about their situation and why they where homeless. Many peoplejust walked right by the homeless without even look at them (rather the reverse,look another way), but other people stopped to talk to them and buy their paper. I’ve used the homeless people as sources and also their paper. When I came homeI searched on the internet to get information and there was a lot of it, so Ichoosed some headings and took a closer look at them.
Who’s homeless?I thought, before I went to England, that every homeless person was that byhis/her own choice, but after talking to them and read about it I know that someof the homeless is that by their own choice. They choose to be homeless fordifferent reasons, like a protest against the society or just to try thehomeless life. 25% of the homeless are war veterans and most of them from Vietnam. They arementally traumatised by their war experiences, some of them are disable andothers are just unable to find work so they can pay a rent.
25% of the homeless are children and many of them are alone. They’re maybe run-aways who left home because there was no food at home, or because they’revictims of rape, incest or violence. Many of them are ;throwaways;, whoseparents tell them to leave home or won’t allow them to return home once they’veleft. Many of the homeless are elderly people with fixed income, and I guess that’snot the traditional image of homeless people. They receive about 450 a month inbenefits and if they pay 350 for rent it’s pretty logical that they can’t livea decent life. Many elderly people are living in poverty in an apartment with noproper heating, no water etc.
, and many of the elderly homeless are afraid to goto soup kitchens or shelters, so they aren’t seen on the streets. MythsThere’s a lot of myths going around about the homeless. Very often these mythsare told by someone without any or with just a little knowledge about thehomeless people and their life. Here’s some of the myths:Myth:They want to be homeless. Fact: Some of them yes, but less than 6% of the homeless are homelessby their own choice.
I spoke to a man who told me he used to live in Scotland,and that he had a house of his own, a TV, a VCR and so on, but after aconcert in London about a year ago, he decided to stay in Brighton to try;the homeless life;. Now he tried to earn money, so he could get home toScotland again. Myth:They are heavy drug users and mentally ill. Fact:About 25% of the homeless are emotionally disturbed, but that has a lotto do with that many of them has suffered from child abuse or violence. About 25% uses drugs, but many of them are included in them who suffers frommental illness. Myth:They don’t work.
Fact:25% of the homeless work full- or part- time. The problem is that peopleearning a minimum wage doesn’t earn enough to support a family of threeor rent an apartment in the inner-city. There’s also many of the homelesspeople who aren’t able to work and there’s many reasons why. PaperThe homeless in England has their own paper called The Big Issue. They writeabout things that might interest themselves, but also about homeless people, sothat the people buying it can read about the homeless’ situation.
The homelesspeople buys the paper for 40p and sell it for 70p, but to earn more money theysay they don’t have change for a pound.In The Big Issue I bought I read about a girl who cut herself and walked in thestreets with bleeding arms.Nobody seemed to care, she said, or maybe they wereafraid…How to help?On the internet I found a lot of ways to help the homeless, but some .