Every capital city has them. We walk past them every day. Many people never stopping or questioning why they are homeless.
Some people think they are disgusting and wish they would go away so they don’t have to see them. Others find entertainment in robbing and beating them.
Disgraceful behaviour from civilised people who know better.
Appalling disgrace for Western countries with so much wealth and education to have such high rates of homeless.
There are many reasons why people end up living in the streets. And, it’s not up to us to judge or criticise these reasons.
It’s up to us, find a solution, so no man, woman or child has to sleep on a cardboard box, on a park bench or under a bridge.
First we need to seek to understand and see the homeless as human beings, like ourselves, people deserving of respect.
Over the next couple of months I’ll be sharing stories of homelessness from around the world.
My aim is to break down the barriers, for society to have a greater understanding.
And, together we can find a solution.
Aaron share his story as to why he volunteers with *’One Big Family’.
In 2008, I was hit by the recession and failed to keep my business afloat. Trying to appeal to an unsympathetic banking system to extend a loan, left me from owning my own house to living in my car. It has been said that most people are just 2 monthly pay cheques away from being homeless themselves.
Despite this situation which may befall almost anyone, it is good to know that small organisations like One Big Family are here to support the homeless and vulnerable. So many charities have become corporations as most of their money goes into the overheads of sustaining a lavish head office.
Whereas One-Big-Family is an organisation that is hands on and physically involved. The physical aspect is wheeling trolleys laden with flasks of water to dispense tea, coffee or hot soup.
Another trolley contains toiletries and essential clothing. As a volunteer with this group, we physically walk the streets to find those in need of a hot cup of tea, something to eat, a warm blanket or a chat.
It is a humbling experience and helps to bring to light that the precarious situation of homelessness can happen to almost anyone. I have found that the personal touch that One-Big-Family supplies is vastly different to many other groups that see the homeless as a numbered reference service-user, able to be identified for their funding purposes.
That is why I have been privileged to be involved with One-Big-Family because their approach is to treat all that we come into contact with as a family member and support them with a non-judgmental approach.
*One Big Family is a small, dedicated charity, supporting homeless and vulnerably-housed people in Kent, London and Yorkshire – https://www.helpingthehomeless.org.uk/