Eradicating homelessness is essential
Have you ever wondered down the street, feeling low, wishing you were somewhere else before an experience gives you the humility to be brought back to life? I have… Many times. And I had one of those very experiences this weekend.
You see, I’m a complicated man. Always have been. Always will be. Some people come into my life and think I’m a great guy for a while but as time goes on, they realise for all his passion, friendliness and jokes that make you want to vommit (but educate him at the same time), this guy is actually not all there. And the truth is, most of the time I am not all there. My head takes me in directions that most people will not understand. My ego makes me believe I am above the world when actually inside, most of the time, I feel below your average human being.
But sometimes, all of those feelings disappear for a while. I experienced that this weekend. A homeless guy called Davie asked me for the time. It was Saturday, 2.34pm and my mates were walking ahead, jubilant as Burnley had just beaten Blackburn in our east Lancashire football derby. I told him it was 2.34pm and asked if I could get him a coffee or some food. He looked at me, smiled and said “you know what, before I asked you for the time, I instantly knew you would offer that”….
Two things emerged out of our conversation that ended 10 seconds later. 1. He saw something in me that I don’t see in myself a lot of the time — a compassionate drive to make the world a better place. 2. I remembered something through him that instantly reminded me that life is ok…. I have a bed to sleep in at night, food to eat, a job to go to, a family that love me, friends who adore me, a football club that exploits me (joke)… Life really is ok. And it is all the better sober as I am sure many people reading this can understand.
I spent the rest of the weekend trying to keep a smile on my face, braving up to the anxieties, fears and obsessions my beautiful mind presents me with on a daily basis. But my new obsession is this — why do we have homeless people? Why should we live in a so-called “developed” society whereby we do not have structures in place to feed, home and support such people? We should do. But our government is currently more interested in protecting the interests of those who own multiple homes, sports cars, bank accounts, businesses and so on.
So as my state of mind hopefully continues to improve, as I hopefully continue to gain mental strength, I hope to do more to help those who ended up in a position I could very easily have ended up in had I carried on drinking — homeless. From christmas to christmas, weekend to weekend, birthday to birthday, I think I am starting on a journey here that may end with something very special. And how special would it be if collectively, all of us passionate about stopping homelessness, achieved it together.
I will finish on this. I once slept on a train station floor, cold and damp with nowhere to go but solely a can of lager in my possessions. I knew what it was like for one night. Imagine what it is like for 10 years. Davie knows the answer to that… Time to help, time for change.