This morning the mainstream media and the Police went on a full frontal attack on homeless people in an echo chamber of misinformation and propaganda, so much so that it actually inspired me to go outside on a quest to speak to genuine homeless people.
Long story short, Ely Police called every beggar in Ely a fraud because they had been offered help. Not only do the articles not say what kind of help, how long the waiting lists are or if every homeless person has been offered it, they also use the miscalculated government figure of 4,500 rough sleepers. The actual statistic according to homeless charities is estimated at double. The number of homeless and rough sleepers combined is at 300,000.
So, this morning I jump on board the bus to Bury in Greater Manchester. I have £10 in change in my pocket and the ambition to help some homeless people. I sit down on the top deck of the bus. There is a man having a conversation with some other people about how he served in Iraq and Afghanistan but has been forced to go through training courses in the hope of getting a guaranteed job at the end of it.
“Why don’t they sort jobs out for people like me down at the Jobcentre?” He asks.
“I still paid tax when I was in Iraq and Afghanistan…” He continued.
An hour later I pull into Bury, jumping off the bus with a spring in my step. It is cold and freezing and I look around for someone to have a conversation with. 30 minutes later, I see nothing but a group of Police Community Support Officers on their shift. I come to the conclusion that the homeless people have already been moved on out of sight, quite amazing for 10am.
Staying true to my ambition at the start if the morning, I catch the bus to another town in Greater Manchester, Rochdale. Rochdale is a place where I commonly see homeless beggars and run down people. As I approach the bottom of Drake Street I see an oldish looking man with a white beard looking down at the floor with a cup under him.
For the sake of keeping his identity safe, I will refer to him as ‘Pete.’
I walk up one side of the street and down the other scoping the area, eventually coming back down to a heck of a scene.
Four Police Community Support Officers were around Pete and a few of his street friends soon got wing of what was going on. One of the PCSOs had a big gigantic grin on his face as he was reporting the crime of ‘begging’ over the radio. I sat down on a bench in the middle of the proceedings. They threw his cup into the bin and told him to move on.
One of his street friends who joined in was talking loudly and drinking beer. They did nothing to her. If this was really about anti social behavior, why didn’t they throw her can of beer away?
‘Pete’ looked disorientated afterwards, not knowing what to do with himself. This is where I used all my courage and overcame my own social anxiety to ask him what just occurred. He told me the PCSO’s were moving him on and that he had £1.50 in the cup, but £1 was stuck to the bottom of the cup when they threw it in the bin. He also told me he had been to the local council asking for help for his situation. He had a referral for two nights stay in a bed and breakfast from the council which he had laminated to stop it getting damaged.
He said he could show it to me if I wanted, but I said that it’s okay and I trusted him. I asked what he was going to do after the two nights were up and he told me that’s why he was out begging. He was hoping that once he was in the bed and breakfast he could pay for an extra night.
I then handed ‘Pete’ all of my £10. I don’t really care what he spends it on, that is not a nice situation to be in. He also told me that of the five or so regulars that beg every day on Drake Street, 3 are genuinely homeless like him. This is of course open to interpretation of what he actually meant by ‘genuinely’, but if we take it at face value that’s still 3/5 that are in a bad situation. This statistic also matches up with information I shared on JSUK a while ago.
He asked my name and said ‘ God Bless You’ and I went on my way to do my shop.
A bit afterwards I came back to the same location and ‘Pete’ was sitting with the woman. He did not have a beer can himself, nor did he smell of it when I spoke to him. Some other kind person was also buying him a jacket potato to eat for a meal.
See PCSOs and Tory lackies, you can’t quash human kindness no matter how hard you try in the mainstream media echo chambers or polices of harassment and belittlement. This is no different than when they brought in the disability welfare cuts and branded everyone cheats and liars. Its their way of twisting perceptions to fit an agenda of those they are oppressing.
So, if we take the articles we read this morning at face value, I should have walked past ‘Pete’ twice. I should have looked at the loud mouthed alcoholic and judged all people on the streets as being like her. She was also obviously mentally unwell and escaping the situation she found herself in. She walked away afterwards and I couldn’t speak to her.
The people who cheat are the minority, just like every other group of people. If the Councils of our fair land think two nights with a roof over their head is going to achieve anything, (other than fixing the statistics once again,) they are sorely mistaken. They can claim everyone’s a cheat because they offered help and people declined, but with up to a year waiting lists for hostel accommodation and piddly offers of ‘help’ that don’t amount to much, they can shove it where the sun don’t shine and claim their £35 breakfasts on expenses.
It’s a shame that our Government put more time and effort into creating laws to class people in need at the end of our ever growing homeless problem as nuisances. They deploy teams of wannabe Police gangsters and use the mainstream media to harass them, rather than come up with genuine solutions. There are many other examples of PCSOs bullying homeless and street people on Youtube. If you come from a top down perspective of thinking everyone’s a cheat and in the wrong you end up with more hate crimes against the people being oppressed. We have seen this with welfare and now with the rough sleepers.
Kindness will win!
This blog post is written by JSUK News admin for more see http://www.facebook.com/jsuknews