How do I help the homeless ?
Walking the dog in a local park behind Hamilton Hall, I noticed a small one man tent under a tree and a guy was camping there. It is not allowed and he would be moved on if someone complained, but we spoke and he told me he was homeless and how the various homeless shelters were no good at all as they were always full and how he had no place else to go.
I asked if it was cold in the tent at night and he agreed that it was, especially in this cold spell.
I left it at that and while I have not seen him since, the tent is still there and a few things around it - and I was going to offer him a brand new double bedded quilt to help keep him warm, but as he has not been there each time I have been with the dog, I can't.
Now: I have an almost completed camper van sitting in my drive and while the lights do not work yet as the battery is flat - and while the plumbing is not quite ready, it IS - kinda - indoors and warmer than a tent and I did consider saying he could sleep in this cold spell in the campervan, but then, all sorts of nightmare scenarios played out in my head and everyone looked at me as if I was nuts when I mentioned it to my staff etc. and I agree, it would be an insane thing to offer, but then, seeing anyone sleeping rough in this weather is hard.
A friend many moons ago did exactly that. He saw a homeless man on the streets and took him home, cooked him a decent meal, offered a shower, washed his clothes and while the guy appeared very grateful, the next day he robbed him blind and vanished and the police - just laughed.
' What the fuck did you expect to happen ?' was the general view from everyone when he told us.
'What were you thinking ?' 'You have got to know that the vast majority of homeless people have serious mental health issues ? '
These were some of the comments made by friends at the time and he agreed it was foolish and while many look decent and worthy, you never know who you are helping or how desperate they are or whether they are going to not just rob you blind, but murder you and think nothing of it.
It has happened. So here I am with empty rooms this week, heating on, the place is decorated and ready for ' The Festive Rush' and I am feeling guilty about not helping this homeless guy in the tent;- Guilty for being warm and toasty while others shiver; - Guilty because I have so much while others do not - and where I would help and where I would go way beyond to help - but I dare not. I have a business to run and guests due. I have a venue to maintain and not have strangers fucking with it and I am afraid if I do help, it will come back and bite me in the bum - as many homeless do not want help - do not appreciate charity or come to that - help from strangers, so sadly, I leave him in the tent to be cold and come home to thaw out.
I have done so much for others over the years and I cannot, for the life of me, remember many ' Thank you's - How Kind - How thoughtful - You're a great guy for doing this' - or anything but a blank look and a feeling of ' expectation' - that some expect us to help - and considering when I was homeless back in 1985, the only ones who helped me then were a couple of friends who put me up for a while, and within a couple of days I had joined various escort agencies, was beginning to work, and save some money, and move into my own flat with A VERY VERY BIG AND HEARFELT THANKYOU to everyone who helped me during those times.... and like the movie,. I have always considered the aspect of -
' Pay it forward' - as in - if someone does something kind for you, you do something kind for another and 'pass it on.' Keep the good vibes, the good deeds, the good thoughts, going and watch as the world changes.
I cannot take strangers off the streets and help - so I donate every year - to CRISIS - the cost for 3 people to have a full Christmas Lunch with nurses and therapists on hand, clean clothes to sort through and all from the charity Crisis - and maybe it is best to give to these charities who know what they are doing and have the expertise to handle any difficulties that may crop up and know the legal aspect as well.
It is around £80 for the 3 meals and if we all helped where we could, the life for those on the streets would be a lot better off.
And before you say it - Most people in the UK are one - just one - wage packet away from going hungry and not paying their bills. Two wage packets short and the rent is not paid.
Three wage packets - so not even a month yet - People start banging on your door looking for money - Four wage packets - so just a month - and Debt Collectors and bailiff's start looking to reclaim items to cover some of your debts.
Why should your landlord let you live rent free ? He/She has worked hard to buy investment properties and just because you are on hard times does NOT mean someone else has to be screwed financially by you - as you fucked your own life up, do not share that with others - take responsibility and be a grown up about it.
Bournemouth and the south coast is a popular area for the homeless as our weather is usually milder and less cold in winter - and there are so many locals who do nothing but moan and groan about the homeless people while doing FUCK ALL TO HELP, and always complain the council isn't doing enough and these are the people who I want to hit. Thoughtless. Arrogant. Condescending assholes.
Every one of us is close to homelessness - closer than we think - as just look at your every day man and women in the street, your neighbours, your family members - and then imagine a war - say Russia is invading and oh so quickly you have to throw a few things into a bag and flee - on foot - carrying everything with you and if with family, trying to keep order in the chaos with children and pets, - and elderly relatives - keeping them all calm and together while you sleep in fields, in empty train cars, in bus shelters - and you are as panicked and as scared as everyone else while putting on a brave front and quaking in your boots as to WTF is happening to your ordinary safe and comfortable life that has now been turned upside down and inside out.
It happens to millions of ordinary people every year. It is global.
Never be 'up yourself' about your home, your car, your anything as it can be taken away from you very quickly and it could all come crashing down around you - ( Look at Danny La Rue - see below ) and then maybe you will remember the homeless at Christmas and wished you'd helped more.
How did Danny La Rue lose his money?
At the height of his career La Rue owned a nightclub, two hotels and a stately home, but he lost most of his money in bad choices of associates ( hot guys he thought he could trust ) and business deals that screwed him out of everything he had - and as he was just about to retire after a lifetime of dragging up - He promptly dusted off the sequins and took his show back on the road and starred in provincial pantomimes when the West End lost interest. This must have been awful for him. Sick of being in stage - Sick of the same old same old - Sick of performing - and so ready to put his feet up and take it easy when FUCK ME - back to work, 6 shows a week - every evening - and all you were looking forward to was a nice wealthy retirement.
BUT: He was not liked by many as his arrogance and ' I am the star' - and ' Don't you know who I am?' attitude, made many enemies and many were not sad for his loss at all.
DRAG - DRESSED ROUGHLY AS GIRL.
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