This blog piece focuses on what it feels like to be homeless and the difficulties that arise whilst being on the street. I decided to go around the day centre and ask a few simple questions, what is it like to be homeless, what do you think the public’s perception is on homelessness and how do you think Maggs day centre helps?
*Being homeless is nothing but circumstance, things happen that result in losing accommodation reasons can vary from person to person. I do feel like being homeless gives me a sense of freedom as I have no one to answer to. My plan is to move to Spain, I feel like the attitude in this country is you either work or die. Sometimes it’s not always that easy to go out and get a job, so how are people able to support themselves if the options are not open to them. Maggs day centre is a good thing to have and all major cities should have a place similar for the homeless and socially isolated. *
* Being homeless is a very lonely and isolating situation to find yourself in. It leads you to feel anxious because you don’t know where you’re going and where you’re going to sleep. Being homeless makes you feel secluded from society and lost with no known direction. It does however give you a sense of freedom. Maggs day centre is good as it gives you a place to socialise and helps out with the most essential needs, including having a shower, being able to change clothes, being out of the cold and having a hot drink and meal. I became homeless because of a relationship breakdown, it got so bad I started misusing drugs which resulted in me not taking responsibility of my accommodation, and this led to me losing it. I now plan to look for work, I haven’t worked for two years but it’s something I really want to get back into. I should hopefully have accommodation by the end of the day so the job hunt can begin. *
*Being homeless is the worst in the winter, the cold makes you feel horrendous. It’s even worse when you don’t have enough bedding to keep warm or it goes missing. I have found my bedding in bins before, it’s obvious they are placed in a certain area for a reason so why do people throw it away? The implications of this means I freeze throughout the night because I am unable to find anything else for the rest of the night. Washing and changing is very difficult as is looking for work, you can’t really get a job unless you have accommodation which then becomes a cycle, it’s hard to find accommodation when you don’t have a job, and hard to find a job without accommodation. I think the public’s perception of homelessness differs, however I have had members of the public approach me and say “you don’t look homeless” what exactly is a homeless person supposed to look like? I suffer with mental health problems, which is probably a factor of my homelessness. I have mood swings and sometimes my anger gets me into trouble including being kicked out of places. Maggs day centre is a good idea, it helps out with the basic needs including showering and changing; it’s always here when you need it. They ran a night shelter during the winter which became a life line, it got us out the cold. My plan for the future is to look for accommodation and a job*
Every single person that walks through our doors has a completely different story to tell and each one rings the same truth; homelessness can happen to anyone. It can affect various aspects of an individuals life, it can make them feel worthless and down, angry and socially isolated. This is why it is essential we open our doors to every single person who needs us, it could be for a change of clothes, a cup of tea or simply for some social interaction. These little things make the biggest difference to those in need.
Many thanks to http://www.anatoleya.co.uk/ for allowing us the use of the photograph on this post without charge.