Recent figures reveal that the UK has approximately 380,000 people who have no home and live in B&B's or sleep on friends floors and sofas. It is estimated that if this figure was added to those found living on the streets, the figure would reach the criminal figure of over 1 million homeless across the UK. The homeless figure has jumped by 15% since 2007, obviously government policies are pushing these figures up. Of course no matter how horrifying these figures may be, they are not the full picture. Experts agree that it is impossible to accurately assess the true number of homeless in this country as many of them live of the official radar. In London alone it has been assessed that last year 4,672 people slept on its streets, up from 4,077 in the previous year. It is easy to see how the figure would rapidly rise as we take in cities, towns and villages across the land.
One of the richest nations on the planet and more than 1 million homeless, what does that tell you about the social structures of this society? Where are our lords and masters priorities? They are intent on subsidising the corporate world to the tune of billions of pounds of tax payers money in the form of a high-speed rail link between London and a couple of cities in the north of England but can't get their head around affordable housing for all. They are throwing billions of pounds of our money at a multination corporate body to build a nuclear power station, but haven't noticed the need to rid our country of the curse of homelessness. The corporate greed machine must take priority, we the people are not on their list. That's capitalism.
Homelessness, again the word doesn't really convey its true meaning, the word doesn't reveal the misery of the reality of homelessness. Homelessness, is more than no roof. Think of what a home is, to you, to your family and friends, to your social life, to your mental health and ability to support yourself, to the self respect of you and your kids.
www.radicalglasgow.me.ukHomelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of all of these. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society.After years of declining trends, 2010 marked the turning point when all forms of homelessness began to rise. However, it is likely that homelessness will increase yet further, as the delayed effects of the economic downturn, cuts to housing benefit and other reforms all start to bite.