So winter is biting, wrap up, keep warm and stay in if it gets worse. However, what do you do if you are homeless and sleeping rough. Doorways, bridges, benches and lanes don't have thermostats to adjust. It is absolutely criminal that a society can let people die on our streets simple because they don't have a roof over their heads. The figures for deaths from sleeping rough in the UK are a national disgrace, an indictment against the unjust, unequal system we tolerate.
In 2018, 726 homeless people died in England and Wales, that's up 22% on 2017, and up 24% over the last 5 years. Data from the Museum of Homeless, states that a homeless person dies every 19 hours in the UK.
From Wikipedia: Crisis estimates there are roughly 12,300 rough sleepers in the UK and also 12,000 people sleeping in sheds, bins, cars, tents and night busses. The figure is derived from research by Heriot-Watt University. Rough sleeping has risen by 98% since 2010, sleeping in tents and the like rose 103%. In England rough sleeping rose by 120%, in Wales it rose by 75% and in Scotland it fell by 5%.
Homelessness is the stepping stone to sleeping rough. Because of deliberate government policies, the number of homeless people is rising fast, so it follows that the number of rough sleepers will also continue to rise rapidly.
The UK homeless charity Shelter put the 2017 figure for the whole of the UK's homeless at 300,000, including people in temporary accommodation. The charity, Crisis attributes rising homelessness to a shortage of social housing, housing benefits not covering private rents and there not being homeless prevention schemes for people leaving care.
None of these figures are the result of unavoidable events, none are unforeseen accidents, these figures are the direct result of ideology, government decisions based on economics that suits big business, carried out by people who are immune to the devastation of their profit driven greed. We are the 6th richest country on the planet, we can afford the latest and most expensive weaponry, we can fund wars, and our lords and masters tour the world in luxury yachts, private jets, and live in opulent mansions, but we can't house our people. Don't you think that there is something wrong?
THE WARMTH OF A DREAM.
He lay in a dark doorway, dreamed of home,
night frost locked his joints
morning rain chilled the marrow of his bone.
In the dream there was a sister,
a pram in a garden, a crowd of youngsters
who called him “mister”, a time of little pain.
Are these youngsters the same young men, who
now laugh at him, throw beer cans,
piss on him as he lies drunk in some dark lane?
When was that first step down this slippery slope,
when was that first step to no forgiveness.
No will to rise to beg for food,
numbness kills the pain.
The dream brings a warmth that feels good,
dark fog shades out consciousness,
an ambulance carries off a body washed in rain.