130,000 children homeless

No, not in the squalid depths of Calcutta or in Sub-Saharan Africa but here in Britain – one of the richest countries of the world – and in the 21st century.   And it can hit any one of us.  No-one is immune. 

“At 5.30pm on a freezing winter afternoon, Charlotte, aged 13, her two brothers, sister, and parents sit shivering in a bus shelter on the promenade in Minehead, Somerset. “

We can put men on the moon.  We can spend billions on dodgy wars.   We can invest billions in nuclear weapons.  But we can’t house our children.

Shame on us!

My colleagues were discussing lat night’s Evicted programme and although I didn’t watch it myself, my friend gave me a good overall commentary of the programme.  I was dismayed at some of the comments that my other work-friends were coming out with about it.  One woman was indignantly obsessing because a young boy from a homeless family was using the latest mobile phone!  This was the same woman who told me that a jar of coffee wouldn’t save the world.  Well, when did the cost of a mobile phone ever buy someone a house?  Another woman asked if the family was white.  When she got a “yes” answer, she stormed out stated that if they were Asian, there wouldn’t be a problem…they would be housed straight away.  I retorted that if they were Asian then no, there wouldn’t be a problem because their extended family would never allow them to be homeless.

Goodness though.  Aren’t people a judgemental lot! 

I have a friend who lives in rented accommodation and the conditions there are pretty much appalling.  She has a daughter and they struggle to keep warm.  And dry.  She has a hole in the roof.  Her landlord is an utter bastard and she is trying to get legal help to deal with him but no-one wants to know.  She can’t leave because she’d be homeless; the council view her has having adequate accomodation so if she leaves she would go right down to the bottom of the housing register.  She’s welcome to bed down with us but she’s an independent girl and refuses to “burden” us.  Very sad situation of which I can’t go into detail and there’s a lot more to it but basically the system sucks for her and her little girl.

Shouldn’t be happening.


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