A Poignant Reminder

Sunday, 29 September 2013
homeless

Amidst the busyness of the town center, one man huddled in his overly large and dirty coat with his head buried under a thin blanket, hidden away in a quiet alley. Unfortunately, it's an all too common sight despite the affluence of the town that I live in. It's a poignant reminder of how we're all a few paychecks away from being in the same situation. The shelter in town which receives a lot of financial support from churches and locals alike, work hard to assist the homeless. I spoke to a representative there and it struck home how these people could so easily be us.

A broken relationship or home, bankruptcy, redundancy and divorce resulted in a downward spiraling despair exacerbated by a dependency to alcohol and drugs. While I've been advised not to give money as it's usually spent on narcotics or liquor, a kind word, hot drink and food, warm clothing or a smile goes a long way.

**Image was captured on my phone today

16 comments:

  1. The number of homeless people in Paris is increasing in an alarming way and it's become rare to take the metro without having someone make a speach to ask for money during your ride. Sometimes it's hard to tell if the money you give away will be spent wisely (my generosity once took a hit when I saw the beggars tearfully asking for money during my metro ride... shop for DVDs 10 minutes later), which is why I'm thinking of giving monthly donations to charities who will do the work well.

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  2. Such an important observation, makes me so grateful, I have some friends who work at a pie shop and at the end of the week they take all the unsold pies, heat em up and hand them out to the homeless. Some of the fellas have such amazing stories and are so sweet! Gives me hope for the human race!

    xE

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  3. Beautiful poignant shot and really a great discussion point, my Mum worked with people who were homeless and trying to get back on their feet and get a job and she always said you would be shocked where these people had come from. Successful careers, good backgrounds and one thing after another had gone wrong and led to to a life on the streets. Very sad, and I agree a hot drink, buying them a sandwich is the way to go. Just have to imagine how bad homelessness is in the poorer parts of the world, especially those where there is no social welfare to try and help these people get back on their feet. Really liked reading this post.

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    1. Hey, Tom, Good to hear from you! Thank you for sharing. I was told by one of the ladies at the shelter that many came from a good home.

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  4. Great shot Li!

    It's sad that we, as a population, are so focused on material means. I know that there are people who really need assistance due to their backgrounds and environment, but it's scary how many people who earned good money did not save for the future, or put some aside for emergency or insure their ability to earn. I wish financial literacy is a essential course in primary and secondary school.

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  5. Thanks for the reminder, somethings/people are just more important.

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  6. I remember a homeless man sitting outside the Marks & Spencers in Manchester many years ago. I didn't give him any money but I went inside and bought him a bag of food and gave it to him. I thought it was the best thing and the right thing to do at the time.

    This is a good reminder of how lucky we all are.

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  7. Thank you for showing this--we could all use the reminder to be more compassionate and aware of our fellow citizens.

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  8. Great post dear, very touching picture !
    Lamia
    http://ginger-chocolateandhoney.blogspot.com

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  9. Very sad, but a great shot. Did you take it with your phone? I am seriously thinking of getting a Note 2. It would be my first 'smart' phone. Can you reduce photo sizes easily and bluetooth pics to your laptop?

    Re homeless people, there is a food bank that has opened up in my area. We do have some people begging by cash machines, but I am quite mistrustful of them. I will give money to people, especially young women, I see sleeping in doorways at night, who aren't begging, as I figure no one would really sleep in a shop doorway, especially in the winter time.

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    1. I've had some able bodied and healthy who begged because they can't be bothered to work. One told me that her mom and grandma never worked, why should she. And then there are some who genuinely needed help.

      Yes, I took the picture with my Samsung Galaxy Note 1. I can transfer photos between my phone and laptop easily via bluetooth without having to reduce the size.

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    2. What a sad indictment on the benefit system if there is now a third generation not working and who thinks begging is the right thing to do. I can't believe she actually admitted it to you.

      There have been quite a few stories round where I live of people, usually men, ringing doorbells at night and asking for money to pay to get their car out of the pound, or to get petrol or something car related. That hasn't personally happened to me, but I have been stopped in the street by a man asking for money to get to the hospital to see his girlfriend who had a miscarriage. He was obviously hungover and I just said no. There are always variations on that theme. There is also the Romanian gypsy fake wedding ring scam going on around London, some kind of fake gold looking ring is grabbed off the ground by the person, and shown to the target and money is asked for it, as if it is a good deal for the person they are hoping to scam. Anyone falling for that one is nuts.

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  10. Such a poignant image - and so easy not to see the suffering around us. Thanks for sharing. Susan

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  11. Thank you all for your feedback and personal stories. I'm gratified to hear and am truly touched by your comments.

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  12. It's so sad to see people living without proper food or shelter. Things we so easily take for granted when all is well in our own lives. There are an alarming number of homeless people in Melbourne too. I've noticed a lot more events and awareness being generated not only about the homeless but things like depression etc. Things that affect people and often lead to homelessness. It's nice to see communitities recognising these issues and trying to do something to help out.

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  13. I did a big project on the Homeless when I was at school (many moons ago!) but I have never forgotten it. I always try and give some food as unfortunately my research showed up where the cash goes (in most instances, not all). Your post is so true, it's a huge reminder of what we have and how in an instant it can be lost. Thanks for sharing x

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