For a long time now, society has regarded homeless people as the makers of their own destiny. And dirty, criminalised, nasty ones at that. However, recently, I've detected a change in attitude towards the homeless and it's been so exciting and relieving to see that I just had to do my bit and spread the word. I've seen more videos, articles and campaigns challenging the stigma surrounding the homeless in the last few months than I have in the rest of my life, all of them further diminishing my ignorance on the topic and furthering my compassion and drive to help make a change.
Whilst recently watching a YouTube video of a homeless man receiving a "make over" from a generous, good-hearted stranger, I heard him describe getting some new clothes, a proper meal, a haircut and two nights in a motel as a "dream". He also spoke of how collecting $8 in over five hours meant the world to him, because he can afford food with $8. This isn't a dirty criminal on the hunt for drugs, in fact this man appeared to me more down to earth, grateful and good natured than many of the well-off people I know. If you don't want to hand over money, where's the harm in buying someone a sandwich? I don't think drug dealers accept sandwiches as payment.
The recent #fitchthehomeless campaign also put homelessness on the front-line, with some even accusing it of being damaging to the homeless as the message behind the campaign was "so ambercrombie & Fitch only want attractive, 'cool' people wearing their clothes? Well we're going to give them to the opposite of 'cool' and 'attractive'" which, were personified in the form of the homeless. Whilst I completely understand this criticism, it is hard to honestly say "being homeless is cool and attractive"-if anything that would be a much more damaging attitude-and in my opinion, anything that helps the homeless is a good thing and although it must be analysed and monitored in order to protect society, shouldn't be belittled by controversialists.
If you want to know more about homelessness, or watch the videos I've mentioned in this post, please check out the links below, they really are amazing I promise you! Thank you for reading :-)
http://youtu.be/rsIOoXG_gmo -homeless make over
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23117382 - A street cat named Bob
http://youtu.be/AJQ3Bgh8PE4 - Ronald Davis
http://youtu.be/U0548OuSI8k - BBC interviews an African aid worker who ended up homeless in the UK