When does a human being cease to be a human being? In our society it's when they cannot afford housing and get dumped on the street like trash.
Homeless support is all about taking action to develop empathy between people who are homeless and the rest of the community.
This is an empathy based project which is focussed on developing a connection between people who are experiencing homelessness and the rest of the community. We are seeking to work with two local authorities, Wandsworth in the south and the City of Westminster in the north, as well as The Passage Day Centre who work with the largest community of homeless people in central London, i.e. that around the areas of Victoria and Pimlico.
This is not about the more practical aspects of homelessness, which are covered by the local authorities and the various homeless charities who work with people who are homeless. This is about the less practical, more emotional and psychological aspects of homelessness and making it easier for the people who are actually homeless to cope with their traumatic and stressful life circumstances. People don't stop having emotional and psychological needs when they become homeless, they just become incredibly difficult to fulfil and satisfy, due to the fact that they don't have a home or the basic security of shelter. This is very much about providing emotional and psychological support to people who are homeless and also platforming them in a way which gives them a voice and a means to communicate their individual truth to the rest of society and also those in power.
Life doesn't end when you become homeless. It just becomes incredibly more stressful, traumatic, and complicated. If you're not fortunate enough to be given somewhere to sleep and become totally dependent on other people even for just access to basic necessities in order to live, then you end up on the streets without shelter and you have to struggle - really struggle - for everything, even access to a toilet. The trauma you go through when homeless can be compared to being sent to fight in a war and you have to be incredibly mentally resilient not to succumb to either mental illness or an addiction just to cope with the social stigma of being homeless and the social isolation which results.
Losing one's home involves a complete loss of privacy, emotional security, and is an incredibly traumatic experience which carries a profound and devastating impact on someone's emotional and psychological well being. Being made homeless is an act of violence, simply because it involves force. While the more practical aspects of homelessness can be easily resolved, such as giving someone somewhere to live, the emotional and psychological effects of homelessness cannot be easily resolved. It's important to remember that homelessness is a serious life-changing event and many people who are made homeless, particularly rough sleepers (people who are forced onto the street) never fully recover from the trauma.
Due to the cutbacks from austerity and cuts in funding to local authorities and charities it can be extremely difficult to find accommodation once you are kicked out onto the streets. It's not too difficult to find people who have been sleeping on the streets for years in central London and it's shockingly easy to find rough sleepers on the streets in the middle of winter when the weather is bitterly cold. Therefore it's no surprise that among the people who end up losing their homes and being kicked out on the street that many end up dying on the streets.
It's important to remember that when you walk along some of the streets in and around Victoria and Pimlico in Central London you're actually walking through someone's home. The same is true when you walk along such streets as Oxford Street and The Strand. This might seem weird, and not something many people are aware of, but there are many different aspects of homelessness and absolute poverty that we're not aware of simply because we don't experience these issues for ourselves and very few people care what happens to someone once they get the keys to their home taken from them.
Much of what developing empathy is all about is being real, living one's truth and being able to share one's individual truth with other people openly and without fear. Most homeless charities cannot share the truth about homelessness for fear of further cuts in funding due to restrictions imposed by the Government - the same issue exists when it comes to Universal Credit - but as a CIC Qultura Core is not subject to the same restrictions as we're completely independent. This is an important issue because if we're going to be able to address issues relating to the environment and social issues then we need to face up to the truth and to be able to deal with it. Most people don't understand the reality of homelessness or poverty simply because they've never really experienced these issues and this is where the direct personal experience of those who experience such issues is vitally important. This is not to attack the Government, but to be able to resolve such issues.
We're also interested in developing winter shelters out of buildings which are unused, vacant, abandoned or even derelict which can be used both for community space and also to provide accommodation for the homeless during the winter months. This would not only save lives by preventing deaths and suicides during the winter months but also provide countless opportunities for the development of empathy and interaction between people who are homeless and the rest of the local community.
We need volunteers and activists to help create and develop our Homeless Support initiatives. If you are interested please join the community and put in an appearance on our Message Board.