I used to live in a tent for about three months. To a certain extent, it was self-chosen after I left my ex-partner and could not get a place to live in directly. I had stayed for the first couple of days with a friend but I did not want to be a burden and it was summer so I thought it was ok. Also, my now husband had offered me to stay with him but it did not feel right to go from one man to another no matter how much I knew he is the one :-).
I would not have gotten help from the council because I have no children and having experienced domestic violence was more a private problem then. Or so it felt. Not having a home to go to is a difficult experience. For me, it was just three months, I did not lose my job and I knew if all else fails I could go back to my friend or to my now husband. I can not fathom what it means for people who have to experience homelessness over several years and through winter.
A couple of years later, a homeless lady was sleeping in front of the supermarket I used to work in and one of my co-workers said something like: “Nowadays you don’t need to sleep on a bench!” I gave her a look and said: “You know its not that easy to get help when you lose your home. It happens easier than you think especially if you do not have friends or family to help you!” She pulled a face and turned away.
What does that have to do with bugs in a tent? Well, you have to deal with bugs a lot if you live in a tent or worse under a bridge. They just crawl everywhere. It’s not that bad if you go camping for a holiday and you know it’s over in a couple of days. But not knowing where to go to and not receiving any help makes it one thing that is rather humiliating.
Please, if you come along a homeless person do not judge. In today’s society, you might be the next in the blink of an eye. If you do not feel like giving to the person at least do not judge. You do not know what the person has gone through. You also do not know why the person is on the street and if the person can get help. It is such a complicated problem that is not mainly a personal one but one of societies that allows rich people to get richer and middle-class people to live in hostels for homeless people.
I start to think more and more that today’s problems in society are more a problem for wealth and power distribution. Humans and human right do not count. The only thing that counts is making money. That bugs me and not only in a tent!
Crisis: About Homelessness
This post answers Karen’s incredible #whatif prompt for today. Find it here.
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