Homeless Liverpool 03: Let’s dispel the myths
It is day three of our look at homelessness in Liverpool, all week long we are bringing you chats and conversation with people on the front line tackling the issue first hand, and directly helping those in need.
We joined the Paper Cup Project on one of their weekly action nights. Michelle Langan is the founder of the group and has been blogging as we go.
Homeless, not worthless
So let’s bust some myths. Something we hear often is the rhetoric that there is a place for everyone, and nobody needs to be on the streets. Or, people aren’t really homeless, they are just on the make. We hear a lot. So let’s talk about it.
Did you know that rough sleepers in Liverpool (and all other cities) have to prove they have a local connection to the area to be eligible for help? So someone who comes to Liverpool from Manchester or even The Wirral, can’t be accomodated here. It’s a rule that they have to prove they have been here in the city for six months – by showing some kind of proof. It’s not just here, but in cities all over the country, it’s the same rule.
So some of those people you see crouched in doorways may not have the option. We’ve met a young lad from Manchested who fell out with his family and had nowhere to go; an older Polish lady who had been kicked out by her daughter and was sleeping in a doorway in town; a former teacher from down South who hasn’t told his son he has lost his job as he is too proud. Don’t assume that everyone has a choice – they don’t.
When someone is in a bad place, a low place, a small act of kindness can make a huge amount of difference. Don’t believe that people are unwilling to accept help, as it isn’t always the case.
Find out more about our project on our Facebook page here.
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