Mark


“It’s raining. You’re wet. You’re soaking. Shivering at night. People are dodgy. They’ll rob you. Take your stuff. Beat you up.” is how Mark describes homelessness. I met Mark in an alley in central London […]

Mark

“It’s raining. You’re wet. You’re soaking. Shivering at night. People are dodgy. They’ll rob you. Take your stuff. Beat you up.” is how Mark describes homelessness.

I met Mark in an alley in central London on a rainy day. Mark says he has been homeless for 10 years. He says because he is not vulnerable there is no help. I am not an expert in people or homelessness, but after living 10 years on the streets I would consider Mark as vulnerable. Unfortunately, sometimes people like Mark slip through the “safety net”, and after years on the streets, people adapt to a life sleeping rough.

Mark holds up a anti-homeless sign he says was posted because of the Olympics. When I tweeted a still photo of the sign a few people responded that the town of Croyden is no where near the Olympics. I cannot validate the authenticity of the sign. But Mark believes it’s because of the Olympics, and all week rough sleepers I met talked about being pushed out of the city by police. What I can tell you is I highly doubt Mark had that sign made so I believe, Olympics or not, Mark found that anti-homeless sign posted. I always take every person at their word. Time and time again even the most outrageous stories have proven to be true. Besides, when I was homeless, would you have believed me when I told you I worked in television!

What’s important here is not a sign, but that a person is sleeping rough on the streets. We must address system failures so that no one has to sleep without adequate housing.

Mark has been sleeping rough in London for 10 years. Click To Tweet

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  • cyinger

    Yes, you are as good as everyone else!  Don’t people realize how easily it could happen to them? To spit on another human being for having less than you & needing help when the government offers no help?….I still don’t understand why hostels charge & how they expect a homeless person to be able to pay for it.  This will be America in a year or two b/c I think every state is trying now to enact drastic cuts in aid to the poor and homeless shelter funding. 

  • It breaks my heart to watch this, however, I, too, have experienced a homeless period, and I am a highly intelligent and educated individual.  It is amazing to me how we human beings treat each other.  We are ALL on this Earth for a reason, and I do not believe that reason is to treat each other with disrespect, rudeness, and to ‘kick’ someone when they are down.  I do not believe for one moment in time that God, in all His infinite wisdom (or Hers), believes that this is ‘Paradise’.  This world is in an uproar, and I pray that those who want a better future for ALL of Mother Earth’s inhabitants can find a way to persevere over those who do not.

  • a2phil

    Heck you should see Ann Arbor, MI on the weekend of a home University Of Michigan football game!! NO (obviously) homeless people to be found, they’re locked up Friday night by campus police for something or other!! First time I heard the word “vagrancy” used by anyone younger than my grandmother!!

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