!WARNING! This story will mess you up! Louise has been on the streets of London for over two years. She has given birth to two babies while sleeping rough. Complications with her last birth left her crippled and now bound to a wheelchair. As if that’s not enough, she goes on to say she’s had her head kicked in several times from street violence. Louise is only nineteen-years-old.
Louise is a young woman that in a normal world should have an endless future of possibilities. Instead, she is dependent on others to push her wheelchair up and down the street while begging to survive. No one should have to live like this! NO ONE!
Louise says she cannot get help because she has no local ties. I cannot validate her statement, but I I have seen first hand how communities here in the U.S. only want to pay to help people who have local ties. Trouble is, homeless people, move to where resources are, and it’s also extremely hard to confirm a zip code when a person does not have an ID or passport. Municipal government have less funds for social services so they feel the best use of the money is to target “locals only”. But then young girls fall through gaps in the safety net.
As I type this I started to think about all the wonderful people I met sleeping rough in London. I am honored and grateful that they allowed me into their life for a little bit, but with the Olympics starting this week I have to wonder if they are even where I first met them.
Louise’s story continues to mess me up. I don’t know your heart, but I hope her story and all the stories of the wonderful homeless people on this site mess you up enough so you’ll join me and others in the fight to end homelessness.