Gareth from the Office: The importance of home comforts

dossers homeless sleeping rough
dossers homeless sleeping rough

Gareth Ellis wonders what life would be like without a loving family

OVER the weekend a friend of mine remarked that they would rather be homeless than live with their family.

After questioning her on the validity of her statement it got me thinking ‘Is that how people end up on the streets?’

Does a family situation get so bad that people would rather live ‘rough’ than stay put?

Last year around 200 people were either homeless or in temporary accommodation across the city and it got me thinking as to how they ended up in that situation.

For many people they literally have no other option. It may be they have an addiction or a severe financial problem and can’t afford to live somewhere.

Even in those situations though I struggle to comprehend how people have not one person they can turn to for help. A friend or relative that can take them in until they sort out their circumstances.

I often despair when I see someone on the street and it makes me feel extremely lucky that I am surrounded by some amazing friends and a loving family.

So I always make sure I have some change, if not on the first time of passing I always make sure I have some on the way back. I just can’t ignore people on the street.

I dread to think what life would be like without any of my family or friends and if these people have no-one in the world then I struggle to see how anyone can fail to muster a bit of ‘spare change.’

Eventually I got my friend to see how lucky she was that she lives with her family, in a house, surrounded by things that a homeless person could only dream of.

No matter how miserable your home life is be assured that there is something you can do about it. Others aren’t so fortunate.

But I’m not so naive to see that some people are victims of a problem that they could have solved themselves, that through not dealing with an addiction –say to gambling, or alcohol – that they have ended up in that situation.

Or those who have given up a perfectly good life with their family and friends and through their own stubborn and pig-headedness they haven’t resolved their differences and their lifestyle.

But how do you know someone’s situation just by walking past them? You don’t.

There is no excuse for thinking you are better than a homeless person before you understand how they got there. So maybe if you can’t offer them your change, or a change for their life, then at least offer them the decency of a response.

I dread to think what it would be like if your world came crumbling down. Would you be the one asking for change?