Homelessness in Bristol: How We Can Help
Homelessness is on the rise – in Bristol and in the UK. You cannot help but notice this when walking through the city centre. The suffering of those who are forced to sleep rough – out on the streets – is hard to ignore, and yet it happens every day. Fuelled by the common misconception is that those people have chosen their situation; that their plight is their fault – that this is merely a personal disease: a mixture of laziness and substance abuse. This ignores the complex interplay of structural and personal factors that can lead to a loss of a home.
Substance abuse is present throughout the UK, spanning all areas of society. However, its prevalence lies mostly where there is deprivation and poverty, making those living in such conditions more likely to succumb to drugs and the detrimental consequences that follow. Often, for those who do end up on the streets, the utter indignity of it all can lead to substance abuse and mental health issues within just a few weeks. These substances are often a salve, a source of relief, a shelter sought by those whose needs are more than what can simply be bought.
Imagine for a moment the sheer degradation of sleeping on the streets; of asking for spare change, exposed to the elements, to violence, dirty and dishevelled. The most common reasons people give for losing their accommodation is that friends or relatives are no longer able to provide support or because of a relationship breakdown. There are, of course, many other factors that can make people vulnerable to becoming homeless; factors that could happen to any of us, exacerbated by the continued squeezing of council budgets, and by systemic issues arising from inequality, poverty, and a lack of education.
Nobody chooses to be homeless. Nobody wants to be homeless. This is why Gregg Latchams have partnered with See Change throughout 2018 to tackle homelessness, unemployment, and addiction in Bristol. It is why, on August 10, we will be taking part in a sleep out to raise funds. We appreciate that one night spent on the street cannot match the reality and horror of not having a home; it can only remind us just how lucky we are. We do this to raise awareness and money to help those less fortunate and less privileged than ourselves. This is a choice that we make because we can, to help those who do not get this choice and to raise awareness.
Please support us by donating money here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gregglatchamssleepout