484 PEOPLE DIED HOMELESS IN THE UK SO FAR THIS YEAR,

BUT DO YOU CARE.

December 18th, 2018: By Daniel K Swan

"I only do it if I have to do it, not because I want to. It's embarrassing". 

Derryn, 26 years old

484 is over twice as many as have died from terrorism across all of Western Europe in the last 8 years. 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wake up on the streets of the world's richest city, home to more multi-millionaires than any other city on Earth, without money in your pocket or a place to stay. 

"It's s**t".

The Government has quoted a timeline of 2027 to end homelessness, while annually more people are dying homeless in the U.K than the total deaths due to terrorism across all of western Europe, for all of the last 8 years combined.

Derryn, 26 years old, has been on the streets of London for over a year now. 

I've known Derryn for just over a year. We met in Trafalgar square, where I do my street art. A few months ago I asked Derryn if he would let me tell his story to whoever has ears to hear. I began writing what has become the book "street lights". A story from streets of the world. 

"But there are some nice moments you know in the morning and you wake up, and you're like up at 5 in the morning and you're walking along with your rucksack, and you see someone else, you know a homeless guy,  and you don't even know who they are, you just give each other a little smile because you know that you've both been out through the same night, survived the night."

"When the temperature drops there's not much smiling going on. There's not much happiness. That's the reality". - Andy

"People won't understand until they do a day in my shoes."

"The way we've set up society we've got some people with lots and lots, and some people without even a roof over their heads". - Friend

"Please understand, homeless people are not animals. Nobody wants to be homeless". - Sanga (9 years)

"They wanted to see how homeless people beg for money basically, and I said 'I don't beg for money'". 

"I only do it if I have to do it, not because I want to. It's embarrassing". 

"Until you've been on the streets yourself, you will never know what it's like".

"Every major religion teaches fundamentally the same things: don't do bad things, don't think bad things, seek what is good, do what is good, be honest, grow in love, learn to forgive, always be humble. If you don't do these things, you'll end up in a bad place. Welcome to that place".

"It's not easy. Nobody wants to be on these streets".

"Why do people have to be homeless?"

Sanga. Asylum seeker of 9 years

You get judged a lot when you're sleeping down on the ground".

"The hardest thing about being homeless is being homeless. It's a hard world out there."

At the beginning of the night you’re reasonably warm your body heats warm and you’ve eaten something, but give it a few hours if it is cold and you start feeling the cold the weather is blowing and your body temperature is dropping sometimes you can’t sleep you have to just sort of keep moving your hands you know keep warm and just get through the night you know, and that’s just like one night”.

Name, Title

"The hardest thing about being homeless is being homeless. It's a hard world out there."

"I know that the social structure that we’ve got at the moment the way that we do ownership and property means that some have lots and lots, some people have got 20 houses, some people haven’t got a roof over their head. 

 

The inequality is rife and getting worse. 

 

Should it be? 

 

Well we should be living in a different way and a way that doesn’t allow for it. 

 

But we don’t have that caring society, we’ve got a society that cares about money. Not one that care’s about life". 

Friend

"Society is so brainwashed that they get consumed by nonsense. People haven't got compassion".

Compare that to the £500M spent on aid for the people of Yemen/Syria. 

How can people help someone on the streets? 

"Get him in accommodation or a hostel that's as simple as it gets".

What is the worst thing you've experienced recently on the streets? 

"Being glassed and having to have surgery on my little finger. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

There are a lot of us out here now really struggling with this world, and we're tired of all the ways it's doing us wrong. That strain is only going to get greater, if we don't work together and try to do something about it. 

This is my idea, the first part anyway. If you're not going to support it, I hope you have a better one. 

People keep saying "homelessness is a complex issue", but no, it isn't.

 

You give a person a home, they're not homeless anymore. 

You take all the land in a country and say somebody owns it, then charge people for a place to live, then take all the arable land and say someone owns that, then charge people money for food, then say you can't work because you aren't from this country, and give them a stipend that's less than what the average person makes in a day, you've got a problem. A real, life threatening and entirely unnecessary problem, because of some created complexity. 

It's not a real problem, like death or being out on the streets without food and shelter and no one willing to give you either unless you have money. That's a real problem. This, is a problem, of perception. 

We percieve the value of our economy, of our invented token of value, which itself is worthless, to be greater than that of humanity. We have sold our very heart in exchange for money. Something that cannot hold us, cannot care for us, cannot love us, cannot forgive us, cannot give anything to us beyond what another human being is willing to exchange for it. In fact, all the value of life, which lies in the planet and one another, is hidden by money. Thus, again, this is a problem of perception. 

The workers of truth, are here to solve problems of perception. 

The percieved value added to society of £40Bn worth of arms spending is greater than the percieved value of protecting every endangered species on the planet despite the never ending choir of experts pointing to imminent worldwide ecological collapse if we continue to do relatively nothing. 

Governments and agencies will bost figures higher than the average person can imagine, but as someone who working in the banking industry and sees the truth behind these figures, I can tell you they are nothing compared to what man spends upon defence (X annually, Y in the U.K, Z in Europe) and upon food production (x, Y, Z), Pharma (X,Y,Z), anti terrorism (X,Y,Z) marketting (X,Y,Z) and so on. 

The question really is, do you care. Do you really, truly, care. 

If you do, you have to stand up, and you have to change the world. One human being at a time, we have to change the broken system in which we have become entangled, by learning to love our neighbour and not our money. If we do this, every single human problem disappears. Every single one. There is not one exception. 

Malnutrituon goes away. 

Conflicts go away.

Dictatorships go away. 

Disparity of wealth goes away.

Ecological damage goes away.

The exercsion of power by the few upon the many goes away. 

The end of all human suffering and the beginning of endless human being begins when we begin to truly, actually, fully, love one another. When we respect each other, when we care for each other, when we work with rather than against each other, this world will completely and rapidly change for the good of all. When this happens, we will build a world without the need for corruptible government structures and "supreme" leaders, without corporate entities owning more than half the nations resources, without the concept of human resources but the celebration of human beings, without the need to exchange money for food. 

 

The way we do things today is not just dumb, it is monumentally stupid, and it will take a different kind of attitude and thinking to the one which created to change it. It will take patience, it will take discipline, it will take work, it will take understanding, it will take a lot of people to stand up for what they truly believe in, to live a life of purpose. It will take us all respecting each other's beliefs with the right not to become subject to them. It will take true love, but it only takes a few. A few of us to stand up and say this is not the way it should be, I am not a part of a world which leaves its people on the streets. That's not the world in me, and I will join with those who believe in something better, to take us to (it will take us to) a better place.   

You want the world to change, you've got to go out and change it, but where will you go? Here, is the answer. 

 

We're building a place, we as in us and you, the ones who get it, to get away from this world and help build a better one. A fair one. A free one. A beautiful one. A place where there is no profit, but lots of change. A place where everyone is treated with respect, and leaders are the ones we follow, not the ones we fear. 

It can't be about me. It has to be about us, about you. It has to be a collective social shift, from the value of money and physical experiences, to the inner experience of being human. The concern for your fellow man, before the judgement. The companion, before the detraction. The giving, before the taking. We have to wake up. We are the key to our collective survival or suffering. It is up to us to make the difference, at every level. 

All the powerful people are powerful because we give them that power. The guns they point at us are paid for with our taxes, and built by our labour. We must choose not to waste ourselves building or sustaining war machines. We must choose not to support unethical and unsustainable farming. We must choose not to ignore the suffering of our neighbours, and we must choose to support those who poison our food and steal from far away lands (links). We must choose a better way, we must choose to change. 

Without our choices, what have we left.

The U.K spends £9.7Bn per year on coffee. 

The U.K spends £16.1Bn on Alcohol.

The U.K spends £4.2Bn on soft drinks.

The U.K spends over £32Bn per year on clothing.

There is a spiritual group I saw come once, the odd corporate group lead by a street charity, and then there are the angels. 

By the way I never saw any of the multimillion funded homeless charities on the streets. Never, ever. Not once. Not once did I ever meet a so called "outreach" worker. In what was total between 4 - 6 months of sleeping on the streets during the winter months, I have not met one. Not one. We, myself and those I have been with during those times, have not been in hard to find areas. We have been places one would expect to find the homeless. Does this mean they don't come? No. It just means they're completely ineffective if and when they do. I don't know if they're too intimidated to go to the places the homeless really sleep, but as I say I haven't seen them. It's a job they don't need paying for. The homeless could easily do it themselves. Just build us a place that's safe and dry, has free and clean showers, and we'll go there. You'll get all the metrics you want, but of course such a place will immediately be over run and over capacity - revealing the scale of the issue. Fortunately or unfortunately, it's obvious enough as it is. 

If you live in the United Kingdom, sit down and read this clearly. There are people out there, wandering the streets, who cannot find a place to live or work. They are literally forced onto the street, with no way to buy food, no way to buy clothes, no way to wash, no way to rent, no way to pay a deposit, and hardly any way to work. 

There are people out there, thousands of people, sleeping on the streets while they work in the cities. This is happening, to real human beings, just like you. In your country. Why. 

Do we not have the resources? 

Do we not have the space? 

Or do we not care. 

I hope you care. 

Do you care?

According to government data, analysed by online estate agent HouseSimple, the number of empty homes has risen for the first time in a decade to 205,293, 

Meanwhile in 2017 there were 20237 empty homes in London. Homes. Whole homes. 

Compare that to the 8000 sleeping on the streets. 

How is this happening. 

 

The angels are a group of women, their family and friends, who come to central London once every two months to help the homeless in the Westminister area. For two montsh they gather donations from everyone that they know, and then rbing them all together one Saturday to the streets of London. These girls amaze me because I have seen them turn up on their own multiple times, just a few and a car or two. Surrounded by men they come out and start giving what they can away. They are so brave to come into what must be a very intimidating environment, because they're arrival is anticipated by the people on the street and so they form a huge crowd around them. 

"The Angels" is the nickname my friend M gave them, who has after almost a year of struggling and a life threatening illness, found a permanent place to live. 

He was first placed in a neighbourhood which he called "Afghanistan", not to disrespect the country or any ethnic group, M himself is from the Middle East, but it was so violent and destitute he refereed to it as such. 

I am writing a book called "Street lights" which details my journey from the corporate world, across the planet, onto the streets of London, where I know make a living as a street artist trying to help wake up our world.

 

If you would like to pre-order a copy of the book and support the first print, and my work, then please click here. 

"Society is so brainwashed that they get consumed by nonsense. People haven't got compassion".

Derryn

"Please understand, homeless people are not animals. Nobody wants to be homeless".

Sanga

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This is a great place to add a tagline.

What is the argument against building more accommodation? 

 

Is it that we cannot afford it? 

The collective financial output of the British People is over £2 Trillion per year ($2.6 Trillion USD). 

The government this year spent xBn on homelessness. With  

In 2017 we spend $4.8Bn on tow aircraft carriers. 

I have friends working on that project, and they have told me it is disgusting what happens in the arms procurement industry. Besides the entire practice being hugely devolved, it is x,y,z.

Vagabonds. 

I consider myself one, currently I don't have a "place" to stay. I live where I find. I eat what I can afford. I 

We can't afford it. It's simply not true. They choose, and have chosen, not to do anything for almost 25 years. We can't wait any longer. We can easily solve this ourselves, so let's do it. 

Let's build the first nationally crowdfunded social project. 

Faith is freedom,
Love the purpose.
Present begins without an end. 

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If you want to use my work for something cool, just ask me. Otherwise:

Copyright ©daniel swan 2018 - 2019