When I was a child I was told by a teacher at my primary school that I should fear and ignore homeless people, they could be dangerous or infectious and they’re probably violent drunks waiting for their bodies to fail and a demise that will go unnoticed.
Hence my apprehension when a few years later, aged about 10, I sat in the front seat of my father’s car as he picked up a man with no shoes on his feet and hardly a tooth in his mouth, driving him across more than half an hour of land to his desired destination.
Suddenly I was curious, the stranger had seemed pleasant enough. He certainly hadn’t made any threatening or violent gestures towards my old man or I, it didn’t seem to line up with the scaremongering of past role models.
Soon I realised just what a horrible plight homeless people face and how many different ways there are to end up in that situation, we’re all only a couple of bad moves from scavenging in bins for discarded bread crusts.
That’s why Shelter are this month’s featured charity, the easy access to information that they provide for those in need of residence is unprecedented in the UK and a cause that deserves to receive more recognition than it currently does.
If you’re feeling generous then please take a peek at the Shelter website and Facebook page, if you’re in fine spirits then take it a step further and offer to volunteer or get involved in other ways – every kind gesture is so appreciated.