I went out this morning to talk to some of those that are street homeless in Croydon. A sure fire way to gauge how bad the system is failing is to see how many women are rough sleeping on the streets.
It is obvious to me that the number of women on the streets is rising and rising fast, and that our system is failing those in society who are most vulnerable, women with multiple disadvantages. The women that I spoke to are typical, they have been on a journeys that include the care system as children, victims of physical and sexual abuse (there are 1.2million women in the UK who fall into this category), mental illness and substance and alcohol abuse. These are the women that end up living on our streets, battered and bruised by a system that neither works for them or appears to not want to help them. The question is does the system and society care enough to change, because whatever we are doing now isn’t working. The only way that we are going to protect these women from further abuse is change the system so that it does work for them. Our naive expectation that that everyone can and will fit into our system and and if they don’t it is then their fault and not the systems, is both arrogant and deadly. I can’t tell you the number of those that I used to know who are now no longer with us because the system didn’t work for them.
I wish that Croydon was unique, but its not. The system is failing up and down the country and homelessness is just one of the symptoms of that failure, extreme, but just one. According to some our prison service is failing, our health service is failing, our care system is failing, our drug and alcohol services are failing and when they do you see he results on the streets.
I am going to go back to capture their stories on video, so that you can see and hear first-hand how we treat the most vulnerable.
It’s our collective voice and the real stories of people suffering that will motivate change. If you want to help cause that change please connect with us here and help to share the stories. If you have a story yourself that you want to share you can do that here