There are many big issues that swirl around in my head. A friend of mine once said to me that you should pick your battles, you can’t fight on all fronts yet these days I am not short of choices. I only have to open the papers or go on social media to get my back up about the latest tragedy or travesty.
There is, however, only one Big Issue, the organisation and newspaper that ‘exists to offer homeless people, or individuals at risk of homelessness, the opportunity to earn a legitimate income, thereby helping them to reintegrate into mainstream society.’
According to Wikipedia, it is the world’s most widely circulated street newspaper.
Homelessness is one of those issues that I allow to permeate into my head. It is a travesty that in one of the richest nations in the world, we still have people who are homeless. I am very fortunate to always have had somewhere to call my own. Some of the places I have lived in were less than savoury but I have never been without and the thought of losing my home terrifies me.
This is why I support the Big Issue and have been buying it from the street vendor in Morpeth for some time. She disappeared during lockdown, not surprisingly and I took up a subscription to try and support the cause.
She is back now, and I am both happy and sad about it. I am delighted to see her and learn that she has survived what must have been a very difficult time. I had thought about her and her family a lot over the last few months and I am happy that, once again, I can stop and have a chat with her.
I am sad however that she is here at all. Her presence shows that there is still a problem and, without repeating myself too much, one that should not exist. There are plenty of unused properties in this country and there is enough money in the UK to solve this problem once and for all. Homelessness in this country is unnecessary and unacceptable.
I long for the day when I can’t buy the Big Issue on the streets of Morpeth because I will know that the problem of homelessess in this country has been eradicated. It will also mean I will have room in my head for something else.
In the meantime, if you are in Morpeth, stop and buy a copy of the BIg Issue.