An article on homelessness by Ava in Year 8 has been chosen by The Gazette to be published today:

If you were to ask somebody what their worst fear was, they might reply with something such as: ‘my family disappearing’ or ‘drowning’ or ‘getting stuck on an island with no inhabitants’. But what is truly becoming homeless. The thought you might never sleep under a safe and secure roof again or not know where your next meal is coming from.

You never actually know what it feels like until you have experienced it yourself, until you have put yourself in their shoes, until you have slept on the streets in the cold, the dark and the rain.

Homelessness has always been an issue in Blackpool, but it is now worsening. More people are becoming homeless every year and Blackpool’s homelessness rate is higher than the national average.

Blackpool Council (in their “Child Poverty Framework”) states that “The level of poverty throughout the town, which, at 29.5%, is significantly higher than the national average (21.9%).” Even though this is the national average, this is still “significantly higher” and desperately needs resolving.

There are three different types of homelessness, each comes with its dangers, and Blackpool Aspire Academy are trying to help all types.

The first is rough sleeping where a person is actually sleeping on the streets and open to the elements. This is the most visible and the type most people associate with being homeless.

The second is hidden homelessness which is where the person is sleeping in an alleyway or is moving about constantly. This is why it is so hard to gather exact statistics, as not all homeless people are that visible to the public.

The third is temporary accommodation where the person is briefly staying in a friend’s house, a B&B, or a hostel. This can also be called ‘sofa surfing’.

Blackpool Aspire Academy does notice the pain that some have to go through and so Year 8 students have come together to try and help those in need, bringing in food to provide meals for the homeless. Homeless people always need our help, but they need it now more than ever; poverty rates have gone up by 50% since 1960-70.

People rarely have coins and notes in their pockets these days, which is a problem when the homeless rely on 'spare change' handouts. If you care to help, buying them a coffee or a sandwich would be very much appreciated; that little something could be their only food or drink of the day.

Another problem is the social aspect - it can be socially awkward walking up to a begging person for many reasons. But they are just another person that needs the same things that you need, feels the same things you feel and thinks the same way you think. So even though they may be hard to approach, the end result is definitely worth it.

After you have completed a kind and good deed, you are rewarded with the feeling that you did something to change someone’s attitude towards society.

Please remind these people that not everything is hopeless, because that is how they feel. Remind them that there are understanding people in the world that give them hope and a reason to live.


See the article on The Gazette website -