A homeless man

Around 90% of ‘street homeless’ people are men. It’s a scandal that in one of the richest countries on the planet, street homelessness exists. The average age of death of a homeless person is 43, compared with a life expectancy for non-homeless people of 73 years.

Two days ago, after parking in a car park, I walked towards the town centre. On the way a poorly-dressed and sad-looking man who I took to be roughly my own age (57) stopped me, and said:

Excuse me, sir, do you have a pound for a homeless man?

As it happened, I had no money on me, so I explained my position and apologised for not being able to give him anything. He thanked me, and went on his way.

Once in town, I drew some money from an ATM, with a view to giving him £5 if I were to see him again. Walking back to the car, I heard a very loud commotion emanating from a BT phone booth. It was the homeless man, smashing the phone into the sides of the booth, against the machine, and howling – HOWLING – with rage and pain. I have never in my life witnessed such an expression of extreme rage and pain. In his tirade I caught this:

Even if I were dying, I couldn’t f***ing call anybody!!!

It was then that I decided I won’t just campaign on men’s issues until the 2030 general election – when I’ll be 72 – but for as long as I have the health and strength to carry on.

I related the story of the homeless man in the course of a 30-minute radio interview this morning, and only just managed to hold back tears. Damn the state which consigns so many men to such appalling circumstances.

6 thoughts on “A homeless man

  1. A good point as anyone with a “go” order will be considered ” intentionally homeless” and so will not be eligible for help. Though a single adult male considered homeless is right at the end of the que anyway and so not likely to get help even though eligible in theory.

  2. I’ve been homeless. (Only for a very short while though thankfully.)

    I wonder how many homeless people will be created by the domestic violence protection order?

  3. Your humanity does you credit. Homelessness , Suicide ,Shool exclusions , lost young men aimlessly rattling around the criminal justice system, serious industrial injuries, glass cellar jobs. There are many areas of life where men are the majority and where female equality isn’t demanded. Many years ago reading Warren Farrel I wasn’t sure about men being the ” disposable sex “. Life and experience in work has convinced me of the veracity of that term. It is a long journey to men being treated as human beings ( of equal value) but equity of treatment by public bodies should be possible.

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