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Shelter

10am on a bright Sunday morning and i'm picking up empty totes and hanger boxes from round the back of an Oxford st, shop. There's a bloke trying to deliver two croissants to the coffee shop. Two croissants? Yes, two. Daft though it seems, their order was short and he's had to come all the way from godknowswhere to make it up. You know the kind of thing, contracts, KPIs and all that bollocks. Only problem is he can't work out how to get in, all the doors are locked. So i take him up in the lift and show him who to ask and all that and when he's done he's so pleased he asks me if i'd like some bread by way of a thankyou for helping out. Walking to his van we go past this doorway. On the way back, with a couple of loaves of what i think they call 'artisan' bread under my arm, hand made and costing more than i'd ever be willing to pay, i have a closer look at the doorway. There are two people snuggled together there, and one dog. There's an empty bottle, probably because you need something to make life a little more bearable when you've got nowhere to go for the night but a piss stinking doorway. I consider giving them one of the loaves, the nice middle class PC choice. I am not middle class. I am not PC. I am definitely not nice. I have been very lucky. Fifteen years or so ago that might have been me, it very nearly was. There but for fortune's good grace and all that. So i consider giving them one of the loaves and i decide no, it's not for me to make your decisions for you. Instead i reach into my pocket and take out a couple of quid in loose change and gently drop it by their heads. You decide.

 

I have only one question:

 

you call this a civilised society?

 

england.shelter.org.uk/home

 

www.mungos.org/

 

www.crisis.org.uk/pages/-about-homelessness-61900.html

 

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Taken on April 28, 2013