Home From Home.

Home From Home.
By Caughey Gauntlett.
Edited By Uncle Monty.
A Look At Historic Homelessness.
Graphics By Alex Albion.
Story Images From the Web.
Part 2 of 2.
"A lad lying on a parapet immediately above the surface
of the Thames, a few yards from Cleopatra's Neddle,
was shivering. He was in a sleeping bag, but would be
grateful for a blanket as well. 'Anything wrong, son?'
'Yeah, I've just come out of hospital.
Have you got a blanket?'
"One of his neighbours volunteered the information that
he had been in a knife fight with another lad a few nights
previously. This chap was badly cut, but had quickly
discharged himself from hospital after being stitched up.
 He was afraid the police would get him for 'causing
an affray' -- perhaps even GBH (grievous badly harm).
Any thought of going to the nearby (homeless) hostel
was rejected out of hand. But he was feverish; how
would he fare? 'I'll be all right. Just leave me ALONE'.
Home From Home, Mate?
"Under the bridge at Charing Cross were quite a number
of folk, though not as many as there used to be, apparently.
A large area has been fenced off; yet another office
 building is being constructed. The Victoria Embankment
Gardens are locked at night now. They have to be kept
tidy for tourists. Some who formerly made their home here
have moved to the South Bank, especially in the so-called
Bull Ring under the south end of Waterloo Bridge.
We later found some 200 men and women there.
"Lincoln's Inn Fields is one of the few parks in this
area not locked up at night. Even with good street light-
ing around the parameter, it was not easy to locate the
forms of yet more who had no roof over their heads that
 night. One chap was stretched out on a park bench.
Would he like some soup? 'No thanks, mate;
thanks all the same'.
"As we moved on, there was a courting couple 'necking'
on a bench just south of Regents Park. Funny what
 people will do at 2 am on a winter's morning. Many
 (homeless women) seem to find accommodation
simply by moving in with a man they meet. This is at
least a temporary form of shelter and security. And
 it's warmer tucked up in bad that way. When marriages
break up - so often the beginning of homelessness -
women are usually left with the children, and generally
 manage better than men to keep a home together.
Is This Not Home From Home?
(As of 1988) "There were virtually no Black or Asian
people either - at least, not in that part of London. I
was told that their (UK immigrant) communities tend
to look after their own people in difficulty. If that
is so - and later experience in other kinds of social
relief has persuaded me it is - we ought perhaps to
feel ashamed. Have we, as a norminally Christian
nation, at least, so far lost sight of bibical principles
and teachings to the extent we no longer care for
each other? Am I not still my brother's keeper?
"A variety of men live in Blackfriars Hostel. Some
 thirty have mental problems, while a similar number
are frail , elderly pensioners. Quite a high percentage
are homeless and unemployed. Even some of the
 older residents are eventually rehoused in coop-
eration with the local authority.
He's Taking The Mickey Out of The
Other Guy's Home From Home, Isn't He?
During the eighteen months to the end of 1988,
no fewer than forty-two men were about to begin a
new life this way. A little more than half that number
were able to set up homes of their own, while the
rest went to 'group homes' or places of more per-
manent residence for otherwise homeless people.
The Young Single Homeless Section of Southwark
Borough's Housing Department has proved very
 helpful, though their resources are limited.
"Booth House includes hostel accommodation for
 170, many of whom must be defined as homeless.
Most of the residents receive income support of over
 $80 per week while at the (Hopetown) Centre.
Of this, $70 will be paid for full board. If preferred,
(they can get) the bed-and-breakfast rate (which)
is $49 weekly. There are no limits on the age or
length of stay. There is rarely a vacancy, and
applications always exceed the number of
available rooms.
"Among the care staff is Mark (or Marc) - he is in
 fact the Marquis St. Leger***, of the well-known
 French-Irish family. His own tragic experience in life
(after he lost his wife and two daughters in a car
accident) helps him to identify with others in deep
emotional distress. Mark (or Marc)  gave his opinion
 to the effect that poor family background and long-
term unemployment are major contributory factors
(regarding homeless persons).
"They quite often engage in anti-social behaviour as
a form of protest against their lack of independence.
Some display strong anti-authoritarian attitudes.
Occasionally Mark or one of his colleagues may
be threatened by a psychopath. Certainly this is no
 easy task, nor are there any simple solutions to the
 plight of the very many who pass through the
 centre -- which is nevertheless home
(from home) to them.
"The many difficulties of homelessness cannot be
 resolved quickly. That is true of other forms of social
and moral blight in a present-day society; such as un-
employment, the breakdown of family life, and poverty.
Even if the necessary number of dwellings could some
how be produced by waving a magic wand, there
would still be homeless people.
Home - and Dry? "Throughout history people have re-
sorted to the use of alcohol or other drugs to achieve
certain moods. In some instances they aimed to create
some oblivion, particularly if their lives were harsh. For
 others, the resultant state of euphoria meant temporary
 liberation from taboos and conventions. This some-
time led to anti-social behaviour, often involving wild
forms of promiscuous sexual activity. The name of
Bacchus (or Dionysius), the Greek god of wine, has
given us the word 'bacchanalian' to describe
such behaviour.
"In one chapter in his book 'In  Darkest England' in
 1890), William Booth wrote a chapter on homeless-
ness consisting broadly of three concentric circles.
They were (he stated)) inhabited respectively by 'the
 starving and homeless, but honest poor', 'those who
 live by vice' and 'those who exist by crime'. He
(Booth) then commented that all three circles
were 'sodden with drink'.
Caughey Gauntlett's chapters 'Home From Home'
 and 'Home - and Dry?' from 1989, have been tran-
scribed, abridged and edited by Uncle Monty.
***Court told of fake peer's life of lies.
From the archives - 4 Apr. 2000.
Enjoy mid-summer, Uncle Monty.
+Bartolom√© de las Casas,
Apostle to the Indies, 2011.
Caption Image:  Showns Uncle Monty at
 The Stables. Puzzle Photo By Gary Day.
Words of Grace.
By Dear Grace Robertson.
Coming Next at allaboutthebigissue.
An octogenarian with a great mind and great writing
 skills, Grace Robertson writes intensely about the
issue of homelessness to which she and her daughter
 suffered under Robert Mugabe and on their return to
the UK; she writes about the Dame Shirley Porter
 scandal that robbed homeless people of a chance to
 have a home and her personal encounter with the
 dame himself; her intense political disliking of Mar-
garet Thatcher and David Cameron comes from
her sharp pen; the "War on Want" is also some-
thing Grace writes about; and other questions
about the homeless. Grace Robertson's "Words
of Grace" are personal messages between her as 
the vunerable and venerable Scottish lady and The
 Big Issue's victimized vendor Uncle Monty, who has
edited the lengthy written exchanges between them for
posting next week at allaboutaboutthebigissue.
They also lunch together each month, they do.
Upcoming soon is a revealing feature about Francois
Greeff and his so-called homeless disabled charity
called "GOOD4YOU." One of his ex-volunteers
 spills the latest beans about Greeff in "Good Greeff."
 Greeff's surname is pronounced like the word "grief."
Three years ago, Uncle Monty wrote about his
suspicions regarding "GOOD4YOU" after first
meeting Greeff at the Boris Johnson keynote
speech on rough sleeping at Westminster
 Central Hall in 2oo8.
Anthony John Bird - As Cold As Ice!
Read All About The Big Issue's
Own Pigface Anthony John Bird Himself.
^ To Read The Text, Simply Click On Image To Enlarge ^
Feedback & Comments.
Zoo or Show?
By Uncle Monty.
The Big Issue's
 Own Prickhead Peter Bird.
In light of the ongoing UK's scandalous scandal of
"Hacking Gate" and the top Met police resignations
of Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates,
the question has simply become this:
Alex Albion.
And, do we need any more concrete evidence that
"Bloody Broken Britain" is now truly bloody broken?
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