A Stranger in the Streets of London

A Stranger in the Streets of London, something happened on Saturday afternoon at Euston Station that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. A good friend and I were sat in the sun we had just eaten a lovely salad from Marks and Spencer’s and were waiting for the Train to take us back to our lovely comfortable homes in rural Lancashire. 
Then a man approached us, now being a frequent visitor of London seeing someone homeless isn’t new to me, I have always looked the other way, had quite a harsh view of people begging.  The man was a Londoner and was asking for money, he had been beaten black and blue in fact I would go as far to say I could not look at the injuries on his face, both his eyes were black and purple, his face and lips were swollen, bruised and cut. 
He asked for some money, My Friend struck up a conversation with him asked him about his injuries, he spent some time telling her he had been to the hospital but discharged. As they had this conversation it struck me he was just normal, just like me yet homeless and beaten. I sat with my head down reading emails, completely unable to engage in the conversation feeling really uncomfortable. My friend gave him some money he was very polite and off he went.
When he left I told her I thought she was very soft, it probably sounded harsh but I really meant kind. She looked at me and said he is human, someone’s son and I hope if someone I love needed help there would be someone there to offer them kind words and help. 

When I was sat today enjoying my BBQ lunch and a nice glass of wine, he popped into my mind. He would be at Euston today asking for help again, he didn’t have the luxury of chilling in his garden. My blog is a happy positive place but this has really upset me, what was his story? Who is there out there to help him? 
The cynical part of me says but he could have been a career criminal, a bad person. He just did not seem it. What is the answer, who is there to help these people? I have seen my fair share of blaggers who make a career out of begging.  The type, that follows you, and pesters you.  He seemed genuinely in need yet I found it easier to turn away than engage. I don’t even know what I am trying to solve by writing this post. 

At Brit Mums Emma Freud was a keynote speaker; she spoke of sports relief and how bloggers can help. Other bloggers spoke of being involved in charity. I thought it all sounded great to be involved in; however it may have stayed a thought unless I had seen this man. I have decided that after being in his company, I am ashamed to say I struggled to engage with him. I am going to find a way to help. I know from watching sports relief that they work to help the homeless so I am going to do what Emma Freud suggested, and do my best to get involved. 

4 Comments

  1. 23rd June 2014 / 6:17 pm

    Lovely post Sarah. im glad he made you think. The next time I go to feed the homeless, I might bring you along x

  2. Julee Gray
    23rd June 2014 / 7:34 pm

    When I worked in town I used to sit and have a fag with the homeless people who would sit on the church steps. I would take them food parcels up but never money as I never had any.

    One day a group of people started shouting at my 13 year old daughter (as she was then) and the homeless lot saw and chased them away. This was at 4pm in broad daylight, the “normal” people looked the other way.

    I went and thanked them and offered them my last £10 and they said they would be happy if I just sat and had a fag with them as usual.

    This is one of the stories my Daughter remembers to this day and she’s 26 now lol

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