My partner and I volunteered at a homeless shelter last month – the idea being to channel our spare time and seasonal spirit into something community-focused and productive.
I’ve worked in many inner-city and over-burdened Accident & Emergency departments overseas, so thought I had a good grasp of challenging most stereotypes, including ones about the homeless. But that went flying out of the window once I actually met the guests at the shelter and when I thought about the experience afterwards.
One of these is that although the word ‘homeless’ conjures up images of people sleeping on the street, there are many people in different situations. These include those who have no permanent home (sleeping on sofas at friends’ houses maybe) or who are temporarily accommodated at a long-term shelter.
The UN identifies two categories: primary homelessness, or sleeping rough; and secondary homelessness, those with a roof over their head but no place of usual residence.
Want to see the rest of this article?
Would you like to see the rest of this article and all the other benefits that Issues Online can provide with?
- Useful related articles
- Video and multimedia references
- Statistical information and reference material
- Glossary of terms
- Key Facts and figures
- Related assignments
- Resource material and websites