Why do we have ‘Light Switch Ons’ when there are people freezing in the streets?

A homeless man in town was asking around for some money to raise £25 for a BnB to get out of the cold.
I don’t care that people have always said you shouldn’t give money to homeless people. I don’t care if it was true or not. I don’t care that telling this story seems like I’m bragging about doing something nice.

I care that he started his story with “I’m not on drugs and I’m not an alcoholic.” I care that it was freezing. I care that he may not have eaten anything. I care that I had carelessly spent that same amount on clothes not 30 minutes before he asked.

Honestly, he can do what he likes with the money. If he wants to spend it on drugs or alcohol, I couldn’t care less; if that’s whats going to make his life easier, at least for a while, he can do what he likes.  I hope he gets somewhere warm, I hope to God he finds somewhere warm but if alcohols is his fire, I hope it keeps the cold away for a while.

And then I remember that even if he does, there are others who won’t and I’m frustrated and angry all over again.

I remember reading somewhere that we can’t claim to live in a civilised society while there are people living on the street. People. Human beings. With hearts and emotions and dreams and the need for compassion.

I don’t do enough, nobody does enough because as long as they don’t have somewhere warm or dry to live, with the basic necessities of life, we’ll never have done enough. I left wishing I had given more, I left feeling hopeless and useless because it will never be enough.

So why the F U C K are we wasting money on flashy lights in town that will stay up for a couple months?

(A Freedom of Information request to Plymouth City Council has been sent asking the amount of money spent on the Plymouth Christmas lights. Will update once a response has been received.)


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