Dear Me of the Past…
With this cold weather that feels like its been here since forever (not literally but I like to exaggerate), I can’t help but think about the poor homeless people who don’t have the luxury of a warm house, a cosy bed for the night, or five hot chocolate’s a day like I tend to be consuming. I can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like if I suddenly found myself homeless. With 80,000 young people homeless every year, it’s time more was done to help (Eyh.org.uk, 2018).
The main reason I have found myself thinking about this, is not only because of the harsh weather conditions, but because of the End Youth Homelessness campaign I came across online last week.
It got me thinking, would I? But without suffering from being homeless myself, how would I ever know?
The bright colours used are effective for print media as in contrast with the winter weather, the advert stands out in the street, quickly grabbing people’s attention.
The short film/advert to coincide with the campaign also grabs the attention of viewers. The campaign may be seen as shock advertising, particularly with the advertising above, as many people may not realise the extremes homeless people go to to try and get off the streets even for just one night. For me, the shock is what makes the campaign so effective. The facts and statistics, the real life stories; both show so much needs to be done to end this ongoing problem.
I visited the End Youth Homelessness (EYH) website to find out more, which is where I came across their short film. From start to finish I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. It felt so real. It is so real. But it also gave me hope that there are people out there wanting to help. Help those who through no fault of their own are living on the street and have no where to go. The short film shows how EYH help the homeless youth find their feet, giving them a safe place to stay, advice on healthy living, lessons on getting a job and writing a good CV. They then support them once they have a job to maintain it, restoring confidence in the individual.
The organisation has three main aims; to prevent, to house and to help find work. Their website shows ways in which WE can get involved and help. The campaign has spread through social media with the hashtag #Endyouthhomelessness. Writing about a campaign on social media is a brilliant way to spread awareness, and spreading awareness will help get more people involved. The charity have several business and corporate partners who help raise awareness and funds, such as Taylor Wimpey, Yorkshire Building Society and Dune London (Eyh.org.uk, 2018).
Now, Me of the Past, I know you better than anyone else. I know that growing up you will be slightly oblivious to issues such as homelessness, and I ask you to become more aware of social issues and see if there’s anything you can do to help. Not all homeless people are on the streets begging for money to feed their addictions, but be sympathetic even with the ones who are. Understand many need help, many need attention and many simply need someone like you to make their day a little less painful. It’s not just about giving them money, use some of the time you spend on social media tweeting about homelessness, #Endyouthhomelessness and help increase awareness. Just stop and think and be grateful for what you have. What you see as a necessity, others see as a luxury.
Me of the Present.
Author: Amy Storey