Tuesday, 21 September 2010

World Homeless Day

Homelessness’ is a physical existence, a phenomenon that affects billons around the world; in this country there is not a City or a Town where the homeless do not exist, if that’s the best word to use (exist) in this post which is intended to inform readers about an even which I will get onto latter, which is the very first of it’s kind to be staged with the sole aim of highlighting the very real and unanswered miserableness that condemns multitudes of people in a world that has plenty. We like to think that our society is civilised, that we have moved on in our history of human evolution, used the resources at hand on the planet to provide warmth, food and shelter, but the fact is not for all if we where to be completely honest about it; most of us except that homelessness exists, we may even know someone who is without a home or even know a person that sleeps rough on the streets or in the local park. The strange thing is that when we think of them, when we see them our thoughts are only but a temporary consideration about their plight, as we go about our everyday business. It’s as if we are conditioned to accept that there will be those with and those without, or it maybe that we are just all to busy looking after our own affairs; there is no crime in that, but the point that I am making is why should we accept this state of being or not being without a home in a so-called advanced civilised society, and further more anywhere in the world?”

The Event

World Homeless Day is a worldwide collaborative effort that will be held on the 10th day of October every year. This year it happens to fall on the date 10/10/10 which is a Sunday.

So what should or could be done on this day? Seriously, we are asking you, as the day is there for you to use as you see fit to affect change and make a difference in the lives of homeless people.

To answer questions that might be springing to mind, the idea emerged during discussions amongst members of the World Homeless Forum. And don't worry that it won't catch on -- already, groups in more than 50 countries are making plans for the day.

We all know these international days of something or other come and go, but we’ve learned after talking to some of the organizers of other recognized days that, for groups that take advantage, the days can be very powerful in terms of fund-raising, awareness-raising and pulling together significant political power.

There is no prescriptive call to action like everyone should light a candle and hold hands or some codswallop like that. World Homeless Day is a gift to the homeless sector and everyone in it to use in any way they want locally, providing the opportunity to point to something larger internationally and draw strength from that.

If you are part of a charity, considering taking advantage of this concept to gain connections with members of the community that you don't have already. For example, World Homeless Day is the perfect excuse to contact a local school, church or service club like Rotary. Contact them, offer guest speaking opportunities and suggest partnering to raise money. Politicians can be encouraged to release new funds or proposals on the day or to acknowledge the good work already being done by people and organizations in their city or state.

In some countries, 10/10 is already being planned as a benchmark day each year to note progress. It should be noted that, to date, current and formerly homeless people have done more than anyone else housed or working in the sector to promote World Homeless Day and encourage charities to become involved.

World Homeless Day could be ... [insert your idea] ... if you make it happen.

What you can do today to prepare for 10/10/10:

If you have a website: include the supporter’s button found on the official site (already on 50,000 web pages).

If you are on Twitter follow us @homelessday

If you are a service provider and attend meetings with other service providers, as we all do, put discussion of World Homeless Day on the agenda.

If you need support planning the day or want to collaborate with others involved there is a section in the International Homeless Forums here:

The Socialist Way will write more about homelessness and the political answers required as we see it during and up to World Homeless Day in the meantime we urge you to give your full support where possible.

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