Homelessness is not just happening to stereo typical people these days like drug users, alcoholics etc.

[caption id="attachment_595" align="alignnone" width="150"] Alcoholics[/caption] [caption id="attachment_596" align="alignnone" width="150"] Drug addiction[/caption]

Being homeless is happening to a growing number of middle-class people whose lives suddenly take a nose dive as the economic crisis wreaks havoc on jobs, homes and relationships. Across the country, as hostels fill up, charities are warning that it can only get worse.

[caption id="attachment_589" align="alignnone" width="150"] it'll never happen to me[/caption] Unlike the majority of people typically at risk of ending up on the streets, Middle-class people are not running away from anyone, usually no mental illness or substance abuse problems. But when it all goes wrong it can happen so fast. Literally two pay packets away! It can be something as simple as a house lease coming to an end, losing well paid jobs, bad investments, relationship breakups, fall outs with family even a fall from fame.  These people are in shock and can't actually believe it has happened to them, emotionally feeling shame and alot of the time hiding the fact this has happened from friends and family believing they will quickly be able to get themselves back on track.  Unfortunately this isn't always the case and 1 week turns into 1 month and then it spirals out of their control. [caption id="attachment_592" align="alignnone" width="150"] where ever i lay my hat thats my home[/caption]   If you are lucky enough to find a bed in a hostel (usually you have to be classed as vunerable) people are still having to occupy their days on the street from early morning till 10pm at night when they can get back in the hostel. Having to cope with adverse weather conditions, possible violence, judgment from others, hunger, fear and much more that we can't even imagine. The advice sector is certainly stretched. "We are seeing a lot more people who earned very high wages but their outgoings were high too so they are in problems very quickly if they lose their job. We just had a property developer who employed 37 people in. These type of people don't know where to turn, they are not used to claiming benefits and many leave it until it's too late. I would tell people there is help out there." Director of homelessness and complex needs at the trust, agreed. "Homelessness rarely comes on its own; issues such as mental illness, substance abuse and personality disorders often come too and most homeless services are set up for people with support needs. But now we are seeing a very different type of client, people who have been working and earning high salaries, highly skilled, professional people, in a state of shock at just how fast things have gone downhill for them; jobs, relationships and homes all gone in a matter of months."They have been made redundant, expected to find new jobs which have not materialised and have maxed out credit cards to pay for rent and food. A high proportion have no understanding about benefits and feel a great loss of pride in walking into a job centre or day centre, and perhaps even have prejudices against homeless people. Some of them won't meet the criteria to get access to a hostel place because they don't have complex needs," she said.   [caption id="attachment_89" align="alignnone" width="150"] High earners becoming homeless[/caption] Scary thoughts i'm sure and the "it would never happen to me" remark comes to mind. But his is a subject close to my heart,  after having a break up a few years ago with my boyfriend who i was living with in my home. Whilst together, having the usual joint financial arrangements and sharing the bills and looking after our dogs, cats and his son whilst renovating the house and running up high credit card bills. After the break up having to increase my workload and find other avenues for income working 3 jobs to try to make ends meet each month to pay everything on time. I learnt to do a lot with a little. Some months were very difficult and only for the love, support and help from my wonderful family and friends i could have been two packets away from being homeless!! Not everyone has this support or are prepared to ask or allow people in to help or have the right mindset to get through a difficult situation like finding yourself homeless or on the verge of homelessness.  I feel very grateful for all that i have in my life and for my resilience, motivation, my faith that everything would work out, positive attitude and not forgetting my loving family and friends and dog and cats which have been an invaluable support. [caption id="attachment_208" align="alignnone" width="150"] Love and kindness[/caption]

I learnt to appreciate the simple pleasures in life more, i have more compassion for people in similar situations and value everything i have in my life. I up-cycle things, i make sure that anything that is not of use to me or items others are throwing away are given to someone who could make use of it. We are living in a throwaway society,  as its convenient for most to just throw things in the bin without a thought or not having the knowledge about who else could benefit from that item. We can all contribute to helping others in the easiest of ways these days with the internet, finding outlets for your junk is easier than ever. "One mans junk is another mans treasure". It could mean so much to another, the kindness alone would make them feel that someone cares and help them to keep going another day.

One way we can try to avoid at least a few of the possible reasons for becoming homeless is to be self reliant. By learning new skills and having several avenues to earn an income from "anywhere you lay your hat" whilst doing something your passionate about and helping others as you earn. This is what i have done and i feel hopeful and grateful that i have the opportunity to do so and create a lifestyle i love. If you feel you would benefit from doing the same click on the link on my page and see if its for you too.

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