Countdown to Christmas | Leadmill Road
Photograph taken on 18th December 2017
The person who slept in this doorway will have endured sub-zero temperatures. The night before this photograph was taken the roads and paths were gritted because of icy conditions. How many people consider the story behind the circumstance of a person who has become homeless? How many people define the person as a ‘homeless person’ rather than a person who has become homeless? Most of us prefer to be defined by qualities in our life over which we have some control rather than the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Remembering the person first is important in all our lives. The language used around peoples lives whose circumstances have resulted in them becoming homeless is often unhelpful and dehumanising. The very least any of us can do this Christmas is consider the language we use when talking about the problems faced by people whose circumstance are different from our own. Perhaps a more compassionate choice of language is the first step to understanding the problems and sadness faced by thousands of people all year round.