Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Homeless In Newcastle (Homelessness Is No Joke)

Anyone who follows my blog or my photography will know of my photographs of homeless people in Newcastle. The image below was taken a few weeks ago in Newcastle. Its hard to believe that this was taken only 5 mins walk from the city center but it was. There is no editing on this photograph at all - converted from RAW file to JPEG only. I was quite nervous taking this image as I did not want to wake the sleeping man.

See my flickr set on the Homeless here:

One thing I have found since posting my original homeless photographs is how polar opposite people are on the issue. They either find time to ridicule the homeless or try somehow to help. I have been disgusted at a local facebook page dedicated to a particular homeless man who has passed away recently. Although there are some lovely people who use the page it is populated by the dregs of society using it to be vile towards people less fortunate. In this day and age there should be no need for people to be homeless. Its also sad that people still act like nasty children on social media sites.

Here is my post for the 'Homeless Jimmy' Page:

Hi - the facebook post is rubbish. I have spoken with the Hostel mentioned this morning who have never heard of the man mentioned. They do not actually take homeless people either. I have spoke also with the family of the homeless man and whilst their is still an official police investigation I won't name this man but here are some facts.

1) A homeless man was taken into hospital in a serious condition. He gave his first name and birth date. The surname he gave was almost identical to the name of his family who have come forward. First name and birth date were an exact match. This man who was in hospital for a few weeks never regained his health and passed away.

2)His Family who do not live in Newcastle watched his reported sightings on facebook and via communication with police support officers for years. When they had not heard anything they reported him missing to the police. Both the family and the police used my photographs to confirm the identity of the man. Unfortunately his body was cremated before a formal family identification could take place.

3) There is an ongoing DNA test going on which is taking a long time much to the annoyance of the family who would like finally to put this whole thing behind them.

I would also like to add that the family (I met up with this man's sister recently) gave me his entire life story. He chose to be homeless and suffered with mental health issues. They have for years tried everything imaginable to get him off the streets and look after him. They are devastated by what has happened.

A second person who knew him came forward on my twitter account and gave me the same name as the family did.

I don't know why people feel the need to be so nasty on social networking sites. I have a feeling that the 'Jimmy' group will end up in trouble at some point. I can't post on the page because i'm banned. I was banned for defending myself. Someone thought it was acceptable for me to be abused whilst sticking up for the plight of homeless people.

As soon as the legal issues have been resolved and with the blessing of the family i will tell this mans story ASAP.