Don’t know how to put this without sounding like I’m overdoing the drama:
I’ve talked with a couple of street homeless people recently who are so badly affected by ill health and homelessness that they look as though they’ve turned up from penury circa 1850.
Dirt, sores and decay: if it wasn’t for people’s modern (if rotting) clothing, you’d wonder which century you’d crashed in.
I find this timewarp disturbing. You see a human corrosion that belongs in historical photos.
On Wednesday morning, I talked to a youngish woman on Fairfield Street by Manchester Picadilly.
She was holding a dirty red sleeping bag. The woman was small, pale and had lost some of her teeth. Her thin hair was tied back.
Her hand, though.
I asked the woman how she managed on the streets in winter.
The woman said the cold had been hard. She still had trouble with her hands, because they were always wet and cold.
She showed me her left hand. It was swollen twice the size of a normal hand and covered in sores and yellow scabs – obviously infected.
I said, “oh my god.”
“I should go to the hospital,” she said.
“You need some antibiotics,” I said.
Like everyone you speak with on the Manchester streets, the woman was hoping to raise the £17 or so that people need for a hostel bed for the night.
The woman said that she was banned from going into Picadilly station. The transport police moved her and others on from the station if they got too near.
She said that grating had been put up around some buildings so that people couldn’t sleep under them.
Wtf is politics doing?
How can Brexit be more pressing than this decay?