Sign of the Times-1110320 Image by Christine Renney 2015

When I spoke with Daniel he told me that he had been homeless for some six weeks – I didn’t say anything but I have noticed that this the time period so many homeless people give. I think it is because they do not want me to feel that they are no-hopers, that they haven’t tried hard enough, that if they tell me they have been on the streets for months I will believe them to be useless. And of course, to tell me would be to tell themselves, over and over again.


Sign of the Times-0427 Image by Christine Renney 2015

I took this photo on arriving at Southend and on our return to the car this young man was still in the same place. It was New Year’s Eve and absolutely freezing. I had a chat with him – he told me that he had been homeless for some time following falling into arrears with his rent. He admitted that he had not been as responsible as he should have been. However, I have been irresponsible many times but am fortunate enough to have had a strong safety net around me. Clearly he has not.