Homelessness is becoming an epidemic on the streets of Manchester. But, whilst most of the homeless fraternity are genuine people caught up in a series of unfortunate circumstances, there is a growing infestation of people who place themselves in the same court and tap into the generosity of the hoodwinked public.
I call these The Disingenuous Ones. These are the ones who – despite their claims – actually have a home to go back to: the ones that beg merely to fund their drug or alcohol addiction.
This immoral theft of charity takes away a lifeline from those that desperately need it for food or night shelter and – rightly or wrongly – I cannot hide my distaste for them.
Hence, I dedicate these words to them.
The Disingenuous Ones
Sly like foxes, thick as thieves
Lay upon their cardboard sleeves.
Handwritten signs that swear to all
They don’t do drugs or alcohol.
With doleful eyes and tales of woe
They bleed the good from decent folk.
Loiter by the cash machines
Intimidate by silent means.
Shake a cup, ask for change
Nod then fall asleep again.
Blankets they will never fold
Sleeping bags to fight the cold.
Backs against a rubbish bin.
“This is my space, don’t step in!”
Hierarchical begging zones
Angry stares and bitter tones.
Rotting teeth and shaking bones
Courtesy of methadone.
Cans of lager, Diamond White
Piss and spit and drunken fights.
But don’t be fooled by what you see
they don’t all live in misery.
For many travel from their homes
and sit upon these streets of gold, to feign a life without device
that reaps the coin that buys the spice.
Then scurry off to find their thrill
a gift for which you’ve paid the bill.
So now I call upon the Mayor
to show us that he really cares
by pledging help for those in need
and rid us of those fuelled by greed.
The truly homeless need support,
compassion, hope, a kindly thought.
Not treatment with the same distaste
as those that now infest the place.
Look around your City streets
See the ones that lie and cheat.
Address the problem, clean the mess.
Let’s stop the disingenuous.