"When are we going to care?"

Okay we've had it from everyone - from voluntary organisations at home and in the Third World; from the Churches; and from a guy called J. Christ about 2000 years ago.

So we give our coppers and discharge our duty.

But do we?

Pakistan may be thousands of miles away, but there are people in our own back yard who have real problems and only ask for a fair deal ... and a little bit of love - that thing which everybody is singing about.>p> We've got our "looneys", dossers, ex-convicts, addicts, alcoholics, and other PEOPLE who are "not nice to know". They are not unclean or untouchable, and one way we can help them is by throwing away our preconceived and prejudiced ideas. A young junkie derives no benefit from condemnation, but only by personal love and care which he gets from an organisation like New Horizon or BIT. Yet even these groups often work against public indifference and sometimes hostility.

So often as we climb the social ladder, gaining G.C.E.'s, degrees, and good jobs we forget the people who have fallen through the overtaxed net of the social services - our conscience - to Skid-row. And Skid-row is real - it's the sleazy caffs, doss-houses, park benches, mainline stations, the smell of meths - the gutter. It's insecurity and rejection by a society that puts success at a premium and is hard on failures. It's waiting for soup and bread and companionship and love from groups like the St. Mungo Community on a cold, wet night.

Next time you are at Waterloo Station, or on the Embankment, or behind the veneer of affluence in the West End look out for the guy who hasn't made the grade in a society that is sinking in its indifference. Let's try and change it; try a little love, a little caring.

dossers' charter

Why write this article? We've had it all before. But as long as our brother, J.C., drinks meths, has a fix in a Piccadilly Loo, goes cold and hungry, and most of all, rejected, then we can't live in our fools paradise.
Mike Hunt.

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