Every Saturday I go to the Dreamsai Lunch Of Love.  I look forward to it with excitement but I always come home frustrated, broken hearted and angry. I can not sleep as the stories I have listened to rip through my brain. I am tucked up in my warm bed while those I have spent time with are cold, hungry and and trying to sleep on the streets.

I am so angry at the failure of politicians who think throwing phoney money at the situation is the answer. A million pounds without love is not worth a penny. There is more value in the live of those I speak to each Saturday at Dreamsai than there is in the entire failing system falsely claiming to care about this situation.

I support and admire those who are genuinely trying to make a difference: Milton Keynes Winter Night Shelter which I have supported for two years, SMART and the new hub in Bletchley and indeed Dreamsai of which I am please to be a part but we are all putting sticking plasters on gaping wounds. I want here to share some case studies which I hope will generate the love organisations like these need to stop simple rendering first aid with those sticking plasters on gaping wounds but to have the resources to offer life-saving surgery.

Being homeless and rough-sleeping is NOT the illness, it is simply a symptom of the illness. Putting a roof over someone's head doe not solve their situation.

Yesterday, 1st February 2020,  at Dreamsai I met a man, the first thing he said to me was "Do you have a pair of socks I could have ?" I didn't. He was in pain walking. I asked him where he was rough-sleeping. To this he replied, "I don't have a bed to lay down on, I just walk around." How many of you will go out and buy a pair of socks to put into our Freebie Box for next Saturday ?

On Saturday 26th January I spoke with a lovely young man. He was Romanian and had a right to be here but he had been brought to England as a modern-day slave. For four years he been in that situation. Now having freed himself he is rough-sleeping and has been trying so hard to get some ID so he can get a proper job and sort his life out. He was NOT looking for charity just some help to negotiate the heartless red tape of the system !

For weeks I have been asking people to give me phones - NOT stupid smart phones but basic simple phones I can give to specific guests at Dreamsai. Nobody has given me anything. A week ago, 25th January,  I met a man who said he was 36, he could have easily passed for 60. Of all the people I have met at Dreamsai he was the one whose spirit was the lowest. He needed a phone so he could cry for help. Yesterday, 1st February, I talked with a man, he had a phone but no SIM. He had no way of calling for help. Living, as we do, is a society addicted to those stupid smart phones who is going to turn out the draws and cupboards in their homes to give me a basic phone which has been laying there for ages. I WILL BUY THE SIM !

On Saturday 1st February I met a young man who had heard they pay possibly be a vacancy at Milton Keynes Winter Night Shelter. His understanding was that previously both this facility and SMART Hub were full. That is also my understanding. I gave him one of the contact sheets I had prepared, checked he had a phone to make contact and wished him good luck. I would draw this case to the attention of the gobby politicians who have been talking about 900,000 of PHONEY MONEY to solve homeless rough-sleeping in Milton Keynes to REAL people like this. Money counts for NOTHING without understanding and a proper operating system within Milton Keynes Council.

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David Ashford The Geriatric DJ

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