Hello everyone, and thank you all very much for showing. I am very grateful for all the support I have received, and I, by this speech, am hoping to create awareness about the unfortunate situation some people are in. Have you ever heard the expression: Before you turn away, put yourself in my place. I ask everyone to imagine themselves homeless. Before you turn away, put yourself in my place, I say to them. Today, far too many people are living in the streets. And why, I ask you? Opposite to what most people think, it is usually not the homeless man’s own fault. And believe me, for I have tried it myself. It is, unfortunately, a destiny everyone can suffer. Sadly, many people view homelessness as the result of personal failings and consider that there is no excuse for not getting on if the economy is going well.
But this belief is belied by the facts, which show that homelessness is caused by a complex interplay between a person’s individual circumstances and adverse ‘structural’ factors outside their direct control. These problems can build up over the years until the final crisis moment when a person becomes homeless, which is a great hit on the person’s own self-esteem, and any people can’t even understand that they are now without a home. But after a while, most homeless people have become accustomed to life in the street. Some homeless people stay in residential institutions. But they do not get much sleep when they must share space with ten-twenty others. Homeless people would be more than happy to get away from the street, but it is not always easy. The homeless life itself is so stressful that strength and confidence fade away. Many lose courage. Where can we go and find help? Who will bother listening to us?
Losing one home and being forced to live in the streets is also to lose dignity, influence and rights. Suddenly you belong to the poorest. Ordinary people tend to forget that when they talk about homeless people. Imagine being forced to go to some office to get your post, if you even expect to receive such. Not to receive it at your home. It is really a humiliating situation to stand-in. Therefore, when I talk to people who claim that homeless people are just a bunch of “lazy bastards” incapable of achieving anything, put yourself in my place, I say to them. Life on the streets changes your appearance. There are no places where you can take a bath or get your clothes washed. You´re out in all weathers. You freeze and become soggy. When it comes to the crunch, there are no limits to what one can get used to.
The figure is between 10,000 or 12,000 homeless in Denmark, sleeping in the streets, under bridges, or somewhere. This desperation causes some to become outlaws, which as a result, is a threat to the security of the community we live in. Statistics show that sixty percent of the homeless between 10 and twenty 50 years of age use hallucinating substances, forty percent use alcoholic beverages, sixteen percent are drug addicts. The problem of homelessness in Denmark is a problem that can hit anyone when you least expect it. Therefore you should take this as a serious crisis that affects our society.
I feel as Dane we should come together to create the solution to this homelessness problem to end a growing of homeless people; we Danes shall always think on that expression: before you turn away, put yourself in my place. As you could probably imagine, I am homeless myself, but I am also a member of an organization called “House Away.” We try working on new ideas on how we could do something for the homeless. Our organization is out to sell our newspaper. And profits go to helping the homeless. I hope you would join in and help the homeless. Remember the expression, before you turn away, put yourself in my place.