I’ve blogged about the homeless before. They congregate early evening on the Strand on the confluence of Agar Street and William IV Street, outside Ryman (the stationers), just down from Charing Cross (high security) police station, itself opposite the Zimbabwe Embassy.
These homeless aren’t ‘tramps’ in the traditional sense. These are not the frazzled, stench-ridden, matted-hair kind – haunted by the spectre of severe mental illness. Rather, these are people fallen on hard times. In their eyes – you see their solidarity with one another. Many – actually most – are immigrants, predominantly from the far corners of Eastern Europe. They came here for a better life. They came here for economic salvation. They came here because Britain is the no.1 destination for all economic-migrants, into and within continental Europe. Now times are tough here in Britain, the immigrant classes are suffering more than most. They suffer in silence, mostly. Unseen by London’s professional classes.
They gather because food is brought here. I think some of it comes from Pret-a-Manger, the sandwich chain. They gather in quite large numbers.
I walk through them on my way home.
I am lucky to have a job, much as I moan. These poor people live on society’s frayed margin and it must be a very tough life indeed.