Stone Cold

Homelessness means having nowhere to live and a runaway is someone who has run away from home or is seriously thinking about running away.

Some of the main reasons a young perosn might want to run away could be:

What do you think may be the reasons why young people in Italy leave their homes? Try to find out.

If you have a problem at home, with your family, who can you resort to?  Are there institutions you can ask for help? Who could you call? Are there webpages you could browse to look for useful advice and information?

What are the prejudices towards homeless people? What are the stereotypes people have of them? Read the following article and see what young homeless people think.

How do homeless young people view

I came across this British website and I found it really interesting, well designed, to the point, easy to understand and packed with useful advice.  What do you think about it?

http://www.childline.org.uk

http://www.childline.org.uk/explore/homefamilies/pages/homelessnessrunaway.aspx

http://www.centrepoint.org.uk/

What is your mental image of a young homeless person? Are there prejudices in your country towards homeless people?  Are they harassed in any way? Are they protected or helped by The System?

Read what 19-year-old London-based Tania thinks.

homeless young people

Here is the account of another young man who found a family at Centrepoint.  He was kicked out by his family because he …. How sad! We should be loved the way we are, but this seems to be difficult for lots of adults, even for those who gave life to thee and state that was done out of love.

 

STONE COLD by Robert Windells

Stone Cold is a realistic novel by Robert Swindells set on the streets of London.  The first-person narrative switches between Link, a homeless sixteen-year-old, and Shelter, an ex-army officer.A young homeless boy, using the name of Link, recounts how he became homeless after his dad had left him and his mother. Subsequently, Link’s mother began seeing Vince, a largely abusive man with a grudge against Link and his sister, Carole. After an argument, Carole moves out to live with her boyfriend. Due to the tension at home, Link performs badly at school and sets his mind on leaving home like his sister. Link, however, has nowhere else to go, and is forced onto the streets. He decides to travel to London instead, with £150 of savings and a sleeping bag on his back. (If you want to know more about the story, click on the hot link below.  Mind you, you will read info that may spoil the reading of the novel itself.  It is up to you!)

Stone Cold summary

If you want to learn some more about the writer, the following websites may prove to be of help

http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Author/AuthorPage/0,,1000050055,00.html

http://www.achuka.co.uk/archive/interviews/bobsint.php

Do you think the novel portrays in a believable way the life of a homeless young man?  Did you feel sympathy for Link’s lot?  While reading the novel did you ask yourself what you would have done in his situation? If you “immesirmarti” with the character, what are the techniques that the writer used to reach this objective? Why do you think the protagonist’s nickname is “Link”?

Look at what the UK government does for homeless young people.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/YoungPeople/Housing/DG_181371 

It would be interesting to know what the Italian government does for them and how many young people are estimated to live in the streets in Italy.

Watch the BBC adaptation of Stone Cold.  What do you think of it?  Do you find it interesting?  What would you change? Do you think young people are interested in the issue of homeless teenagers? Why (not)?

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Read and listen to what rapper Speech Debelle says about her experience of homelessness

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18145323

Homeless people are already victims of different forms of violence and abuse.  Why do you think are there people that do violence to them?

Read a newspaper article taken from the bbc website to understand the extent of violence against homeless people.  What is the situation like in Italy? Are there cases of violence against street people that hit the news? What does this headline, from an American important newspaper make you think of?

violence against homeless people

Violence against the homeless.  Is it a hate crime?

You can investigate the issue by reading the article itself: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1852825,00.html

Look at the poem that a USA teen, Krista E (Westford, MA) wrote dedicated to homeless people.  What could your poem be like?

My home can be
everywhere
or nowhere.

My daily meals
consist
of anything or
nothing.

My knick-knacks
and baubles
are the clothes
I
wear.

My money
is
only what
others
give me.

I am a being.
I am human.
I am homeless.

If only people
could see
where I stand
and
help me
through
this all.

Will this loneliness
ever end?
Will I begin
a
new life?
Does
anyone
care?

Because
I
am here.
I
am
real.
I
cannot
be ignored.
I am a person.
I am alive.
And…
I am homeless.

The following is a poem written by an adult.  Which one do you like better? Why?

A Homeless Man

When compared to mine his dreams are very humble he does not seek much out of life at all
A small flat he could call his home to live in compared to most his wishes seem quite small
At sixty seven years he’s on the street and homeless a Winter dawn is breaking cold and gray
With long gray beard and looking thin and shabby he walks uptown as he does every day.
Some may say at his age he should not be homeless that life’s many chances he left them go by
But they don’t know him or his circumstances he is a person just like you and I
So many of us lacking in compassion beyond our own selves we can’t seem to see
We applaud the wealthy see them as successful and condemn all of those in poverty.

Where did he sleep last night? the thought just chills me
perhaps on park bench in the park nearby
I feel so lucky I’ve a warm home to go to and a comfortable bed on which to lie
Save for circumstance his lot in life might have been my lot
his life story must be one of living hell
But who knows if there is a life hereafter his soul may go to live where angels dwell.

A wintery dawn above the city breaking and the nip of winter in the morning air
And a homeless man uptown is slowly walking a gray bearded man with long gray straggly hair
There’s many more like him around this city people like him nowadays no longer rare
And when compared to him I feel I have been lucky and by circumstance I have been treated fair.

Francis Duggan

If you are in slam poetry, you can see that there are poets inspired by homelessness and take the issue at heart. 

Social advertising

What message would you write on your piece of cardboard?

Questa voce è stata pubblicata in Reading for Pleasure. Contrassegna il permalink.

28 risposte a Stone Cold

  1. Mattia scrive:

    In Italy I think every city has homeless people (unfortunately!), who live on the streets, stations, benches in public parks or any other place. The people who lived on the streets are becoming more and more, and the reasons why they decide to leave the houses are varied: from problems at home or at school, to sexual violence, from culture problems, to problems related to alcohol or drugs.
    If I had a problem of any “weight”, certainly I do not run away from home. I would try to talk to my family or my best friends, because I believe that together we can solve those, without having to take the door, run away, and then, maybe, being in much larger problems.
    The homeless are people forgotten, “invisible to the human eye”, non-existent: when we pass next to them in a park or a street and we see one, we avert our gaze and head to the opposite direction, because we are afraid that they could do evil to us. I think they have a lot more fear: fear that we make them evil, just because people are helpless and with few escape routes.
    Even for the State are people forgotten. It is true that nowadays are more important problems, first of all: the crisis, but those people living in the deepest crisis.
    Those people can not complain about the second installment of the second house, because they have not even the first one.
    Those people can not complain on the increase of petrol, because they have not neither a car, nor a bike.
    Those people can not complain, because they have not the strength and the “position” to do so.
    Those people can not complain, because they could be hushed up by the boys, who for “spending the night”, could burst them (as has already happened, unfortunately).
    I’m not saying that I would welcome a homeless man in my house, because I would lie: prejudices towards them, I have too. But surely I would help the construction of a place where they can be welcomed and fed, because I think there are not so many of these places in our country.
    Mattia Pizzutti 4F 🙂

  2. Valeria scrive:

    Homeless is someone who doesn’t have a safe and secure life.
    Homeless is not only someone who doesn’t have a roof over his head, but also someone whose life tests him; someone who just did not have a chance to prove to the world who really is, someone who desperately needs an other person, who could stand by him.
    Homelessness is about a lack of connectedness. Belonging somewhere is about belonging with other people. Like belonging to a family or local community.
    The stereotypes people have of homeless people are that they may pretend to be poor only for having money “free”, some people think that they live on the streets because they are lazy and they do not want to work and make something in their lives.
    Some people think that young homeless people are on the streets, because they sell drugs or because they have something in common with illegal things,just like prostitution.
    Some people think that they live without a permanent home, because their family did not want them because of their way of behaving.
    Here in Italy,just like in the other countries, there is a high percent of young people who are homeless.
    Why young people leave home?
    A reason could be certainly the arguments that could be present in a family; maybe these arguments could be raised by problems at school or for cultural reasons,that are often seated as the basis of a family.
    Even violence in the family or physical or sexual abuses could be a reason why young people leave their home; in some families, for some cultures, women don’t have the chance to decide, someone makes choices for them.
    I think that if I had problems with my family at home, I would ask for help to my friends and if they would not help me, I think I would try to solve them by myself.
    I would not ask for help to any institutions.
    Here in Italy there are a few of them just like Caritas, or “Telefono azzuro” that is meant for children.
    Being homeless is not a choice of lifestyle,but it is a way of fighting for a better future.

  3. Valeria scrive:

    Homeless is someone who doesn’t have a safe and secure life.
    Homeless is not only someone who doesn’t have a roof over his head, but also someone whose life tests him; someone who just did not have a chance to prove to the world who really is, someone who desperately needs an other person, who could stand by him.
    Homelessness is about a lack of connectedness. Belonging somewhere is about belonging with other people. Like belonging to a family or local community.
    The stereotypes people have of homeless people are that they may pretend to be poor only for having money “free”, some people think that they live on the streets because they are lazy and they do not want to work and make something in their lives.
    Some people think that young homeless people are on the streets, because they sell drugs or because they have something in common with illegal things,just like prostitution.
    Some people think that they live without a permanent home, because their family did not want them because of their way of behaving.
    Here in Italy,just like in the other countries, there is a high percent of young people who are homeless.
    Why young people leave home?
    A reason could be certainly the arguments that could be present in a family; maybe these arguments could be raised by problems at school or for cultural reasons,that are often seated as the basis of a family.
    Even violence in the family or physical or sexual abuses could be a reason why young people leave their home; in some families, for some cultures, women don’t have the chance to decide, someone makes choices for them.
    I think that if I had problems with my family at home, I would ask for help to my friends and if they would not help me, I think I would try to solve them by myself.
    I would not ask for help to any institutions.
    Here in Italy there are a few of them just like Caritas, or “Telefono azzuro” that is meant for children.
    Being homeless is not a choice of lifestyle,but it is a way of fighting for a better future.

    Valeria Biagianti IV F

  4. Ira scrive:

    In the recent years children run away from home more often. For each one there are different reasons. Someone was bad at home, or support physical or sexual abuse by his or her parents or other relatives. Girls can decide to leave home after remain pregnant and did not have any help and support from parents. Some children felt alone, closed and without freedom and just had the chance to escape he just do it. Someone leaves home because of poverty and lack of attention from parents and someone having everything run for have some fun.
    In Italy there are several centers to help children who have some problems at home and which do not feel safe at home. Children can find a lot of information on various specialized websites or call the telephone numbers where respond the persons which are able to help and understand the seriousness of situation.
    Unfortunately not only in Italy but also in other countries there are many homeless people and we have many prejudices respectively of them. We have several bad associations with people like that. Many people think that those people are useless, that they do not want to work, that they are dirty and stupid. But rarely we search to reflects on the reason why one person or another has arrive to that point. What has happened to that person to make him or her to sleep on the park bench or in the railway station. Maybe that person graduated and had worked and had big, beautiful house and two weeks ago something had happened and now this person is on the road without anyone’s help and support.
    Iryna Semenyuk 4 F

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato.