I’d like to tell you about a friend of mine. Her name is Monica and we’ve known each other for about 18 months, maybe a little longer – time flies and all that.
Monica is a twenty-something with big dark eyes, long chocolate coloured hair and the warmest smile I’ve ever seen. Sounds perfect doesn’t she? She’s also a dedicated mum of three beautiful children and a damn hard worker. But, she’s homeless and makes money by selling The Big Issue right here in Brentwood – just outside Marks and Spencer in fact. Her life is less than perfect and far from easy, but she’s determined to make it better.
She doesn’t beg or scrounge, she has a job. Do you know how many issues Monica sells on an average morning? One, maybe two. How can that be right. Are you one of the people who avoids eye contact and suddenly has an important call to take as you pass Monica by? I hope not.
I could rant about this situation for hours, but I won’t. I will, however ask you to do one small thing. Next time you see Monica (or any Big Issue vendor), dig around for £2.50 in your pocket and buy a copy. Apart from anything else, it’s a brilliantly written magazine and of course, it will go a little way to supporting the homeless of our communities.