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Due to the shenanigans detailed below, we have had to rethink the way we will operate and still be able to support the homeless.

 

 

 

StreetWise has be hacked (in meat space not cyber space)…Edition 2 editorial, part 2

Edition 2 Editorial (Click here to read the Editorial from our 2nd Edition

Sunday League football has turned into Dodge Ball, with a touch of Death Race 2000 thrown in for good measure. The opposing team are playing from the shadows.  None of the 15 people who took their free copies and went off to have a crack at it came back for more.  What did they do with them?  Well, I know people bought copies because I’ve had messages from them.

As the week went by, we were fed back negative information regarding what appeared to be a concerted effort from certain quarters to undermine StreetWise and persuade the homeless of Manchester that we are somehow part of a local government or council initiative and we are not to be trusted.

Apparently, this message was allegedly being disseminated through some members of the group Anonymous Op Safe Winter, among others, who investigate corruption in government, local authorities, and charities.  They are manipulative and strategic.  They target individuals who have had their profile raised – spokespeople, self-appointed representatives of the homeless – then convince them they are their friends and are watching their back.  They are neither.

They have their own agenda and have no interest in actually empowering people because that would mean they relinquish their own power.  They have no interest in extending the right to reply because they are conceited and arrogant.  They are full of idealism and lack realism.

They exploit the vulnerabilities of the homeless using doubt and fear.  It is in their interests to keep the status quo and convince those they manipulate that it is in their interests too.  These people are exploiting the insecurities of the homeless for their own power trip and conceit – and they disgust me.

The government will not solve homelessness.  Councils will not solve homelessness.  No amount of dissident activity and Citizen Smith role playing will make a blind bit of difference. No one has the time nor sanity left to wait for any of that to happen.  People are dying, and I don’t mean just physically, I mean mentally and emotionally.

I have spoken to a lot of people over the last 17 months.  I’ve seen the people they once were and the people they can once again become.  Every one of them deserves to make their own choices, not be told what to think and what to do through messages filtered down by people who are being used as tools.

The irony is, the British are so good at this.  We built an empire on rooting out the characters we could manipulate the most, and that hand full of people would bring a whole nation to heel so we could plunder their resources and exploit their population.  We do this under the guise of offering protection with an astounding sense of entitlement. These strategies are also used by activists – whether they are legitimate or subversive.

Activism for the sake of a valid cause is laudable, but if it defines a person, then the cause is a backdrop to their own ambition. They are turning the homeless community into a vita reali Lord of the Flies.  The homeless are becoming a backdrop to their own story.

I should state that those who are genuinely charitable in their endeavours to support the homeless truly are good people.  Indeed, some of them have had their lives touched by homelessness or have lost a relative or friend to the streets.  However, there are factions who have co-opted a whole socio-political and economic situation, which has, at its heart, vulnerable human beings.

StreetWise is independent in intent and by nature.  Our front covers will never have carry celebs, musicians, actors, writers, politicians, or indeed self-proclaimed dissidents. We exist in the real world.  It was never devised to provide ‘the’ answer, but would have been the answer for some.  Our stars would have been our SPPs, entirely because of their own efforts.

Standing up – literally standing up – and being counted.  Looking people in the eye.  Building confidence and self-respect. Taking back the power.

 

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Want to write for StreetWise?

Are you a working, published journalist? Do you want to write for four new publications which are part of a unique and groundbreaking homeless charity? Are you studying for a Journalism Degree or newly qualified trying to get your work published? Would you like to showcase your work and build your in-print and online portfolio?

Streetwise is a new, non-profit, independent street paper system for the homeless, which is on course to l aunch in late October 2017.

Our aim is for Streetwise programme participants (SPPs), readers and support staff to form and build a community to provide assistance to genuinely homeless individuals. Our publications will drive our programme and we are inviting talented individuals to write for us.

We are looking for fair and balanced items and features from experienced and new writers.

We will publish a photo and profile along with your first accepted item and if you write regularly for us, you will feature in our staff and writers index. The best bit is that you will be paid for any accepted piece, and there will be opportunities for work placements and future employment as editorial or
journalism staff.

Some of our intended regular items include:

  • Local news items
  • Current affairs
  • Opinion pieces
  • Profile pieces
  • Environmental/ecological items
  • Health and well being
  • Animal welfare
  • Nostalgia
  • Lifestyle
  • Vendor profiles
  • Sport
  • Reviews: music, art, film theatre, night life, food, technology
  • Short stories
  • Poetry
  • Citizens Advice/Legal Features

If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Forrest via editorial@wearestreetwise.org.uk