I’ve heard so many people in the last few weeks, greet our current situation as a wake up call, a time to reflect, a time to look at what we can all do to acknowledge the things humanity isn’t getting right and agree how we make that different.
What I know is that human beings are wired to forget painful experiences. Maybe sometimes that’s useful, it’s got us this far. In order to use what we’re currently learning I firmly believe that we need to ACT NOW, to take the reflections and the realisations and use them to inform decisions, plans and agreements before we forget the pain.
The effort that’s been made by central and local government to rapidly design and publish, one-size fits all solutions to keeping us all afloat in the short term are hugely impressive. Nothing done that fast was going to be without its flaws and I have no doubt that the intentions were principled and human. Unfortunately for many forward thinking, outward facing organisations, like The Turning Tides Project the ‘emergency measures’ are unlikely to save us. As a creative organisation that takes a Social Model Approach, we simply don’t fit and whilst in good times, that’s applauded, when the going gets tough the system reverts to what it knows best. Certainly, in terms of our Local Authority, the response favours exactly the traditional model of ‘care’ that they’ve professed to wish to move on from. Perhaps that’s an inevitable first phase in society’s reaction to a crisis. If it is , then I’m optimistic that the second phase is about looking to the future and preparing now , to ensure that we’re not only ready for it but ready for a more respectful, generous and equal future than the one we were predicting a few short months ago.
Many things have moved me to tears in the last few weeks, I know I’m not alone in that. I will never forget the interviews I saw on the news, of homeless people in Liverpool who have been housed by Liverpool City Council taking out leases on unoccupied apartments. Thousands of people are homeless in this country, and yet, when it benefits us all for them not to be, that’s an issue we can resolve. Surely, it always benefits us all to take such good care of each other. And surely, no one with any kind of social conscience is going to put people back on the street when the current restrictions are lifted?
The Turning Tides Project is NOT a charity: Equal Access is a right, but charity has its place. As part of this year’s Business Plan, we’d already agreed that we’d be declaring 2 good causes for which we would raise funds: one environmental and one, addressing the issue of homelessness. If The Turning Tides Project survives the current crisis, we will do that.
If every business in this country took similar action could we make ‘homelessness’ a distant memory? Could we repair some of the damage we’ve done to our environment? Yes, I’m sure we could.
We can all make a difference: That difference will be brought about by ACTION, not by discussion alone.
See the Change, Make the Change, Be the Change you’d like to see in the world.
Written by Jane Williams, Published by Dominic Palfreman