On The Streets

Filmmaker Penny Woolcock spent eight months in a parallel world, the world of the homeless, befriending people and finding out where they eat, sleep and socialise.
While making her film, Woolcock realised that the very real problems of homeless people have very little to do with the lack of a roof over their heads or a bed to sleep in. Their problems come from their past lives – and are less easy to remedy. Despite the efforts of different charities to move people into homes, the streets are often where they feel safe and what they know best.
In this moving documentary, Woolcock gives the seen-but-unheard residents of London’s streets a voice.

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  1. WOW…….jus wow….

  2. This is all very sad. But not all abused people end up like this. Many homeless persons feel like they can feel sorry for themselves their whole llife long and give up because they were abused. If they are distraught on account of being abused, they should be trying to make things better for others in order for the cycle to stop. You could give these people castles to live in, and still they would be ungrateful, unkind, and belligerent. The Bible would tell them to repent, regardless of their having been victimized.

    • “If they are distraught on account of being abused, they should be trying to make things better for others in order for the cycle to stop.”– How, pray tell, would someone with nothing but their misery make something better for others, when there are people like you who judge (Deuteronomy 15:9) instead of help, how are they to even bring themselves up to help themselves? You expect them to be able to take to heart something from the Bible when from what they can feel, Jesus is not on their side? (Mark 4:3-20)
      You say these people need to read Bibles. I am a Pagan, I merely study the Bible intellectually, but I seem to have remembered a couple important things that you forgot to read in yours. Don’t give advice that you don’t yourself follow. And remember that you have a right not to be Pagan (+ or Hindu, Muslim, Atheist etc) not to be bound by the rule of Paganism+, and not be judged or thought of as deserving of less, but to be treated with basic respect even though you are not Pagan+, so please extend that right to others with respect to your religion. Regardless of religion or lack thereof, nobody deserves to be judged as undeserving of compassion or help because of something as personal and self-important as beliefs in religion.
      Please allow me to open your eyes:
      I have been homeless. It was not a place I ever wanted to end up, or be. But it is SO hard to get out of. The less help you have, the worse it is.
      People say ‘get a job’. With how the job market is, well adjusted college educated twenty-somethings can’t find work. How exactly, is a smelly, unkempt, ungroomed person with emotional issues and who hasn’t worked in years, has no means of transportation or address supposed to compete? Try getting a McDonalds job with that on your resume. Try making it through an interview, with dirty clothes because you have nowhere to wash them all at once, and nothing to change into until they’re done. (Sure, you can wash them in a bathroom sink, if you find a handicapped stall with a sink, but you can’t stick around to dry them. So you have to put them on wet. They don’t stay clean long that way, not to mention the rash it causes.You go one week on the street and unless you have resources or help, there is no way you can just bounce back out of it without assistance.
      For people who have become used to life on the street, things change. It’s like what happens to people who are in prison for a long time. The life management skills disappear in favor of a set of skills closer to cave men. Sleep. Eat. Shelter. The more emotional disturbance a person has, whatever the cause, the harder it becomes to get even these basic needs met. And people think that you can just throw someone back into a job-paycheck-bills-taxes-shopping-budgeting like a bird kickled out of the nest and expect it to just work itself out is insane. Some people have -never- had these skills. When I was homeless, I was fairly young, and so I ended up running with a group of kids, and we would work together to find places to sleep, or take turns sleeping so that if the cops showed up we could wake up and not go to jail- just for having to sleep. Most were from abusive homes and were drop outs. The skills for maintaining a living in today’s world are different from the skills for staying alive on the street. With emotional disorders or issues, this is compounded. Their families, those that have any, often pretend they don’t exist. The government looks at them as human vermin, an unsightly blight, a problem to be dealt with, not as human beings in need. Society, with the exception of a caring few, looks at them as lazy, or entitled, undeserving, hopeless and because of that, as worthless. How. How on this beautiful planet can a human being be worthless? =’c

      I was lucky. I was able to get to a friend. She was willing to help me, without asking for anything in return. I am moving forward with my life now, and it is only because she did that for me. Since then I have repaid her every cent I borrowed and more- but I will never be able to repay her for the simple compassion and understanding that she had for me. That part is what made the rest work, and that part is unfortunately the missing element in the lives of most homeless.
      Please, if you must try to tell people how to, or that they should, use your religion to guide their lives, don’t forget to make sure you are yourself following the best parts of that religion to the best of your own ability.
      I wish you all the blessings life and the after, have to offer. =)

    •  not everyone adheres to your Bible.   I’ve always tried to remove the phrases “You Should”  or “You Could” from my vocabulary.  I dare not even attempt to solve others problems especially since I have not spent one moment in their shoes.

    • It is easy for you to say that people should react in a certain way, have you ever had anyone telling you how you should feel in a situation? It does not work that way! 

      What these people need is real help with the ghosts that are haunting them. As they said themselves, the food is the least of their problems. Giving them a castle would be like handing you a life jacket when you are dying from thirst. 

  3. really heart touching

  4. Very emotional documentary, makes me more grateful of what i have in my life at the moment….

  5. Very insightful… underlying emotional and background issues

  6. Amazing documentary which is not biased by any means. If you are a Londoner for sure you will recognise some faces.

  7. This is a well made documentary; compelling and informative. I recommend this to anyone interesting/concerned in real life issues in our society

  8. Ioving the homeless man that distributes food to other homeless people, very well spoken and polite, proof that money isnt everything.

  9. Ioving the homeless man that distributes food to other homeless people, very well spoken and polite, proof that money isnt everything.

  10. wonderful film-making.

  11. wonderful film-making.

  12. wonderful film-making.