Brendan O'Connor: Relax. It's OK. They're building him a ramp
Last week should mark a tipping point in our tolerance for the Government's mishandling of homelessness, says Brendan O'Connor
We can all think of lots of reasons for ignoring homeless people. On the street, we can reason that we gave money to the last one we saw, or that they only want it for drink or drugs so we are doing them a favour by not giving them money. And don't they say we're not supposed to reward begging anyway?
In the abstract, we can tell ourselves that it's a complex issue. Lots of them are there by choice, aren't they? It's almost a lifestyle choice for some of them. And it's due to mental health issues or complex lives.
It can be more difficult when confronted with families. We tell ourselves it's not as if they're on the streets. The State is providing for them. We pay our taxes and there's billions being put into it. And a lot of them refuse offers of houses, don't they? Because they're not in the right area for them.