HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
SALFORD MAN SET ALIGHT AT VICTORIA STATION
 

Star date: 21st October 2011

BURNT AND IGNORED – THE PLIGHT OF SALFORD'S HOMELESS

Sleeping rough means no benefits, little help and being at the mercy of whoever is around. For one Salford man this meant getting burned alive in his sleeping bag, just around the corner from the posh shops of Manchester city centre.

Sarah Ward gets a first hand account of life on the streets…

Full story here...


David was standing at the Co-op cash point opposite Victoria Station as I queued to get money for the bus home. It was dark and cold and he was asking the people ahead for small change to get a bed for the night. They walked off as though he was a ghost, wending their way home. That was how the conversation started: when he showed me the burn scars on his leg, like woodworm, and saying he'd been beaten up and set alight in Victoria Station and got out of hospital that morning with just a half-eaten packet of Jammy Dodgers in his pocket.

David is 44 and a carpenter by trade, but for the past ten months has been sleeping rough. Born on the same Salford estate as L.S Lowry, he speaks in clear tones, not the voice of an addict, and gently excuses the 'fuck offs' of the general public with substitutes. David's situation arose from a lawsuit when he tried to get his late father's business out of debt. Ending up losing house, business and £670,000, he says they "took everything."

From living a sustainable life with a business, vehicle and home, he describes the process of getting state funding as "being treated like I'm a different species because I don't have an address." He is not entitled to benefits because he does not have a residence, but has paid taxes all his life. It is difficult to find a place to stay where substance abusers do not take priority, as these are considered 'high risk' homeless and most important to take off the streets. His burns, which need air to heal, are a disadvantage to the health and safety requirements of many hostels yet make it a necessity that he find somewhere indoors to sleep. The refuge where he may stay costs £38.50 a week.

The general public on the whole are unsympathetic. He is called a junkie and a crack-head by people who he has never spoken to. Hospital workers are 'civil', but recovering from the attack that has left him scarred all over his body, he says that, "as soon as the police found out I was homeless they stopped asking about the attack and wanted to know why I was trespassing." They are lazy, he says, in investigating assaults on the homeless. Sleeping rough, "you are at the mercy of whoever finds you and what kind of day they're having."

He suffered a punctured lung from being beaten with a litter picker, and recalls his assailants filming him on their mobile phones whilst he rolled in his sleeping bag trying to extinguish the flames that engulfed it as he slept, the cotton insides melting onto his skin. He was in hospital for six days yet the attack has not been in the papers, although the police say they are investigating. Without the station master catching a glimpse on CCTV in the early hours, he might not have survived.

The riots are still on people's lips but there is violence on the streets that goes unspoken of. Perpetrated by opportunists, or the blind eyes of police waiting at traffic lights where rugby fans jacket-less and pissed off in the rain, set upon a homeless man outside the Hard Rock Café, these experiences bear few witnesses. David says that a recurring thought occurs when he remembers the police van driving off: why don't they stop?

A lot of people are poor at the moment but even with part time work or dole money most are comfortable enough to replace shoes that leak or buy a cup of tea when the mood takes them. Shelter record the struggle for families to pay rent and buy food, but what also needs to be talked about is the inhumanity that takes place on the pavements and doorways of the city.

Vandalism is a by-product of ennui; brutality such as this occurs when a section of society becomes invisible and subsequently valueless to the comfortable majority, concerned with preserving their own standard of living. David says that he "is in a privileged position to experience life on the other side of the fence" and recommends me Phil Collin's 'Another Day in Paradise' to listen to…

Photo by Parrot of Doom

See also the story of Lancaster House click here

caroline wrote
at 4:44:14 PM on Saturday, October 29, 2011
Karen.. We cannot do without the private sector..and not all of them are insulated from the real world ...rather they know it... and have a battle to win..against what is done in there name..Bindloss
 
Faye Grimsdale wrote
at 3:37:13 AM on Thursday, October 27, 2011
Karen . The useless council jobsworths sleep well at night because they DO NOT CARE . They're doing just fine , leeching from the extorted taxpayer . They idle their days away in bullshit ,bluster , squander and waste , and well insulated from the real world of work , the harsh private sector . Some council jobsworths are useless ' executive ' bullshitters , on obscene salaries of over £200,000 of OUR money . This is a scandal that must end .
 
Karen wrote
at 12:27:40 PM on Wednesday, October 26, 2011
This breaks my heart to think of the men and women that are on our streets, I really do not know how the people of Salford and Manchester City Council sleep at night. Ever since Salford Star has started reporting the expenses and outgoings of the council I find myself struggling to finish the article because of the amount of money that is wasted on flowers, hotels, etc. I really hope that the people who walk past shouting abuse never have to struggle for money or loose there property. I really hope that David has some luck, my thoughts are with you, although I know that will not keep you warm and secure at night.
 
caroline wrote
at 11:36:19 AM on Sunday, October 23, 2011
I wish i could help..I have a place where he may..be able to go....But...red tape....Mr. Kingston...advise you and us..If you wish email me .ask Mr. kingston for this..best wishs
 
Anderson Bean wrote
at 2:39:52 AM on Saturday, October 22, 2011
Another fine example of the horror of this greedy ,thatcherite ,selfish ,rotton society .Wonder if the gobshites and garbage-spouters at salford council would like to consider tossing a few coins to help the homeless , instead of throwing OUR money at rich business chums and dim schemes . Great reporting Salford Star , and the reality is that this could happen to any of us .
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: HOPE HALL SCHOOL SALFORD
HOPE HALL SECONDARY MODERN SCHOOL, SALFORD. 30 Photos now on Facebook:- TITLE: "Hope Hall Secondary School Salford Pupils" YEAR... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL AJ BELL STADIUM WORTH £6.5MILLION DESPITE OVER £24MILLION PUBLIC LOANS
Unfortunately I think he council will end up selling. It has 2 options 1 don’t sell, Sale move and the stadium goes bust as. Salfo... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL AJ BELL STADIUM WORTH £6.5MILLION DESPITE OVER £24MILLION PUBLIC LOANS
What ever part of the city you come from you have to admit this is one more white elephant Labour project. Ego taken to the highes... [more]
article: NEW CLADDING FOR SALFORD TOWER BLOCKS IN MARCH SAYS DEPUTY MAYOR
"BINGO!" A "tutor of the year" and a "Demand". If he comes back with an "Urge" today, I'm buying a lottery ticket.... [more]
article: 91% OF SALFORD UNIVERSAL CREDIT CLAIMANTS IN ARREARS WITH CITY WEST
Mystic Meg,all the ills you seek highlight;Universal Credit,tower block cladding and free loading property developers can ultimate... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

ACORN ANTI-POVERTY AND TENANTS UNION LAUNCHES IN GREATER MANCHESTER

Star date: 20th January 2018

TENANTS POWER TO HIT SALFORD

ACORN, a nationwide union that uses direct action and community organising to build power for tenants, is launching a local branch that will include Salford on Tuesday 30th January 6:30pm at Friends Meeting House in Manchester.

Full details here...

SALFORD CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU TO RUN ENERGY BILL SLASHING SESSION

Star date: 20th January 2018

ENERGY SAVING CAMPAIGN COMES TO SALFORD

The Salford Citizens Advice Bureau is holding a special session at Pendleton Gateway this Thursday, 25th January, between 10am and 1pm, to help people slash energy bills by up to £300.

Full details here...

GARFIELD WESTON FOUNDATION LAUNCHES £5MILLION FUND FOR COMMUNITIES

Star date: 20th January 2018

SALFORD COMMUNITY ORGANISATONS COULD RECIEVE UP TO £150,000

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Garfield Weston Foundation has launched a £5million fund for charities and community organisations, to be spent on things like buildings and refurbishments.

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL AJ BELL STADIUM WORTH £6.5MILLION DESPITE OVER £24MILLION PUBLIC LOANS

Star date: 20th January 2018

PEEL HOLDINGS WILL SELL STADIUM, SALFORD COUNCIL WON'T SAYS SALE SHARKS OWNER

Speaking to the BBC North West Tonight, Sale Sharks owner Simon Orange said that the AJ Bell Stadium, which has had over £24million in public money loans from Salford Council, has now been independently valued at just £6.5million.

He added that the Sharks had offered to buy the stadium at "more than 50% higher" than the valuation, but, while joint owners Peel Holdings were keen to sell, Salford Council were "not interested"

Full details here....

SALFORD COUNCIL RUNNING FIRST AID FOR DOGS AFTER £1.6MILLION CUT TO HEALTH IMPROVEMENT

Star date: 19th January 2018 

DOGS FIRST AID COURSE AFTER HUMAN GROUPS CUT

"An insult to the people of Salford..."

Salford City Council is using its Health Improvement Team to run First Aid For Dogs courses, after slashing £1.6million from its budget which helped improve the lives of humans.

The courses, run in conjunction with the PDSA, cover doggy bloat, doggy bandaging and resuscitating doggies... "It's an insult to the people of Salford that managers are putting the health of dogs before the health of people" says one resident affected by the Health Improvement cuts.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx