While people wander the streets of London, they encounter many homeless people asking for money in many different ways. Usually, homeless people would be holding a sign asking for money for food or a night in a nearby hostel. Among all homeless people in London, we have met the first homeless who does not beg for money.
Munzi, 44, a proud man who has been sleeping rough on London’s street for the past five years. People become homeless for various causes; homelessness is frequently caused by the accumulation of several, consistent reasons that the person cannot handle or cope with.
He has faced all the challenges that any homeless person could face; however, he decided to react in a different way. Munzi decided to make use of his hobby and become an artist. So instead of begging, he is painting and selling his paints.
Munzi spoke to The Breaker, and his words had a message of hope for everyone, especially those who might find themselves in the same situation.
“God gave me hands, gave me legs, everything works, let me do some drawings, let me get paid through that, I will sell my paintings.”
“I am an artist; I will sell my art… I create it; I can be creative.” Munzi said.
However, according to Munzi, it is not easy for him to sell his art; every day is considered a new challenge. From being homeless sleeping on the streets with no shelter or food moving to the problems he is regularly facing with the council, as he has all his paintings spreaded on the sidewalk, which is not allowed. He claims that at least twenty-seven of his paintings was taken from him last week.
“The council sees me as a homeless man, they want me to beg, they see my stuff and tell me to sit down with a cup… I refuse to beg.”
Munzi does not like the fact of setting down begging at the mercy of anyone. In his first year of being homeless on the street, he tried many times to find a job. However, things were not that easy.
“I see people mistreat us because we are homeless. Some people are horrible; they would shout at anyone begging (Get a Job).”
He continues, “How you going to get a job if you are homeless?! How are you going to wake up in a park to go to work?! After four-five days, they are going to kick you out because you are going to start smelling, you going o start looking dirty.”
The UK government offers many services to help accommodate homeless people; however, these services come with strict rules and regulation to follow. Every time Munzi try to accommodate himself by finding a hostel or place to stay, it gets so complicated.
“I do not want to live under anyone rules, I live how I want to live, I am not bothering anyone, but I am living freely how I want to live. I am a man with pride.”
Homeless Link According to the latest Government figures, collected in the autumn of 2020 and published in February 2021, 2688 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night.
There was a decrease of 37% between 2019 and 2020. However, since 2010 the rough sleeping figure has increased by 52%.
Evolve In addition to the counts of rough sleepers on the streets, it is thought that 62% of single homeless people are actually ‘hidden homeless’. This means they may be sofa surfing, living in squats or unsecured accommodation, and they don’t show up in the Government statistics.