LifeJackets founder Carrie Comfort on why children need opportunities to think about homelessness
My four-year-old daughter and I found a homeless woman sleeping on the floor of the local public toilet. Until she moved, we thought she was dead. She woke and apologised for startling us and explained that it was safer for her to sleep in the day.
This was more than two years ago but my daughter still asks about the woman on the floor. You can tell that this had an impact on her – the awareness that there are people who have no home, no place to be safe and to sleep.
This fits with my experience of how children react to seeing people who are homeless. There are few children in London, or any big towns, who won’t have noticed that some people don’t have homes. And, like most injustice, children are often troubled by it.