Scottish actor/filmmaker James English and his cameraman Gordon recently conducted a much needed social experiment on the streets of Glasgow, Scotland where James decided to sleep rough for seven days over the Christmas period to expose the suffering endured by homeless people.
James started his 7 day journey with no money and no phone in order to put himself in as vulnerable a position as he possibly could.
He put himself through it to not only highlight the plight of Glasgow’s homeless but to show the great work that is done for them by charities and individuals documentary.
James himself admits the task he set out for himself was much harder than he expected but that the results of the documentary being released have made it all worthwhile.
Watch this short clip where he explains more about his hard hitting documentary. The full documentary is shared further below.
James wanted to show the world how tough life really is sleeping on the streets and let me tell you after watching the documentary that he did just that and more.
This documentary will open your eyes to the tragic struggles of the homeless and the people trying to help them. We can only hope you are moved by it and find it in yourself to make a difference and help those who are less fortunate.
He documented the full experience and really brought to light the pain and struggle that some humans have to go through on a daily basis just to stay alive.
James had this to say after filming the documentary:
“You feel it’s a world within a world where you don’t exist in the human race and it’s such a weird feeling.”
“I can see why people turn to drink and drugs. I’d never promote drinks and drugs but when people have that kind of life, they have nothing. It’s definitely been an awakening.”
“I didn’t take my phone and I had only the clothes on my back and a sleeping bag as well as a Go Pro provided by my cameraman Gordon Campbell to film it all.
‘I was lucky because it wasn’t too cold.”
James was given wet wipes and a survival kit with a toothbrush and toothpaste in it by some charity workers but he didn’t shower once during the whole experience.
He said: ”There are showers at some places but I didn’t want to deprive others of them.”
He also found himself caught short with nowhere to go on Christmas Eve and ended up defecating in a bag down a lane.
He said: “I had to do it. It’s survival and there’s nothing you can do. It had to be done because everywhere was closed and there was no stopping it. I felt dirty but there was no option.”
“Some people told real horror stories about getting hit and battered, set on fire or getting peed on . They are the real heroes and became my friends.
“I realised it wasn’t all alcoholics and junkies who use food banks. A lot of people had two jobs and still can’t afford to feed their families.
“I went in blind and kept thinking that if my family and friends hadn’t been around when I was gambling, that I could have been there.
“When I got home on Boxing Day, I just felt so strange about everything. I was sad because I knew I had a family to go home to.”
Watch the documentary below:
Homeless At Christmas (documentary) -James English sleeps on the streets of Glasgow at Christmas.
The documentary shows just how dangerous the world that homeless people live in is. They are victims of extreme violence and almost all are substance abusers and suffer from extreme depression. Most of them simply are not capable of helping themselves and so it is up to us to help them as best we can.
James made very good point stating that France are the first country to bring out laws that prevent supermarkets from wasting or throwing away food. In the video below he makes his point very well and there is no reason why countries like Great Britain or The United States can’t follow suit.
I feel that he has really brought a lot of issues to light and he should be commended for putting himself in such a dangerous situation in order to shed light on the seriousness of the issues at hand.
So how can you help James in his fight against homelessness?
James has set up a Just Giving page and I would urge you all to check it out and donate what you can.
What else can you do I hear you ask?
Well for starters next time you walk down the street and see a homeless person take the time to talk to them and help them however you can. Even if all you can give them is company and conversation then that will brighten up their entire day.
Look for charities in your local area that provide help and assistance to the homeless and contribute however you can.
Even just sharing this documentary with your family and friends will help to raise awareness on all the issues highlighted so brilliantly by James.
If you wish to contact James you can at his Facebook page