If any sense is to come out of the murder of the two Big Issue sellers in Birmingham I hope it will be that the veil of invisibility placed on them by a societal disregard for those who work or live on the streets will be removed completely. None of us who rushes past them while going about our daily lives has any inkling of their personal predicament or reasons for ending up on the street. This makes it all the more imperative that we shelve our prejudices and view the homeless as another subset of society, as opposed to being outside of society.
Life on the street must be a life of hardship, especially during the cold weather, and I can only imagine that it is a constant struggle for them to keep life going while fighting both the natural elements and people's attitudes. On Boxing Day I stopped to speak to a Big Issue seller. He told me that people were extremely dismissive of his presence and his work. The latter is a point often forgotten. Equally important is the fact that any homeless person on the street, whether working or not, still has a basic right to personal security.