Script to introduce the film

In this film Joel Hodgson a 400m athlete from Belize talks with Commonwealth Class about his experience with homelessness and preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

26 year-old Joel was raised in Dunbartonshire, Scotland after leaving Belize at the age of 4 with his adoptive parents. Joel, who moved to London in 2009, ended up in living on the streets in London but managed to secure a work placement with the help of a homeless charity.

Joel who now works for a law firm in London also returns to his old primary school and answers some questions from the pupils there.

Commonwealth Class: Joel Hodgson

Show the film and use the discussion prompts afterwards. Email commonwealthclass@bbc.co.uk if you would like to download a copy of this film.

How do you think Joel felt losing his home in London and living on the streets?

Homelessness statistics

  • 30,000 Canadians experience homelessness on any given night (Source: Gaetz, Donaldson, Richter & Gulliver, 2013)
  • Rough sleeping has risen in the UK by 31% in the last two years. (Source: St Mungo's 2014)
  • The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre estimates that 26,400,000 people are currently displaced globally (Source IDMC 2013)
  • There are currently 105,237 people in Australia who are homeless (Source: Homelessness Australia 2014)

Safety was Joel's priority whilst being homeless, why do you think this was?

How do work placements and homeless charities, like those Joel experienced, help the homeless?

What kind of events cause people to become homeless?

How do extreme weather conditions and natural disasters affect homelessness?

How do you think being made homeless would make you feel?

Have you been effected by homelessness or not having shelter?

What do you think can be done to prevent homelessness?

What does home mean to you?

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