If you were to google ‘youth homelessness’ upwards of 21 million results would be found in under a second. If you were to then limit your search to just ‘news’ in order to get a small idea of media coverage you’d have over 200,000 stories covering the issue at your fingertips. Just the first page of news results hits the international scale. This is not just a national issue, but a global one. However the issue hits closer to home than we might realise. Many have spoken out about the issue, however Ed Sheeran provides a shining example that comes to mind for many.
Ed Sheeran – The A-team
The song above, arguably launched Ed’s rise to fame. The song won him numerous awards and essentially, established him as an artist. The fact that this song had such a crucial role in his early success demonstrates it’s importance itself. The song created it’s own audience in those who could sympathise with the issues presented. Primarily issues of homelessness and drug abuse. The songs inspiration, as told by Ed surrounds his own experience spending time at a temporary hostel for homeless youth. He met a young woman there and her story really struck a cord with him (no pun intended). The song in it’s essence a campaign to bring awareness about the dangers of youth homelessness and the lifestyles they potentially could lead.
Ed was once quoted as saying “I’ve made a song about a homeless prostitute who has been able to get on A-list radio“. This clearly demonstrates the songs reach and the ways in which it has impacted the global community. In sharing his song worldwide, Sheeran has continued the debate surrounding this issue. He has also made it publicly known there was times he too was homeless. With such a global celebrity highlighting this issue it can not be ignored. Without any direct attempts, he has stimulated international debate and conversation on how to correct this issue.
The video demonstrates the lifestyle lead by homeless youth and evokes emotion from its viewers. By evoking emotion and putting it in simple black and white (again, no pun intended) how dangerous living this way can be it can be assumed Ed wants to make major changes. Whilst ed makes no formal debate arguments through his video, his intentions are clear.
The issue remains in the forefront of many political agendas. International examples of the debate more formally within the various public sphere settings can be found below.
U.S.A – Youth Quake Teens Debate Youth Homelessness
Canada – Hiring Homeless Youth