How big a problem do you think rough sleeping is in London? Has it been getting better or worse?
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The questions about begging were not open enough, when I gave some money to an homeless guy, it wasn't because he was begging, it was because I knew of his history, not related to my other post today. His wife divorced him, kept the house and he was on the streets, he did his best to keep himself well presented, but at a cost to his poverty level benefit and I just happened to see him one night, got chatting and dropped into the conversation about eating that Sunday, he casually replied no so I gave him a £10 to get himself something, he wasn't one the the alcho's which wouldn't have got it, he was just a pleasant young man that through no fault of his own was deemed fit enough enough to look after himself, having just had his life totally wrecked with no support from anyone, but as a man he can get on with it, very sexist and unfair treatment, there but for the grace of god go I.
The situation is far more complex than ticking boxes and formulaic interviews with a supercilious interviewer, who becomes not just unsupportive but obstructive to helping them out of the mess they find themselves in.
I accept there is an hard core of alcholic, drug users, and old style tramps they cannot or do not want any help, so lets help the ones that do need it even if pride and personal dignity (I personally know a lot about that view) which stops them asking.
I agree-the questions give no option to answer in own words.
This is a very opportune survey, I discovered a few days ago that a friend of over 40 years was sleeping rough, well over pension age. I managed to make contact and they are now staying with me. I have tried an initial private meeting with the local council, I will after all be discussing his personal data, but no I must attend an open session which as a disabled man is hard to do in the first place, but I did not know who to contact about someone that originally lived in the next constituency.
This needs to be delicately handled and I have not been impressed by RUT response. I cannot conduct it over my home phone, in front of my guest who has pride, the cause of their problems, local social services, who I might have contacted, hide behind locked doors and only speak via the phone, again not possible.
It hurts me to remain seated/standing for long periods, making the journey itself is painful. The ability to be able to actually see someone and discuss the matter, privately, is paramount and so far this council have been less than helpful, if this is the London wide attitude when it comes to helping anyone that has had a period of depression after loosing their partner and as a result of that their home then I dispair that we will ever help them. It needs a major sea change in the attitude of permanent managers and directors who have devised and implemented these contact arrangements, perhaps they should try being on the other side for a month and maybe they will change systems and proceedures to start treating people that really badly need help. To add to it I am probably jeopodising my own tenancy by have, a non paying, long term guest until such time as I can help him get back on his feet, I couldn't be callous a leave a 68 year old, wearing a terminator style harness while waiting for an hip operation appointment, how long?, to correct a prior bodged operation, on the streets. Every part of his previous council along with the NHS have just piled on the agony.
In my experience, rough sleeping is as bad now as it was in the latter Thatcher years. ASBOs seem to have gone the way of the dodo. Yes, I agree that a lot of rough sleepers. are dealing with mental health issues, but there are also a lot of drug (including alcohol) user issues creating rough sleeping. The fact is that multiple governments have refused to re-examine some of the main causes of rough sleeping, such as a more reasonable and sympathetic approach to drug users; treatment rather than punishment; and more, much much more social housing.
It's a lot worse. I recently counted 15 rough sleepers along the Strand and 5 in the area around Victoria Station on the same night.
Rough Sleeping in London on the whole is a mental health issue, and should be dealt with primarily by those charities and others who have direct understanding of these complexities.
I suspect it's getting worse. The gentrification of London via things like off-plan sales amounts to social cleansing. Some who are pressured to move away will return to the places they know & end up homeless in the places they know. Homelessness can kill.
This is a good idea. The question, however, is, "is there the political will on the part of our rulers, local and national, to accomplish this"?
There seems to be a big increase in the number of people sleeping rough. Cannot some of the many unoccupied houses in London be used to provide temporary accomodation and hostels.
They should be.