How big a problem do you think rough sleeping is in London? Has it been getting better or worse?
Log in or register to take part in this discussion
Thanks for all your contributions so far.
Many of you have noticed an increase in rough sleeping. What do you think are the causes of rough sleeping? Who does it affect?
It is clear that there has been a sharp increase in rough sleeping all over London.
I am not clear who is responsible for addressing the issue and what is being done.
With the winter coming these people need help quickly
Do you know what support services exist for rough sleepers in London? How effective do you think those services are?
We know that it has been getting worse. It's a huge problem. Precarious work, and the current benefits system don't help the situation. It's not just about lack of housing. Its a sign of a bigger failure in our society. No-one should have to end up in that situation, and more needs to be done to prevent it - really early on - but also support people back out of homelessness, so that they don't end up in the same situation again. At the moment, the options are really limited for people that are homeless. For a lot of people, the only option is private rented sector, which is a problem in itself. There needs to be more ongoing support, or at least support for a limited time, and more follow up, for people moving out of homelessness into housing that's outside the hostel system. E.g. more floating support (and at a lower threshold than currently to access it).
I have to say that I get very angry indeed when I see so many of our fellow citizens homeless and destitute on the streets. It speaks volumes about the ideological and moral character of this disgusting government. It seems that the number of people left street homeless is increasing almost by the day. This is totally and utterly unacceptable in any society that calls itself democratic and civilised.
The Mayor needs to tackle this problem immediately, for it is an emergency.
He should lead an initiative to house the homeless (and we have to remember that street homelessness is only 'the thick end of the wedge' - many more people are in such acute housing distress, e.g. damp, dirt, insecure short term tenancies, 'sofa surfing' with friends or relatives that they are in essence homeless). Some of the money set aside in Hammond's Autumn Statement could be utilised for this purpose, rather than being squandered on the CEOs and shareholders of construction developers or used to bolster the property status of the already well off.
He should petition the government to legislate for a cap on private rents - many become homeless due to inability to meet exorbitant rental charges.
The Mayor should also add his voice, backed by funding and resourcing, to those in London opposing the roll out of Universal Credit. There has lately been a promise by government to reduce waiting time for the processing of a new claim from six to five weeks. This is the grossest insult to those who depend on such payments to provide themselves with food, fuel, clothing and a roof over the heads, and there has in fact lately been much publicity about private landlords who have told their tenants that they will not wait five weeks for rent. These hapless people face inevitable eviction and homelessness,
Homelessness in London and elsewhere make me utterly ashamed to be a citizen of this country.
Thanks everyone for your views.
One way in which services try to help rough sleepers is to move them to an area where they have a past connection such as accommodation or social, family and support networks. This is called reconnection.
What do you think about reconnection as a tool for helping rough sleepers? Do you think it’s effective? Why/ why not?
There is definitely a huge increase in rough sleeping in London. And a decrease in services to support these people as well as a higher threshold to meet in order to receive services. Something needs to be done.