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No one should be sleeping rough tonight

Discussion in 'Personal' started by dunnocks, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    there are SWEP notices, ( severe weather emergency protocol) the councils are responsible for offering shelter to anyone and everyone with no where to go. If you no of someone sleeping rough ring street link or ring the council emergency number now. I have just had a VERY long discussion with my local council emergency call centre about this: they didn't know, or claimed not to know about the SWEP notice. They do now! and in the absence of any local SWEP shelters they agreed to take this young man into a hotel for the night.

    the streetlink number is 020 7840 4430.
     
  2. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    In my town one of the churches is open every night offering a safe place to sleep, food, clean clothes and support to get back into housing.
     
  3. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Until drinking and drug taking is permitted in homeless hostels and night shelters there will always be some rough sleepers.

    If drinking and drug taking were permitted in homeless hostels and night shelters violence would escalate.

    Those who don't drink heavily or are addicted to drugs do stay overnight in hostels and night shelters but they can be scary places for those who need peace and quiet to rebuild their lives.

    We need smaller discreet provision that caters to individual needs and doesn't just lump everyone together under the banner of 'homeless'.
     
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    these church rota emergency shelters are doing a fantastic job in helping small number of homeless people of a particular demographic.

    Normally they raise their funding by their commitment to only take in those who can be constructively helped within a month. As charities, they are legally bound then to expel anyone who has been there more than a month, as an individual that they can't help ( which quite often means women, people who are disabled, people who don't speak English etc.)

    They have strict rules, and people lose their places for not adhering to them.

    furthermore, they only take a very small number, typically 12-14, and only by referral.

    I support several such shelters, and I think they do wonderful work, but please don't think that having such a shelter near by is likely to be of any use to any rough sleeper you suggest it to. We turn away most people who ask for help. We wouldn't get funding if we were not very selective
     
  5. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    There are drinkers shelters, and shelters that take methodone addicts.

    not always. Sometimes, but the drinkers shelters I have been in have been relatively quiet.

    mostly no, because there isn't the space for them, there re many many non drinker non drug takers sleeping rough- normally, but it shouldn't be happening right now becasue of the SWEP notice
     
  6. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    I'm not up to speed on what's happening now because I got out of all client-based work including teaching in 2002 but in 2000 when I worked nights alone (with a sleep in) at the homeless hostel in Cambridge and my friend ran the night shelter down the road we rarely if ever saw any clean and sober residents. It got a lot worse when the policy changed and homeless people with dogs were allowed in. Most of our residents are now dead. Many died at the time. I think we lost about seven out of the twenty-two we had staying at the hostel. I say this but it was after they either walked out or were banned by management.

    I never had any major problems apart from stopping residents fighting, keeping non residents out and kicking non residents out at 10 p.m., stopping residents going in the sharps bins and taking drink off residents.

    I remember terrible situations but good remedies too. Emmaus at Landbeach which was two fields down from the caravan site I lived on at the time were very proactive and supportive.

    It was quite strange in that both I and my friend who ran the night shelter were both working in housing and homelessness and living in a caravan and on a boat respectively.

    It was a hard struggle and I well recall one resident who we manged to get into a flat leaving the flat after two weeks and going back to the multistorey car park at Parkers Piece. She basically abandoned the flat which was carpeted and furnished and had food in the cupboards when she moved in and lost the keys and died in the multistorey car park. Of course her friends were by then using that flat to doss in and they trashed it and upset all the other residents. The door was smashed in to stop it locking and they stole and sold what they could including the copper pipes and water tank.

    Most of the ex soldiers would stay in the hostel until about 2 a.m. and then go off down to Midsummer common to sleep because they didn't like being cooped up inside. A few ended up in the river or dead under the bridges.

    It was chaos but my abiding memory is of the staff and their idleness and lack of care when they did show up for work on time.
     
  7. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    This is a very interesting history, there are certainly many homeless people who are nearly impossible to help, or who could have been helped, but have passed that stage.

    That is why so many shelters are selective. it is much easier to raise the money if you have a strict time limit on the length of time you offer help for, and the of course, if that is the basis on which you raise money, legally you have to stick to it.

    I work in both selective and allcomers shelters, I liaise with two drinkers/user shelters, although I haven't worked in either.

    The allcomers shelters are different, of course they are. We see the same faces coming round time and time again for years, turning down help. some of these people are feckless, dishonest, unreliable, addicted, criminal, I am sure, ( although obviously I wouldn't make a specific subjective judgement about an individual - I am just saying that within this population, such traits exist)

    there are some individuals that are homeless because their behaviour cannot be tolerated within a family unit.

    But I have to say, I also know many rich, well housed people who are feckless, dishonest, unreliable, addicted, criminal, and living alone because their behaviour cannot be tolerated within a family unit.

    Being any one of these things does not give us the right to act as judge and jury on someone, and effectively condemn them to death. We are not supposed to have the death penalty in this country

    The woman who abandoned the flat obviously needed help and support in a different form to that which she was given. The soldiers that got claustrophobia might have been left traumatised in their career in defending you and me. The drunks may not have been drinkers when they first became homeless, the lawless and respectless theives might have been care leavers who never had any loving moral guidance

    who know, some people might have been born hopeless, I don't know.
     
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    here are some homeless people I meet around London today.

    refugees in large numbers - there is some misconceptions about this, people think refugees are housed, they are often not. asylum seekers should be legally housed, but once refugee status is issued, they are on their own. No money for a deposit, no one who knows them to give a reference, many end up destitute. This includes families with children.

    Professional women in large numbers, many of whom hide their situation from their work colleagues, maybe sleeping in cars, maybe trying to sneak back into their work buildings late at night, many hold on to their jobs.

    zero hours workers, part time workers, low paid workers many rough sleepers have jobs, bar work or building work quite often, although other tradesmen too, a lot of council workers, cleaners, cooks, I've also known some fantastic craftsmen ( I've seen their work) and several people in the legal profession.

    Young people thrown out of their parents home There are a surprising number of young adults on the street who were brought up wealthy and privileged, but who are no longer welcome within their families. Most likely because they have come out as gay; there are other misdemeanors I have heard of people being thrown out for, but this seems to be the big unforgivable one.....others incude not getting on with a new step parent, we have had youngsters still in school trying to complete their A levels while sleeping rough. We have had youngsters will attending PRIVATE schools while sleeping rough!

    Care leavers, ( I would include some "rich kids" brought up in boarding schools in this catagory) institionalised, no idea how to look after themselves, lost

    Disabled people including amputees, blind, deaf, elderly stroke victims is a big one, builders with back injuries who can no longer work is a big one. cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, autism, wheelchair users are a rising demographic on the street. Some disabilities are blatantly obvious, some I am not qualified to assess, so take on trust.

    Victims of domestic violence mostly women, but I have had several young men who 's mother and younger siblings have been taken into a refuge, for which they have been deemed to old. The "cut off" to accept males into woman's refuges can be as low as 16. Also young runaways, who have made a decision to leave their parents home, true, some young people make decisions for spurious reasons, but the ones without good reason to stay away will most likely soon turn tail and ask to be accepted back home.

    animal lovers a lot of homeless people already have dogs before they become homeless, and a few team up with dogs on the street, it can become a very strong loving bond, and can mean the world to someone with nothing else in the world, and some people will not abandon their pet to accept accommodation.

    ex prisoners time served, but very little hope of a fresh start if they cannot get a job

    ex armed forces , traumatised maybe, institutionalised maybe, but for some the army was delaying the inevitable, they went into the army because there was nothing else for them, and by the time they came out, there still wasn't.

    The biggest cause of homelessness is eviction from private accommodation, the biggest cause of that is non payment of rent, and the biggest cause of rent non payment is ill health preventing work, or redundancy.

    it could be any of us by April, it really doesn't take long
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    monicabilongame and 7eleven like this.
  9. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    The young lad we helped last night told us he was 19, he was brought up by a single mother who died when he was 18, and he was evicted shortly after as his little job didn't pay the rent. Of course he is under no obligation what so ever to tell us the truth about anything, and I personally wouldn't have considered it my business to ask, but in my opinion, it was more likely to be true than not.

    it was -2 where he was going to sleep last night. It was a complete blizzard there the night before, and he was out in it, no shelter, and it has been below freezing there for days. the first time I spoke to him he was wrapped up in quilts and blankets. Then a few days later when it was below freezing I saw his blankets were empty, and I assumed he had been given shelter by the SWEP. But when I spoke to him yesterday evening, he had never heard of SWEP, didn't know it existed, and had abandoned his blankets when they froze solid.
     
    sparkleghirl likes this.
  10. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I don't know where my underlings went on my previous post. some didn't stick
     
  11. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Not really a like, just an acknowledgement of the horror and disgrace of it all.
     
  12. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Or ever ...
     
    monicabilongame likes this.
  13. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    exactly, morally no one should ever not have the option of shelter. But I was speaking legally
     
  14. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Coming out of A&E last night, we saw an elderly man sitting in a wheelchair, just inside the doors to the exit, looking every bit the homeless man: wrapped in blankets; small dog on his lap wrapped in blanket; packed bags on the floor around him carrying what I assumed were his worldly goods.
    I stopped and offered him a tenner from my purse. It turns out he was not homeless, but waiting for his daughter. (Maybe due to the presence of his dog they weren't allowed in the hospital.) I felt a bit of a clown, but luckily he was not offended, and said that someone else had already offered money.
     
    dunnocks likes this.
  15. Caramel2308

    Caramel2308 Occasional commenter

    Fantastic Dunnocks bringing this issue to people's attention. I help out in a church homeless shelter over part of the winter period. I do so little in comparison to many people out there doing a fantastic job. I have been moved and humbled in equal measure by some of the people I have met. I have met people in life who bemoan their lot when they have much - I am much more inspired by the people I have met who have been truly grateful and appreciative for receiving not very much!
     
  16. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    A friend of mine was sitting on a bench outside a French motorway services with her straw sun hat on her lap and someone threw a couple of Euros into it (it might have been Francs, it was that long ago).
     

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