25 years of homelessness – Well, Yes….

Homeless life is a hard, hard slog. You’re always hungry, you’re always tired and society always thinks the worst of you. I used drugs and alcohol to self-medicate against my mental illness, which no doubt caused people to write me off as a drunken bum who chose a bottle over a better life. But the life I lived is one no one in their right mind would ever choose. Homelessness can, in fact, feel like a waking nightmare.

The thing is, absent serious addictions or mental health problems, there are, to any realistic statistical value, no long term homeless.

Even if you want to pump up the problem there are two distinct populations. Those above, then a series – you can argue about whether it’s a trickle or a flood – of those transiently sleeping rough. This second group we do have the systems to aid and we do aid them.

It being fairly important to distinguish, because there simple provision – as we do – of housing deals with the transients rather well. This other group aren’t and won’t be aided by the simple provision of housing.

27 comments on “25 years of homelessness – Well, Yes….

  1. Ah but these days just because you have a home doesn’t mean you aren’t homeless.

    You might be sleeping for a week on the sofa of a mate because you’ve just moved, or in perfectly adequate but temporary accommodation or living somewhere ‘unsuitable’ because your seven children don’t all have their own bedrooms (these last two almost certainly at the taxpayers’ expense).

    In the bleeding-heart Humpty Dumpty emotional blackmail vocabulary of the left, all these people are included in the homeless statistics. Which of course are themselves ‘estimates’ of the Spud variety.

    And you are a heartless bastard for daring to question them. LOOK!! A picture of a 3 year old crying!!!!

  2. Self-pity and logic are often incompatible:

    But the life I lived is one no one in their right mind would ever choose.

    But the life wasn’t what he chose: It was the bottle he chose and the life just came along for the ride.

  3. “I used drugs and alcohol to self-medicate against my mental illness…”

    Yeah, and you read ‘Playboy’ just for the articles.

  4. In my experience the “professional” homeless have been kicked out of shelters for abusive behaviour (including but not limited to theft, assault with a deadly weapon, GBH, arson deliberate or accidental, drug dealing, total lack of personal hygiene, OTT noisiness and threatening other inmates). In a large city with numerous shelters it takes hard work and dedication to be blacklisted by them all.

  5. That twerp from the IFS wrote an article in one of today’s papers highlighting ‘men’s’ mental health as one of society’s major but ignored concerns. Most if not all of the beggars I come across have serious drug issues, though there are also a number of transients on the streets. I believe accommodation is available, but for whatever reason the former won’t touch it. Am not sure it’s any worse now than in the past. Back in the 80s I was stopped daily, most usually by individuals with Glaswegian accents, wanting a couple of quid for a drink. At one stage I seemed to be doling out £5 notes like confetti. Was always a sucker, basis ‘there but for the grace…’ More recently I give to the Big Issue lad, but he always seems to have a wad of notes bigger than mine, and he chain-smokes to boot.

  6. I did read an article by one of the workers for the homeless charities who said the biggest category nowadays was teenagers kicked out of their homes by their parents. The solution was generally to go round and have a word with their mum, and get the parents to take the kid back, but obviously that doesn’t always work and isn’t always a good idea.

  7. Bernie

    mention of the Big Issue made me think that recently the East European sellers who used to plague Edinburgh city centre seem to have gone. It’s only just occurred to me.

  8. “mention of the Big Issue”

    – Knock knock

    Who’s there?

    – Biggish

    Biggish who?

    – No, sorry mate, I haven’t got any spare change.

  9. Most shelters and even housing associations have rules. Break them and you are out.
    One of our local homeless, a guy in his 70s, was given a flat with a housing association. He kept it a few months before being evicted – back on the streets didn’t bother him, been there decades. It wasn’t even his behaviour that is the problem, apart from having a wee when he wants a wee. Which generally gets him locked up for exposing himself.
    His problem was the people around him, the other homeless that sponged off him, that were drunk at 3am and having shouting matches. Little old man versus angry drunk twice his weight – and he gave as good as he got.

    Yes, the homeless that are homeless by circumstances may be rehoused within a couple of years. One of my sisters was twice at a battered women’s shelter, quickest rehousing she had was around 6 months for her and 2 of her kids. If she had been male, single and intentionally homeless then likely closer to the 2 year level to be rehoused.

    A lot does depend what path people take. Have seen instances of someone turning up at a homeless place and being in a rented house within 10 days, the intervening time being found a sofa to sleep on.

  10. It was a benefits scam.

    Jesus; I think we host more fucking moochers, skivers and pikeys from around the world than the rest of it put together.

    the life I lived is one no one in their right mind would ever choose

    Well indeed. Any legislation which was practically able to restrict the free but unwise choices of the mentally ill would end up being used to oppress the average Joe. And people like Greg will choose meths anyway.

  11. Julia hits the nail.

    Which was first, the homelessness or the “self-medication”? I know my bet.

  12. Tim

    Check out TRUK – apparently spending £20billion on the NHS will pay for itself……

    It’s a bona fide classic.

    ‘Of course spending £20 billion more on the NHS has a tax dimension. And of course tax revenues will rise. But that’s not because rates will have to increase or allowances will have to be reduced. That is because there will be £20 billion more economic activity in the UK economy. And if there is £20 billion more economic activity in the UK economy then the very least that could be acknowledged is that tax will be paid upon it. And given that the average tax take in the UK economy is around 35% of GDP, then that’s the minimum additional tax that will be due. So, Rawnsley could at least acknowledge that about £7bn of the 20bn cost of this spend will be settled by the tax due by those it will be spent on.’

    Also apparently we are living in Mussolini’s Italy, which I would have thought he would pleased about given his predilection for ‘Shovel ready’ projects but there you go:

    ‘And this is just some of this weekend’s news.

    If evidence was required that we need to rethink migration it is available in vast quantities.

    But let’s also ask why this evidence is becoming so apparent. It is because the corporate state is seeking to make the migrant a scapegoat. It has found its ‘other’.

    And the corporate state is, of course, the fascist state, where transgressing the rules is the crime, and the rule that is transgressed is not having paperwork to prove the right to human rights that mere existence should provide.

    I do not think the march towards the new fascism is co-ordinated by plan. I do think it is by motivation. And that motivation is hate.

    The state. when misused, can all too easily round up the usual suspects whose paperwork fails to pass its own artificial standards. That’s the work in progress now. And Brexit will make it much worse.’

  13. Homeless… aka ‘care in the community’ which replaced lunatic asylums.

    They were closed because it was inhumane to keep loonies locked away on medication, whereas letting them roam the streets, filthy, diseased, unmedicated, boozed up, with nowhere to live is quite humane.

  14. ‘Homeless life is a hard, hard slog. You’re always hungry, you’re always tired and society always thinks the worst of you.’

    Couldn’t have been too bad: the consequences were never bad enough to motivate him to change.

  15. The Grauniad couldn’t find anyone from England, they had to go to Oz to find a sob story.
    But there are things that we could do to help the minority who are out of luck and desarve our sympathy. Rough sleeping in Central London was made more common (and, hence, worse) when the City of Westminster closed down its hostels where people could get a bed for one night for fifteen shilings or so (I can’t remember exactly it was roughly similar to, a bit higher than, Youth Hostel prices).
    As Martin reminds us, there are innocent homeless whom we should help – and the fewer there are, the less it costs us to do so.

  16. “But there are things that we could do to help the minority who are out of luck and desarve our sympathy.”

    We? Pull out YOUR wallet.

  17. But the life I lived is one no one in their right mind would ever choose.

    As someone who has worked in a homeless shelter, I can honestly tell you that the above statement is bullshit.

  18. @ Gamecock
    When I said “we” I wasn’t including you.
    Your wallet wouldn’t be any use in Glasgow.

  19. Spending other people’s money, regardless of where you are, isn’t going to get you into Heaven.

  20. That is because there will be £20 billion more economic activity in the UK economy

    How can this be when Brexit will be such a disaster that we’ll all be grubbing in the dirt for turnips?

  21. @ Gamecock
    It isn’t just money – my brother-in-law leads a team that collects furniture from people who no longer want it and later delivers it to flats when formerly homeless people move in – in the meantime it’s stored in his local church. The church has drop-ins for mothers and children and language classes for refugees. When I lived in The City, I spent one evening a week for a few years handing out small tablets of soap and single-use razors to guys who principal reason for going to St Bots was not food but to get clean: I felt respect for those guys.

  22. @ Gamecock
    I don’t spend other people’s money, only my own. And that won’t get me to heaven, no matter what your tellyevangelists claim.
    As and when I start demanding that Donald Duck matches David Cameron in spending 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid then, and only then, will you be entitled to grouch about me.
    Some of my money goes on what I think are better uses than a Jeroboam of champagne – that is my choice and is nothing to do with you and is no reason why I should not be allowed to express my opinions.

  23. @BraveFart, June 25, 2018 at 9:51 am

    The one that was always lurking at Morrissons, EH10 is gone which pleases my mother.

    Mrs Pcar had one (a Scot) as a patient, he was not homeless – lived with his GF. She’d seen him selling many times.

    Dentists can be cruel.

    Re: Benefits scam iirc Booker was on of first to reveal this self-employed scam which extended far beyond BI sellers

  24. Southerner: TMB if you don’t already write C&W lyrics then you should.

    OMG, that so WOULD work as a C&W lyric – I’ve obviously wasted my life. With a name like yours, I hope you play pedal steel guitar and we could prosper together.

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