It’s not about being homeless

The number of homeless people dying in England and Wales increased by a quarter over the last five years, with 597 deaths recorded in 2017.

Campaigners said figures published by the Office for National Statistics were a “source of national shame” with 115 more deaths last year than in 2013.

The data also showed the average age of the homeless men who died was 44 and for women it was just 42 while more than half of all deaths were because of drug poisoning, liver disease or suicide.

Those rough sleeping regularly have one or more of metal health, drug or booze problems. These aren’t things solved by having more houses.

31 comments on “It’s not about being homeless

  1. Been an increase of deaths due to fentanyl overdoses in Vancouver, it’s a crisis/epedemix etc., question would be if there are any specific issues like that which have pushed up the numbers rather than just knees jerk Tory austerity murders poor people reaction

  2. A couple of clicks show the same sort of groups claiming the number of rough sleepers is up 167% or something since 2010. If the number of deaths are only up a quarter, things are improving.

  3. Napsjam–that figure was quoted by several charity cadgers putting crap through my door this–as every- Xmas. Even those conmen while claiming the increase in death by homelessness have to add a little asterix to say the figure includes deaths in temporary accommodation.

    So how many are being found dead under hedges and how many are dying –aided by booze, drugs and mentally troubled bad life choices inside accommodation of some sort? Or the NHS –which can be next to being put down all by itself.

    Figures provided by the Guardian of course and thus a pack of slanted lies at best. And any who did die in the open air will have been offered houses, places etc and left them anyway.

    The only bit that gets me is the pictures of the ones with dogs. The dogs I worry about. I can tell you through some personal experience that trying to save full on drink/drug types from themselves is next to impossible–but the dogs will accept a chance if one is offered.

  4. @Mr Ecks: “The only bit that gets me is the pictures of the ones with dogs. The dogs I worry about.”

    A vet I know is part of a volunteer group that does free health checks on these dogs. He says it’s a nice thing to do but also helps younger vets develop their people skills dealing with more challenging owners.

    He says he’s noticed a difference over the last few years. In the past the dogs were almost always well cared for: the owners would usually give up food for themselves to make sure the dogs were fed. The dogs were often all that was keeping the owners alive. Now there seem to be more use of dogs to get sympathy/for use in begging and they aren’t always treated as well.

  5. What we need for these poor mad bastards is somewhere they can be housed together and given medical treatment, providing shelter from the rough buffeting that some of their fellow citizens might hand out, while also protecting fellow citizens from them.

    What might we call such desirable institutions?

    (Do not reply ‘The House of Commons’.)

  6. Just seen an advert about homelessness in Bangladesh.

    Bit different out there.

    Affected me too. Slowed down the rate at which I was eating my chocolate.

  7. People die. Some sooner than others. Stop the presses!

    People in poor health to begin with die the longer they live on the street, undernourished, weak immune system, poor hygiene, eating out of rubbish bins, do not seek medical help, abusing drugs and alcohol.

    It would therefore be surprising if numbers dying were not increasing. Some might call it a happy release. It is surprising how many survive.

    If the homeless population were not being replenished, deaths would be 100%. But then the same is true for the general population.

    People die.

  8. “People die.” Not on the Marginal Revolution blog they don’t. There people “pass”.

    Some genteelisms are odder than others – I find that one very odd indeed.

  9. Would Julie Bindel call *this* ‘staggering’?

    Why would she care? It would only generate sympathy for men…

  10. The BBC article said that a majority of these deaths were definitely due to drugs and/or alcohol and/or suicide, so homelessness was more a coincidence than the causeof the deaths. We do not know to how many of the minority drugs and alcohol abuse contributed.
    The figures include those in homeless shelters as well as those sleeping rough but exclude “sofa-surfers”,

  11. I always ask charities and groups using figures of total deaths for a particular group about what the normal expected death rate for the group of people is. If 597 deaths recorded but expected deaths is 550 then the increase is 47 deaths.
    If the expected deaths for that group is 600 then effectively there is no change.

    Virtually every time someone comes up with figures they use in a campaign, in a leaflet, in a presentation they don’t have any comparison figures for the group.

    So for example this government can be blamed for causing xxx deaths in a vulnerable elderly group because that’s how many people have been recorded as having died.
    Reality is the particular group will tend to die over time anyway and actual deaths caused by government may be zero.
    But that doesn’t fit an ideology or a campaign very well. And the idiots resent their figures being questioned.

    Back to the example above – drug poisoning, liver disease and suicide. None of which are actually homeless and all 3 are other factors that can cause death. Your liver goes and you are on the street you will die. Your liver goes and you are not on the street you have a chance of dying soon and you will die eventually.

  12. dearieme said:
    “What we need for these poor mad bastards is somewhere they can be housed together … What might we call such desirable institutions?”

    Might they also be given some work to do, whilst being housed there?

    Nope, can’t think of a catchy name for that.

  13. john 77 said:
    “The BBC article said that a majority of these deaths were definitely due to drugs and/or alcohol and/or suicide, so homelessness was more a coincidence than the cause of the deaths.”

    More to the point, in many cases the drugs and/or alcohol would have been the cause of the homelessness as well as of the death.

  14. john 77 said:
    “The genteelism is “pass on” (originally “pass on to higher things”)”

    It used to be “pass on”, but “pass” on its own seems to have become an American euphemism for death, and now appears to have crossed the Atlantic; recently I have started seeing it more often in England.

  15. “Might they also be given some work to do, whilst being housed there?

    Nope, can’t think of a catchy name for that.”

    That’s occupational therapy, isn’t it?

  16. @ Gamecock
    Thank you: that is a clarification of what I was trying to write – homelessness was a consequence of the cause of the deaths, not itself the cause of death: writer’s block so I said that homelessness and death were coincidences – which means results of a shared cause.

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