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Agreed, but…..

The government claims to have temporarily sheltered 90% of Britain’s rough sleepers but many are still slipping through the net – often highly vulnerable people, most of them with long-term mental health and dependency issues. Getting them into a hotel is the easy thing. Keeping them there, looking after them, making sure their needs are met, is another.


Many rough sleepers abuse class A drugs, and here they are being evicted over a spliff. Are we really expecting their problems to go away just because they’re isolated in a hotel room? According to one outreach worker, who wants to remain anonymous, the city centre has come to resemble “God’s waiting room”. He estimates there are still dozens of rough sleepers living on the streets, strung out on drugs or paralytic on cheap booze, unable to wash and change clothes.

OK, boozy addicts.

Although the causes of homelessness are varied and wildly complex, the solutions are relatively simple. What homeless people need are homes – homes for life that are secure, affordable and safe.

But you’ve just been telling us that ain’t so.

20 thoughts on “Agreed, but…..”

  1. In this country, in this day and age, there is no reason other than mental problems for anyone to be homeless.

  2. Plod has effectively rounded them up. Most will drift back to the streets unless locked up but in the meantime lots of cheap hotels will have extra trouble going on in them.

    Tinpot tyranny on the job. And another expense for the public purse.

  3. Dennis, Mental Health Amateur

    Although the causes of homelessness are varied and wildly complex, the solutions are relatively simple. What homeless people need are homes – homes for life that are secure, affordable and safe.

    That’s bullshit. There are preconditions that must be met before you can successfully house the homeless.

    First and foremost, those who are mentally ill and/or abusing substances must receive intensive treatment for those conditions. In my own experience – having worked at a homeless shelter – the vast majority of the involuntarily homeless could not function at the level necessary to house themselves for any length of time, irrespective of any and all attempts to help them acquire and maintain housing. People must be sane and sober to acquire and keep housing of any kind.

    When it comes to the voluntarily homeless, well, they have made the choice to live homeless in order to continue living the lifestyle (usually abusing alcohol and drugs) without any hindrance. They only want housing on a temporary basis… usually in the winter. The idea that you are going to get them to voluntarily give up the behaviors they’ve chosen and abandon the lifestyle they prefer in order to get housing they don’t necessarily want is what we call a long shot.

    Providing housing to people who cannot function well enough to keep that housing is not an answer. And providing housing to people who do not want to behave in a manner that will allow them to keep that housing is also not an answer.

  4. Breezeblock garages or shipping containers. No sharing required. Where their stuff is safe and they are safe from everything but themselves. The accommodation clustered together with canteens and shower blocks and volunteers and social services and a couple of bouncers. And if they want to get up and get out and get a job, then they can. And if they want to drink themselves to death, they can.

  5. ‘ What homeless people need are homes – homes for life that are secure, affordable and safe.’

    We used to have those… lunatic asylums. Then along came the ‘shocked’ liberals who invented care in the community and those who had homes for life that were secure, affordable (free) and safe were tossed onto the street where the community not only could not, but did not want to care.

  6. “Are we really expecting their problems to go away just because they’re isolated in a hotel room?”

    Everyone else has changed their lives and made sacrifices. Why shouldn’t they have to?

  7. There’s a Penny Woolcock documentary (broadcast under Channel 4’s “Cutting Edge” banner) called “The Wet House”. Aired in 2002 but actually filmed at the start of 2000.

    Well worth an hour of your lockdown viewing time, but not the least bit pleasant. The active word I’m afraid is “issues”, plural.

    Ugly as it is to watch, this “solution” is one that has a record of reducing crime and improving access to healthcare, but the underlying problems (at least once things have got to this stage) seem pretty much unsolvable.

  8. John B, it’s interesting you should attribute Care in the Community to liberals. You may be right. But the way I remember it, it was Virginia Bottomley who introduced it and for a time she became one the bien pensants’ (ie libruls) most loathed and abused public figures as a result.

    As I say, you may be right. None of my recollections has anything to do with whether she was a rock-robbed Tory, or whence came the idea in the first place. But I do have a firm memory of it being held up as an example of the heartless Tories meme.

  9. Went downtown the other day and it seems the homeless people are spreading out and taking occupation of all the lovely empty space we are leaving them.
    The heath people have been actively testing amongst the homeless population and despite reports of Armageddon they have had very few positives for Covid. Still hasn’t stopped them from pulling down the rent cities and re-housing them in hotels.
    Someone did point out that the annual sum of all the charity spending on our homeless area would be enough to buy everyone there a house, every year.

  10. My late father’s experience volunteering at a shelter mirrored Dennis’s. He was convinced that nothing would solve the real problem.

    ND reader: I have imagined similar set ups. Anyone who dies with that backup is going to die anyway and I would feel that at least we have provided something adequate at a justifiable cost.

  11. @bbb / ndr

    The wet house in the documentary link above isn’t a million miles from that kind of ethos, even if the buildings are a bit more traditional.

    There is some fascinating economics in that film btw, particularly how people who know they’ll inevitably splurge all their money immediately on booze manage to establish mutual support to guarantee seven day access to alcohol (not sure how they cope with weekends though).

  12. @M’Lud: the empty-the-loony-bins campaign started with the Left in California and spread around the US and eventually here.

    I’m always struck by the way the Left is never interested in reform, or amelioration, or mitigation. Some asylums are pretty unpleasant? Sweep them all away, Comrades!

    You will not be much surprised tp learn that the campaign was based in part on fraudulent “science”.

  13. Mr Lud

    “But I do have a firm memory of it being held up as an example of the heartless Tories meme.”

    Indeed. All the lefty social workers wanted the residents of asylums to have “autonomy” and have “care in the community” at vast expense. The asylums had few friends, so the Tories went along with it. Inevitably, the lefty social workers then complained that the scheme was insufficiently funded by evil penny-pinching Tories…

  14. @NDReader

    A caravan or garden shed too

    @John B

    Yes. Google Gogarburn hospital
    It’s now RBS HQ

    Another Having to leave the place they call home

    My parents ’employed’ two at hotel for a few months, needed very accurate instructions:
    – “Jim, Run down to shop and buy xyz” 10 mins later panting guy collapses on floor “here it is sir”
    – “Bob, wheelbarrow; Jim, brush. Start brushing up leaves at top of drive, then work way down brushing up” Bob stayed at top of drive

    Not profitable, too much supervision reqd

    As Mr Lud says, Virginia Bottomley Tory version of Rosie Winterton, Dawn Primarolo, Patricia Hewitt…

  15. Our local homeless over the years were given social housing. Then within a few months evicted from the social housing.
    People want a nice simple solution to the homeless problem. Unfortunately there aren’t a large number of nice simple homeless needs. A few are temporarily homeless and yes they will benefit from getting a place to live.
    Many have long term drug and alcohol issues and cannot keep a property at all. They get evicted from homeless shelters or fail risk assessment – god only knows how hotels are coping with arsonists, rapists, kicking off under the influence people.

    The idiots want a nice simple solution. Anyone who has worked with homeless without rose tinted glasses on will know the problems are a lot more complex and may not have a viable solution.
    Drug rehab for someone who doesn’t want to come off drugs? A dry facility for someone who is an alcoholic and loves it?

    Add in a ton of abuse and things go downhill.

  16. “People want a nice simple solution to the homeless problem.”

    It’s a problem for altruists with other people’s wallets. The objective is to make altruists feel better. It’s not about the homeless at all. It’s about using your money to make them feel better. Once they have access to your money, there are a million things they can spend it on.

    If they really cared about the homeless, they’d take them in.

    Using government for charity let’s them feel all the warmth of giving, while not actually giving. And it protects their wealth. The Left supports all sorts of causes – with other people’s money.

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