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.