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60 Days on the Streets

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by willhub, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. willhub


    Joined: Jan 3, 2006

    Posts: 21,279

    Location: MediaCityUK

    Apologies if there is a thread for this but I haven't seen one.

    Last night a documentary aired on channel 4 about the homelessness epidemic, and started in Manchester where there is a real problem with homelessness and not a lot getting done about it.

    It's interesting and shown a good perspective what homeless is like, very drug fuled and not much desire to leave the streets in some cases.

    One guy in particular if you watch it you'll know who I mean gave this story and you really did feel for him and he seemed genuine and quite with it mind wise, unfortunately this was all a pitch to make you feel for him and he turned out to be an addict who was on the streets for years, really was a shame.

    Anyone watch it and what did you think about it? Really not sure what to think with homeless it seems it's mostly drug related.

  2. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 62,663

    From my experience - especially what a relative who did some work for a homeless charity says - its a hugely mixed and complex problem with many aspects to it include the decline in resources/funding of stuff like mental health services, etc. as well as some people who simply can't cope with "modern" life and so on.
  3. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 46,636

    Location: Plymouth

    The homeless challenge is a big one for a whole multitude of reasons. The starting point is separating those who want to help homeless people from those who want to use homeless people to drive their wider agenda, as the two things are far from the same.

    If we want to help homeless people, we then need to look at the reason they are homeless, and whether they are able and willing to resolve the issue with support, and what that support needs to be. The real challenge comes when someone is not able, not willing, or both, to manage their own affairs to the point where they can function normally in society, and what you do about these people.
  4. FortuitousFluke


    Joined: Jul 7, 2011

    Posts: 3,443

    Location: Cambridgeshire

    I did mean to give this a watch as it seemed quite good, though I was a bit concerned it would focus on the individual undertaking the "challenge" rather than the wider picture.

    Homelessness and rough sleeping is such a multi-faceted problem, you've got so many different type of homeless people, drug addicts who are perpetually in crisis who can't or don't want to get the support they would need to make changes, people who have suffered a break of some kind and now find themselves in a downward spiral (a lot of ex-services with PTSD), people with chronic mental health problems who have fallen off the grid, people running away, and then at the thin end you have people who either chose to live on the street in the first place or have been homeless for so long that they don't actually want to change.

    A lot of it is even tied into logistical issues, the breakdown of a relationship meaning that 1 person has nowhere to live, they have no support structure and can't afford to live alone and so end up homeless, this causes a crisis and they lose their job and from their it's really difficult to get back up.

    What I do find tedious is people who are initially responsive to the problem but then switch off as soon as they hear drugs are involved, with literally no interest in hearing anything else, not the reason for the homelessness, not the reasons for the drug abuse, or the things that have gone on in that person's life, nothing. Could I say that I wouldn't turn to drink or drugs if I lost everything and ended up on the streets? I'd like to think no but I wouldn't bet on it.
  5. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,273

    I had it on in the background here and kept watching parts.

    I thought it was quite a good look at the human side of it. That there were good and bad people everywhere.

    After looking at some ancestry work, I wonder why 'work houses' aren't brought back. Were people without a home can work and be housed. I'm not saying it was great back then. But I had a relative that ended up living in one of those places for quite a while. It would at least get some people off the street that was capable of working i.e. the none addicts.

    For people addicted to substances, like Spice, I think some seriously minds have to figure out why they are doing it.
  6. arknor


    Joined: Nov 22, 2005

    Posts: 35,578

    Location: Newcastle/Zurich

    why dont they go to prison, free meals, roof, TV probably in their cell with an xbox.
    and all the drugs they could wish for
  7. Greebo


    Joined: Jan 20, 2005

    Posts: 31,163

    Location: Co Durham

    I have a vested interest in this with my brother running away from home 30 years ago. No idea if he is still alive. He did appear on the St Martins in the Field xmas appeal one year but that was over 10 years ago.

    Still not 100% sure why he disappeared and became homeless. He was a hard worker (more so than me) and had started up his own business which had become very successful and owned his own home outright which he all just left one night and never came back. No note or anything. He was 29.

    Best we have managed to figure out between my parents and the police was that he was being blackmailed for something as he had recently signed his house over to one of his employees. That was when my parents finally discovered he was gay as well (I knew already) as the police had reports on file for him being beaten up for being gay.

    SO people end up on the streets for lots of reasons.
  8. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,273

    I think some prisoners who come out try and get back in prison. There is a guy in my local area that as been spotted threatening to commit damage to property purely because he wants to get back in prison.

    I remember watching a programme in the mornings about missing people. I think it was a BBC programme (might have had davina mccall mccall hosting, not 100% sure), and they would find people that had been missing for a long time. It seems something happened to them and though some did let their family back in, most of them didn't. They just let them know they were alive.

    I know being gay still seems to be a source of shame for some people. My cousin is gay and he previously was in a hetrosexual relationship and they had a child. But soon left her and then socially disappeared. It only came out he was gay when he had some problems similar to your brother and his dad had to help him. But even though we know he's gay today and we've met his partner, he's never said "I'm gay".
  9. Narj


    Joined: Feb 19, 2010

    Posts: 11,945

    Location: London

    There is a guy who sleeps rough around the corner from my office. I throw him a few quid from time to time but I think his story is that after a family breakdown he was on the streets and has been for a long time. Think he said the past 30 years. He has no desire to change his lifestyle and doesn't want to work or do the standard lifestyle.

    That's absolutely mind-blowing to me but he isn't a druggie so good luck to him.

    Some people just don't want to change their situation despite the help that's available.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  10. Bluntwrapped


    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 3,237

    Location: Livingston

    Without mental health support and services, most living on the streets have absolutely no chance in life. Drug addiction and alcoholism isn’t through choice, it’s a crutch for most to make it through each day.

    My best friend was previously homeless, but with a bit of support managed to turn her life around and started working for Shelter. She could only do that by paying the little money she had towards the cost of seeing a private Psychologist. Turns out the only way you’ll see one on the NHS is if you get yourself sectioned.. otherwise it’ll be 9-12 months at the earliest, if at all. Who knows, maybe in that time you’ll have decided to top yourself :(

    From what I’ve seen and heard and without watching this documentary, our interpretation and understanding of the challenges people face is often based on prejudice and untruths.
  11. DrToffnar


    Joined: Jan 25, 2013

    Posts: 2,951

    Aye, exactly this.

    Was out with my GF and her mates last year and we'd been touring the cocktail bars all evening. Passed a homeless chap on the way to the taxi stop and I gave him the change I'd accumulated over the evening. They instantly started up saying that is was a waste of money and he'd only spend it on drugs and booze. I commented that wed probably collectively spent close to £200 on crap cocktails all evening... sadly they didn't seem to catch on.

    Even if that wasn't the case though, this chap LITERALLY doesn't have a home. Call me an enabler all you want, but I couldn't give a **** if my money goes some way to make such a miserable existence easier to deal with. I totally appreciate that it's a layered issue and quite a few of the people I give money to are deliberately lying about bus fare or rooms for the night, but who cares? It's not my business to ask them what it's going to be used for, or to be so brazen as to just buy them food with the money I should have just given them in the first place.
  12. efish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2014

    Posts: 1,203

    I visited Sheffield and Manchester recently. Was surprised by the sheer amount of people sleeping on the streets. Range of issues alcohol/ drugs/ mental health. Sheffield seemed to have more of a drug/ homelessness issue from what little I saw.

    Whatever we are rich nation, its not acceptable to see people living in such a state of poverty, its a reflection on us and the lack of care and respect we have for others.

    I find it seriously shameful.
  13. MookJong


    Joined: Mar 20, 2006

    Posts: 7,493

    Good God, what an awful situation for you and your family. Was the St Martins in the Field xmas appeal something that was advertised to homeless shelters to try and get people to come in contact?

    I hope one day he is able to get in contact with you.
  14. Greebo


    Joined: Jan 20, 2005

    Posts: 31,163

    Location: Co Durham

    It was the radio 4 xmas appeal to raise money for them that year and he was being interviewed as to why he was on the streets. 100% definitely was him. I contacted St Martins and all they would do was to try and pass a message on but he never got in touch. I almost drove down to London to look for him.
  15. MookJong


    Joined: Mar 20, 2006

    Posts: 7,493

    How frustrating this must have been. :(
  16. Dis86


    Joined: Dec 23, 2011

    Posts: 20,355

    Location: Northern England

    So from tonight's episode they're basically there because they get fed and can earn a small fortune! All seemed to be there by choice with many actually owning or at least having a house to live in.
  17. TheOracle


    Joined: Sep 30, 2005

    Posts: 11,006

    There has been a massive rise. There was hardly any homeless people in my city, but I see loads everyday now.

    I think it's a downward spiral. They are in such a bad place they try drugs to numb the pain, but that gets the hooked and they ultimately end up much worse.
  18. Semple


    Joined: Mar 5, 2010

    Posts: 5,303

    Exactly this.

    Thing is you're in a position where you can afford to do that, you've spent that money on having a good night out, you've got a home to go back to and a job to return to the next working day. Giving money directly to the homeless is one of the worst things to do, you'd be better off donating to homeless shelters where they can buy food/warm clothing to help these people survive.

    I personally don't think homelessness will ever be resolved, and it's nothing really to do with Labour vs Tory policy. Even if Labour was in power and throwing lots of money at providing homes and help at homeless people. Being homeless is more than likely a result of their addiction, and until that addiction is resolved, they're unlikely to want to make a better life for themselves. I agree that's not always the case, but in most cases these people need to want the help first before they can help themselves.
  19. malachi


    Joined: Jun 27, 2006

    Posts: 8,990

    Location: Earth

    Homelessness is on the rise here in Birmingham, so many on the streets over the past 10 years. They are coming over to the area where I live on the boarder of another town, they wasn't there a few years ago.

    I was talking to a member of staff who is from Exeter, also a growing problem there too. I cant remember if she said it was the local council or a charity but they spent months and money advertising for a weekend the homeless people can come to a shelter, have warm food and bed for the weekend. All free, what happened?!?!!? Hardily any of the homeless people came, even after getting the word out and advertising for months. Yet they were scattered over the streets as normal.

    The organizers said they will never do it again. They tried to help the homeless and hardily any of them wanted to know. I don't blame them, you can only help people who want to help themselves.
  20. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 62,663

    Interesting one with the cold weather last year where a couple of places opened their doors on the nights it was forecast to be insanely cold - I left work at 4am I think and there were dozens of homeless on the street - for some reason they'd positioned themselves under lights (in the doorways of businesses, etc. they normally don't occupy) maybe so if they froze to death or something they'd be easily found dunno. No idea what the turnout was like at the shelters though.