Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

JoeDavola

Why Do People End Up Homeless?

Recommended Posts

Just watched this video which I found rather upsetting:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35697453

Bloke obviously not well, and has been sleeping rough for 4 years. I have to admit that I've taken a (probably ignorant) stance that anyone who is homeless will be homeless through choice (and by choice I mean they have refused help), as we have a welfare state that will always find some sort of accommodation for someone who needs it, so at the very least you'll have a roof over your head (be it in a shared house or hostel)....am I wrong about this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just watched this video which I found rather upsetting:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35697453

Bloke obviously not well, and has been sleeping rough for 4 years. I have to admit that I've taken a (probably ignorant) stance that anyone who is homeless will be homeless through choice (and by choice I mean they have refused help), as we have a welfare state that will always find some sort of accommodation for someone who needs it, so at the very least you'll have a roof over your head (be it in a shared house or hostel)....am I wrong about this?

Unless you're a single adult male...then you're on your own

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having had the misfortune to catch some of those "Benefits Britain" type programmes including one featuring a Romanian popping back to the UK to register his third child who, like the others, lives in Romania, for child benefit, I'd like to know the answer to this too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just watched this video which I found rather upsetting:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35697453

Bloke obviously not well, and has been sleeping rough for 4 years. I have to admit that I've taken a (probably ignorant) stance that anyone who is homeless will be homeless through choice (and by choice I mean they have refused help), as we have a welfare state that will always find some sort of accommodation for someone who needs it, so at the very least you'll have a roof over your head (be it in a shared house or hostel)....am I wrong about this?

No it won't, for most people. There are long waiting lists for social housing in most areas.

The 'homeless through choice' idea is a myth in the case of most homeless people.

It's hard to hold get or down a job if you are homeless, and hard to rent a place if you have no job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless you're a single adult male...then you're on your own

I don't know anyone who's been in this situation, but basically as a childless bloke are we saying that trying to get shelter isn't something that's quick and easy to do? Again I rather naively thought that with the amount of people from outside the UK taking advantage of the UK welfare state (as DTMark alludes to), that we'd be looking after our own; that nobody would be on the street who had asked for help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might have mentioned this before, few years ago I used to arrive at work reasonably early and got chatting to a bloke about 30 years of age that had over many nights in the summer slept on a bench on the street, sleeping bag on show, a small bag and very often would be drinking special brew at 8am in the morning.....got chatting to him, a nice guy quite friendly and harmless......he told me very often he was offered a bed in a hostel for the night but it would mean strict rules and regulations including no drinking or smoking......he declined the kindly offer as he preferred the freedom that street sleeping gave him....and the nice friendly people he often meets.

lots of reasons why people end up homeless......often connected to addictions, past custodian sentences, family breakdowns, mental health issues and people who once lived in children's homes.....just goes to show the state who should be providing top quality care and education to children who have no parents of their own are the least likely to care. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No it won't, for most people. There are long waiting lists for social housing in most areas.

The 'homeless through choice' idea is a myth in the case of most homeless people.

It's hard to hold get or down a job if you are homeless, and hard to rent a place if you have no job.

I had assumed that this waiting list was only for people who already had housing of some sort (even shared) and were looking for something 'better' - I would have thought that if you were on the streets that there would be hostels or something you could stay at free of charge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know anyone who's been in this situation, but basically as a childless bloke are we saying that trying to get shelter isn't something that's quick and easy to do? Again I rather naively thought that with the amount of people from outside the UK taking advantage of the UK welfare state (as DTMark alludes to), that we'd be looking after our own; that nobody would be on the street who had asked for help.

I actually don't know, I've only got channel 5 bennies programs to go off! But there's been a few people who (if aren't in any danger) will be told to jog on and not offered even emergency (hostel) accommodation. No idea how widespread it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had assumed that this waiting list was only for people who already had housing of some sort (even shared) and were looking for something 'better' - I would have thought that if you were on the streets that there would be hostels or something you could stay at free of charge.

Some hostels are run by charities; some are funded by local authorities.

In some cases people with drug problems, mental health problems or are ex-offenders are given priority.

Funding is limited, so spaces are limited.

I have known of a person freezing to death within a few yards of local sheltered accomodation that he was refused entry to earlier that evening. I don't think he was 'homeless by choice' in that circumstance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC there were some homeless characters in the story 'Ordinary Thunderstorms' who had been taken in by hostels run by charitable/church organisations, who found themselves back on the streets due to using drugs on the premises e.g. unable to quit the addiction that led them to be on the streets in the first place.

And yet, other people get given their own flat by the State where they can do what they like with no supervision or observation on a seemingly non time-limited basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless you're a single adult male...then you're on your own

Or single adult woman. The factor that will instantly get you a roof over your head is having dependent children with you, it tends to be single women rather than men who have dependent children.

There are hostel places for street homeless single people, I used to work for somewhere that ran one (I was in the office), but not for everybody all at the same time.

If anybody here were to become homeless tomorrow then they may have a few weeks or months on the street but (as long as you contact social services or other outreach centres) you will then get a place in a hostel to sort yourself out and they will help you with finding somewhere to stay (grotty room in a HMO probably, but it's somewhere) so that you can get back into work.

There wasn't enough detail in that piece to explain it but nobody has to sleep rough for four years.

I would echo that homelessness can happen to anyone (one employee at the co I worked for had his life fall appart and ended up in the hostel of that very same company) but in most cases there is drink and drug addiction at the root.

No it won't, for most people. There are long waiting lists for social housing in most areas.

The 'homeless through choice' idea is a myth in the case of most homeless people.

It's hard to hold get or down a job if you are homeless, and hard to rent a place if you have no job.

No, Joe was right (ish) the state (or rather the local council) will put a roof over the head of anybody deemed to be in need (again, excludes most single people); but this roof could be B&B accommodation rather than social housing.

As a footnote I have only known one person who actively enjoyed being homeless. I'm sure there are more but the number that enjoy being homeless is a very small minority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drug dealers are going to target hostels and places where they know there will be vulnerable people wanting drugs. It takes a very determined effort to help addicts break this cycle.

For mental illness or learning difficulties, 'care in the community' depends on adequate resources to provide care being available. I think you can guess where local governments have found an easy way to cut back expenditure on people who are unlikely to vote anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a footnote I have only known one person who actively enjoyed being homeless. I'm sure there are more but the number that enjoy being homeless is a very small minority.

I suppose the idea might appeal to some people, until winter arrives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know anyone who's been in this situation, but basically as a childless bloke are we saying that trying to get shelter isn't something that's quick and easy to do? Again I rather naively thought that with the amount of people from outside the UK taking advantage of the UK welfare state (as DTMark alludes to), that we'd be looking after our own; that nobody would be on the street who had asked for help.

I believe that some level of mental illness is a factor in many cases of homelessness, although some people do it by choice I`m told as many short stay hostels are violent and drug filled places. I knew of two guys years ago who slept in an abandoned car for a year while holding down full time jobs on a building site (Aberdeen) One of them while working on sites in London used to beg (nothing more than a hat on the ground and "Change for a coffee please!" required he said) on the underground for an hour or so before and after work for a nice tax free top up (TBH he was probably getting cash in hand on the site as well back then ) Most or all of his money would then be spent on drink after basic food (he was probably in the hostel system in London I think so no rent to pay) There are at least two well known homeless people in Edinburgh I believe that are either independently wealthy or from a very well off family (Maybe ccc can add light to whether this is myth or not?) Another reason with younger people is to escape abuse at home, they need to run and they just hit the streets, quickly falling into the sub-culture that exists there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if part of the problem could be that if you are homeless because you couldn't pay your rent you are 'intentionally homeless' and therefore not eligible for assistance.

I am not actually sure how, under the rules, you could be 'unintentionally homeless' Unless, of course, you have come from overseas / become a single mum - though perhaps that is the most intentional act of all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose the idea might appeal to some people, until winter arrives.

We get the seasonal homeless down here, summer on the beach drinking etc. and then want cover when the winter comes. Fine, don't have a problem with that.

The one who loved it was the brother of a friend. Off the rails, liked drinking and fighting and hated following any rules at all, slept rough in the west end (of London) and (on his terms) was happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well with succesive government propping up house prices, encouraging people to put their pensions savings in BTLs in ISAs, and refusing some benefits to people under 25, I'm sure the things will turn out peachy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well with succesive government propping up house prices, encouraging people to put their pensions savings in BTLs in ISAs, and refusing some benefits to people under 25, I'm sure the things will turn out peachy.

No, it's a disaster.

I especially dislike the under 25 thing. This seems to have the presupposition that you can live at home when under 25. Well many young people can't do this or don't even have a home in the first place (in care, orphans) so it seems to be condemning people who aren't fortunate enough to come from a stable background and make one or two mistakes early on to a life of crime and homelessness from which it is hard to ever recover.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kipped on the parents; front room floor for nearly a year after university. At least I had parents and an address. I've known people to live in their van, after taking up a remote job, and having no money to put down for rent. Just use the work showers, and eat at the chip shop. It's not ideal, but I've had to kip on people's floors for a while, until I got paid. I suppose I was younger then. I wouldn't fancy it now. I had good friends who would put up with me for a while. Supposing you haven't! :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are numerous factors...a major one is the breakdown of mental health, as can alcoholism & gambling...There can be an issue with ex-offenders (esp. violent ones)...hostels won't take them on because of their past...It can take a fair while for the DWP to issue benefits, forcing people on the street...

Whilst volunteering for a food bank a while ago, you'd hear allsorts of stories...One was an ex record producer who made it big in the 80s with a very well known band...Had everything...set up his own recording studio, the works. He then had a mental breakdown, became violent with his wife, then lost everything...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it's a disaster.

I especially dislike the under 25 thing. This seems to have the presupposition that you can live at home when under 25. Well many young people can't do this or don't even have a home in the first place (in care, orphans) so it seems to be condemning people who aren't fortunate enough to come from a stable background and make one or two mistakes early on to a life of crime and homelessness from which it is hard to ever recover.

Maybe I should have added a /sarc tag to my post.

A lot of homeless people are young, because, I suspect, they don't last long enough to become old homeless people.

I know someone, an ex-con, ex-crack user, who seems to be a model example of turning his life round, and works steering young people off/away from drugs. Through him, and one or two other people, I get an idea of what is going on with the homeless in my locality.

When I see a 'new' homeless person in my area, I often tell them about the local charity that provides accomodation. Invariably, they already know about it, and have been told there is no room for them yet. They don't want to be homeless, although they usually bear some responsibility for being homeless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are numerous factors...a major one is the breakdown of mental health, as can alcoholism & gambling...There can be an issue with ex-offenders (esp. violent ones)...hostels won't take them on because of their past...It can take a fair while for the DWP to issue benefits, forcing people on the street...

Whilst volunteering for a food bank a while ago, you'd hear allsorts of stories...One was an ex record producer who made it big in the 80s with a very well known band...Had everything...set up his own recording studio, the works. He then had a mental breakdown, became violent with his wife, then lost everything...

Yes, such things can happen. I made a cheesy joke about the homeless once, and a lady kicked me in the shins, not hard, but I , didn't realise the chap I was talking to had actually been there. Not sometimes a "choice", but cheery smiles to the tramps of old, who went from village to village doing casual farm work and sleeping in barns. The German word is Landstreicher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eight

No it won't, for most people. There are long waiting lists for social housing in most areas.

The 'homeless through choice' idea is a myth in the case of most homeless people.

It's hard to hold get or down a job if you are homeless, and hard to rent a place if you have no job.

Will Smith managed it in The Pursuit Of Happiness. Although there's a chance that might just have been shyte.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if anyone could fully answer the question as to why some people are long term homeless in places with a strong welfare state there would be a Nobel prize of some sort in it for them. To give an example of the complexity of this, Toronto has enough spaces in homeless shelters (which I imagine are seriously grim) to give everyone a roof over their head in the worst weather (it can go down to -25C or -40C with windchill here in winter) but had to pass a law some time back allowing the cops to pick people up off the streets and either take them there or put them in the cells overnight to stop them freezing to death when the temperature goes below -15C. If someone's problems are so bad that they'd rather freeze to death than spend a night with the Salvation Army, you've got to think the fix isn't obvious!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   101 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.