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Why are homeless homeless?

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cazzz1975 | 15:48 Sat 20th Oct 2007 | Body & Soul
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Just following a thread on s&c regarding homeless people, I feel that there is no excuse to be homeless in this day and age, simply because there are a lot of organisations that provide accomodation and financial assistance. so why are people homeless and is it a situation they have caused themselves?? maybe I am missing the point here??

btw I am talking long term homeless

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I kinda wonder that too, there should be no excuse, maybe they drink all their money? they cant come on here and tell us cos they got no PC lol
for some people it's a choice
Bednobs: You are correct. For some, it is indeed a choice. But that�s a very rare number. Usually, you�ll find those who repeatedly leave the safety of their own accommodation, suffer from varying degrees of mental illness.

Others leave home due to the intolerable living conditions: Abuse, torture, rape, drugs, and continual threats.

Then there are those who are homeless because they fall through cracks in our �system.� I�ve just added a link to the other thread with that very scenario. Sadly, it happens more often than not.

And we should never presume that this homelessness is only related to women. Men also suffer from abuse and some times have no choice but to leave. In that case, our system still has far to go to remove pre-conceptions and barriers to sexism in protecting those who cannot find accommodation.

It�s a complex issue in this country. Exasperatingly, the system is overloaded with an element of those who rape and pillage the good graces of our society, by methodically and deliberately creating scenarios to warrant the goodness of our system to accommodate them. I find this to be wholly repugnant. Often, those individuals are those whose social skills are such that little more than behavioural modification by electric stimulation would be the only effective behavioural modifier.

It�s those individuals who stand out in the eyes of most. Unfortunately. As a consequence, it�s the innocent and deserving who become caught up in the same net of disdain.


Fr. Bill
There aren't always enough beds in hostels, I know in my area (Oxford) for example, there simpy isn't enough beds, also the beds cost �3 per night and �3 is a lot when you don't have it. There is a housing crisis in this area right now and unless you are a threat to yourself or somebody else, or you have a child then you simply cannot be housed simply due to there being no housing! A lot of our homeless are ex-forces, who leave, in this case, the army and have nowhere to go, also if they don't have a job to walk into then they cannot afford to rent privately.

Sadly many rough sleepers do abuse substances, but I know that our local hostels / nightshelters have a "dry" policy so any drinkers / users will not get a bed anyway, so I don't think it is necessarily that they "spend their money on drink / drugs" but that if they are abusing any substance they will have to stay on the street whether they can afford a bed or not.
I remember someone saying when a colleague lost his job: 'You (people) are only three pay cheques away from being homeless'.
Think about it.
Sometimes local housing authorities will not rehouse you if they feel that you made yourself intentionally homeless.
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I have lived in 3 hostels, and when in a situation where you have to leave your home for your own safety there are places that will accommodate you, eventually they will find you more permanant housing.

with all the help available medical, financial and housing why are people still choosing to sit outside shops begging all day?
louisa, what do you call intentionally homeless?
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louisa, my council evicted a family a few years back for a catalogue of terrible behaviour, they were given another place to live (by the council again) and did the same, after being evicted for the second time they were offered a privately rented property (paid for by the DSS) they did the same to this place and were evicted, they then were offered a place by the council again....

they are still there as far as I know but it shows that no matter how awful you are you can still get help..
Cazz: It's a multi-fold answer. Many of the begging could be heroin addicts and are desperate for their next fix. Some may truly be homeless, but I'm not always certain that's the case.

I work several times a month at a homeless shelter in the city. Time after time we have the same guests. Invariably, those are the people with degrees of mental illness.

But there's also the other extreme, when someone is not homeless, but desperate not to go home for a range of reasons. Fear of being alone can be one of those reasons.

http://bigworldsmallboat.blogspot.com/2006/04/ when-friends-and-family-are-needed.html

We find many reasons in homelessness. However, there is never one catch-all reason for homelessness.

I hope your circumstances are now much better

I wish you well

Fr Bill
Gina for instance if you've had your home repossesed for non payment of your morgage most councils see that as intentially making yourself homeless. Not fair and not right i know but it's what they do .
In some situations Cazzz where there are children they have to rehouse you. But for single adults it's not always the case.
If there are children involved then Social Services have to provide housing or they will be making children homeless. If a family is evicted for having parties / anti social behaviour / non-payment of rent this does not necessarily mean that they do not care for their children i.e. that they are not well clothed, well fed, loved and cared for - how could social services then justify breaking a family up by putting the children into care and turfing the parents out on the streets?

When you have to leave for your own safety a place can be found, because, presumably, your safety is paramount and the area in which you are housed in irrelevent. Authorities outside of the authority you belong do not have a duty to house you, in fact, in my experience, the most you can expect is travel expenses to get you back to your own authority area, who may not be able to house you. Otherwise you end up having problems that are experienced now when polices are changed for example in sheltered housing blocks where age limits were lowered from age 60 entry to age 45, in order that some homeless people could be housed, this unfortunately encouraged the newly housed persons to invite their street drinking friends to the property and cause problems for their elderly neighbours and wind up being evicted for causing anti social behaviour. Rough sleepers often suffer from mental health problems and so are unable to maintain a tenancy themselves even if they were offered a property, but appropriate housing is often not available, forcing them back out onto the streets again. It is a viscious circle, some people are not used to living in a property and having respnsibilities and so find it difficult to cope, sadly our support services are often inequipped to deal with these people and so the fall through the net and are only picked up when it is too late.
cazzz1975: The situation you've shared is reflective of almost every town in our country. I would gather that the family is quite adept at 'testing' the system, where the council's are laboured heavily by the law, especially where children are involved. Interestingly, Social services do not become involved because ill mannered parents are evicted because they party too hard. So the parent, whilst disputing all allegations, queue up saying their poor children are being made homeless and demand to know what is the council going to do about it. Even with ASBO's, the council's hands are often tied and they are forced to re-house. It's indeed a vicious cycle at times.

But this is only one element of society. There are many other scenarios. We have an obligation to help those who cannot help themselves. But sometimes, sadly, we become drawn into the mechanisms of our 'nanny nation' and others suffer as a result.

They are indeed complex issues. Personally, for me, the reminders are harsh and lasting whenever I'm called to visit either the coroner's office or constabulary.

I wish you well

Fr Bill
Natalie i think it goes more on a point system. If you have a family that are made homeless due to a fire, and another family homeless due to eviction for non payment of rent, then the first family are given more priority. Social services will not split up a family, they will help to find emergency accommodation until more suitable accommodation becomes available.
It depends who the housing authority is, for example, our City Council has the responsibility of Housing (along with several housing associations) and uses a point scoring system, and Social Services fall under the jurisdiction of the County Council. Should the City Council or any of the Housing associations evict a family or the family are viewed as making themselves homeless then they do not have a duty to consider re-housing the family for two years from the date that they were evicted, they would then be referred to Social Services who would more than likely house them in private rented accommodation (after emergency temporary accommodation). If the house catches fire, then they'd be unlikely to be seen as making themselves homeless so would probably be rehoused by the City Council or Housing Association (this is true of the area I live in but most areas have a single / unitary authority - ours is just awkward!)
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