Homeless news updates

from The Guardian

Hundreds of deaths of homeless people 'going unexamined'

Reviews to find if deaths in England and Wales could be prevented ‘are not being used’

Hundreds of deaths of vulnerable homeless people in England and Wales are going unexamined, an investigation has found.

Web scraping and freedom of information requests submitted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) have revealed that safeguarding adults reviews (SARs) – which charities say are crucial to determining whether the deaths could have been prevented – have almost never been set up after homeless people’s deaths.

Related: At least 78 homeless people died in UK over winter, figures reveal

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

No link between homeless villages and crime rates, Guardian review suggests

Guardian study of two US cities finds crime is likelier to go down than up in neighborhoods that host city-sanctioned encampments

They stood in a rainy parking lot under fir trees, 60 homeless men and women, young and old, patient and weary. The glow of a single lightbulb outside the “office” – a shack of plywood, duct tape and plastic sheeting – illuminated their faces.

It was the 9pm check-in at a homeless village called Right 2 Dream Too in Portland, Oregon. The code of conduct was read aloud. Then the roll call began: one by one, people showed ID and stepped through the chain link fence, towards portable toilets, bedrolls, warmth, sleep and safety.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

The GPs offering a lifeline to homeless patients | Patrick Greenfield

So far this year, 56 homeless people have died in the UK. But a surgery in Brighton shows how coordinated care could save lives

At least 56 homeless people have died on the streets and in temporary accommodation in the UK so far this year. It brings the total recorded to almost 300 since 2013, according to research by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The true figure is likely much higher as no official figures are collected, making it hard for health professionals to respond to the increasing number of deaths.

Related: Deaths of UK homeless people more than double in five years

The more you push people to the margins, the more they fall out of the system and end up on the streets

Related: At least 78 homeless people died in UK over winter, figures reveal

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

While the city sleeps: London after hours – a photo essay

Photographer Sean Smith captures the city at night, from cabaret stars to road maintenance workers, homeless people to fire wardens

In the changing rooms backstage at Proud Cabaret in London, half a dozen performers are crammed together preparing themselves for the evening’s shows. As one liberally applies eye makeup, another fills the air with a cloud of hairspray. There are nipple tassels, high heels, leather and wigs. It’s 8pm and the night is about to begin.

“There’s always a buzzing atmosphere while everyone prepares for the doors to open,” says Fiona Jay-Brown, one half of the acrobatic duo Deux Ailes. “There are a lot of performers so it does get very busy backstage but we all do our best to get the show on the road. There’s rarely a backstage panic. Whether it’s missing tit-tape or hairspray running out, we all help each other out.”

There’s a lot of hidden nightlife in London but you need to scratch the surface to find it

I don’t want to go down as the next Guy Fawkes!

It can be an eerie place to work when you’re down in the basement – it’s like a maze

It’s like a pool of tranquility while you’re surrounded by the bright lights and madness of central London

Any sane person would look at the hours we work and think we’re all crazy

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Too many measures targeting homeless people | Letters

More data is needed on the various sanctions used, write Helen Mills and Matt Ford. Plus: David Redshaw suggests that Margaret Thatcher’s party is doing her proud

It is great to see investigative work being done on antisocial behaviour powers, showing the impact on those who are homeless. These measures require such probing (Homeless people facing fines and prison, 21 May). Since antisocial behaviour powers were devolved to local areas by the coalition government in 2014, there is no centralised, routinely publicised data about how they are being used. Freedom of information investigations are now the only way to answer questions about who is sanctioned by antisocial behaviour measures.

Your article singled out public space protection orders (PSPOs), but there are a range of measures that are used to sanction the homeless. For instance, our own research suggests that dispersal powers, a police-only measure to move people on for a period of up to 48 hours, are far more routinely used than PSPOs and result in far more prosecutions. There is a requirement to publish PSPOs and consult about them. Other measures, such as community protection notices and dispersal powers, have no such obligations. PSPOs are the more visible element in a wider spectrum of enforcement approaches which are being employed with very little scrutiny. Stop and search has annual statistics rightly drawing attention to its use. It is interesting that similar powers the police have to stop people, confiscate items, and exclude them for periods of up to 48 hours, are regularly deployed with no centralised data collection about their use.
Helen Mills and Matt Ford
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

'It’s terrible': how Windrush row turned one man's life upside down

Lloyd Grant, who left Jamaica in 1970, has been homeless since being wrongly told he was not allowed to live and work in UK

As Lloyd Grant explains what it’s like to be homeless, his voice breaks and he looks down. “It’s terrible,” he says. “When you see other people with their door keys, coming home from work, you wish you were them. Being homeless really takes it out of you; you don’t know how you will survive the next day.”

Related: Windrush migrants still sleeping rough one month after minister’s promise

Who are the Windrush generation?

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

'We still have hearts': homeless on the streets of Kettering

A look at the impact of one council’s crackdown on begging, loitering and alcohol use

It is lunchtime in the large market town of Kettering, Northamptonshire, and 38-year-old Ethan is sitting on a black bench in the centre of town as shoppers flow past.

Dressed in a black jacket and jeans, he says he has been destitute for nearly a decade – with periods spent sleeping rough – although he is now living in temporary accommodation.

Much of his time has been spent in Kettering, he says, and he has seen the town change over the years. In 2016, the council introduced a public space protection order (PSPO) which, among other things, makes it an offence to beg in the area.

Related: Hundreds of homeless people fined and imprisoned in England and Wales

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Hundreds of homeless people fined and imprisoned in England and Wales

The Guardian finds over 50 local authorities with PSPOs in place prohibiting begging and loitering

Growing numbers of vulnerable homeless people are being fined, given criminal convictions and even imprisoned for begging and rough sleeping, the Guardian can reveal.

Despite updated Home Office guidance at the start of the year, which instructs councils not to target people for being homeless and sleeping rough, the Guardian has found over 50 local authorities with public space protection orders (PSPOs) in place

Related: The Guardian view on Windsor’s homelessness: a parable of modern Britain | Editorial

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness