Homeless news updates

from The Guardian

Why are growing numbers of mothers and babies stuck in B&Bs?

A Guardian investigation reveals that thousands of under-fives are being squeezed into temporary housing with nowhere to safely play or crawl

Agne speaks calmly, but the longer she talks, the more obvious it becomes that she is quietly frantic. For nearly two months, she and her 11-month-old daughter have been living in a bed and breakfast, squeezed into just a bedroom and bathroom. There’s no kitchen and no fridge, only a kettle; the little girl has been eating a lot of food from jars and pouches. The furniture is limited to a double bed, a small table and a TV on the wall. The bathroom is grimy and there are mouse droppings on the floor. Agne keeps her daughter, who is eager to practise her crawling, on the bed at all times. Elsewhere in the property, other residents fight, drink and smoke cannabis.

“I keep my phone next to me in bed, in case I need to call 999,” she says. “I feel terrible. I’m just happy that my daughter’s so small and she can’t remember these things. That’s the hardest thing for me as a mother: that I can’t provide her a home.”

Related: Number of homeless children in temporary accommodation rises 37%

Related: We know how to solve homelessness. So why aren’t we doing it? | Dawn Foster

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Twelve charged for defying California city's ban on feeding homeless

A California city has brought charges against 12 people who defied a ban on feeding homeless people at a neighborhood park, as officials try to rein in a hepatitis A outbreak that has killed 20 people and prompted mass vaccinations and the bleaching of streets.

Related: California city confiscates toilets from homeless residents – forcing them to use buckets

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Tory council criticised for 'demonising' rough sleepers in posters

Campaign by Gloucester city council suggesting people who beg on street may not be homeless is termed ‘shameful’

A Conservative city council has been criticised for “demonising” rough sleepers by suggesting they may not be homeless and discouraging people from giving them money.

The Tories take blunt cruelty to new heights!

New #Tory strategy for dealing with #homelessness: demonise vulnerable people!

The people of Gloucester will be disgusted by this. #NotInOurName #ToriesOut pic.twitter.com/NSpd5kObVN

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Two sides to every story | Made in Stoke-on-Trent

Homelessness hit the news in Stoke-on-Trent when an attempt by the council to tackle rough sleeping went wrong, causing public anger. Meet some of the people who are sleeping on the streets, and those offering help

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Windsor council leader faces effort to oust him over policy on homeless

Conservatives will debate future of Simon Dudley, who wants police to act against rough sleepers before the royal wedding

The leader of Windsor council is facing an attempt to force him out of his job by fellow Conservatives amid controversy over his call for rough sleepers to be cleared from the streets of the town before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

A “back him or sack him” motion of no confidence is expected to be debated at a meeting behind closed doors of Conservative councillors in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) on 22 January.

Related: Windsor council leader sparks backlash with rough sleeper remarks

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Manchester attack fundraisers say they still have £21,000 to spend

Two people who raised £70,000 for homeless man but could not find him have given most to charities, says JustGiving

Two people who personally received more than £70,000 in charity donations pledged for a homeless man hailed a hero after the Manchester Arena attacks say they have yet to spend £21,000 of the money.

The Guardian asked last week where the cash, donated by members of the public via the crowdfunding site JustGiving for a man called Steve Jones, had gone.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Steve Bell’s If … on Windsor's prince of aggressive beggars

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

What kind of society tries to make its beggars invisible? Our does | Dawn Foster

Of course it is distressing to see people sleeping on the street – but we should be demanding real solutions, not using legislation to hide the problem

Newport has attracted headlines and opprobrium for considering a blanket ban on begging in the city. Vox pops are made of this, and predictably passersby cornered for news bulletins offer a mixed response: some say the begging on the streets led them to avoid the city centre; some were angered at the lack of empathy for people in such a dire position; others simply haven’t noticed a street homelessness problem.

Wider public opinion has been surprised at the idea of a ban, but as time passes the notion is becoming less surprising and Newport, my home town, is far from unique. The council has powers under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 that allow town halls to enact public space protection orders (PSPOs), banning certain behaviours in specified areas. Many cities and towns have banned rough sleeping, begging and various behaviours considered antisocial. The human rights group Liberty has warned that these orders are too wide-ranging and could, in some cases, impinge on the individuals’ right to a private family life.

There are any number of ways to criminalise begging, but to do so attacks the problem from entirely the wrong angle

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

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness