The Blog

We shouldn't treat the homeless like criminals | Stephanie Thomson

It is not only morally questionable to punish people who sleep on the streets – it is also an expensive and ineffective way of dealing with homelessness

The captions below the pictures of homeless New Yorkers are blunt and derisive: “disgusting,” says one; “bed and breakfast” mocks another. The subjects have not asked to be photographed, and many of them look visibly upset and agitated by the intrusion.

No, this isn’t a throwback to the days of ‘bumfights’, where homeless people were filmed in dangerous and humiliating situations in the name of entertainment. This is a new initiative from the union that represents NYPD sergeants. Called Peek-a-Boo, we see you, it asks “concerned citizens of New York” to “help make the city great again” by taking pictures of homeless people, panhandlers and other quality-of-life offenses, and sharing them online.

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Source: Blog

We shouldn't treat the homeless like criminals | Stephanie Thomson

It is not only morally questionable to punish people who sleep on the streets – it is also an expensive and ineffective way of dealing with homelessness

The captions below the pictures of homeless New Yorkers are blunt and derisive: “disgusting,” says one; “bed and breakfast” mocks another. The subjects have not asked to be photographed, and many of them look visibly upset and agitated by the intrusion.

No, this isn’t a throwback to the days of ‘bumfights’, where homeless people were filmed in dangerous and humiliating situations in the name of entertainment. This is a new initiative from the union that represents NYPD sergeants. Called Peek-a-Boo, we see you, it asks “concerned citizens of New York” to “help make the city great again” by taking pictures of homeless people, panhandlers and other quality-of-life offenses, and sharing them online.

Continue reading…
Source: Blog

Luke Treadaway cast in A Street Cat Named Bob but cat role still up for grabs

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time actor will play James Bowen, the formerly homeless busker whose books about his life with the scarf-wearing mog have been translated into more than 30 languages

British actor Luke Treadaway will star as James Bowen, the former drug addict whose books about his life on the streets with a ginger cat named Bob have sold more than 4m copies worldwide, reports Variety.

Related: James Bowen and Bob the cat: ‘He’s named after the killer in Twin Peaks’

Related: Luke Treadaway: the day Angelina Jolie asked me over for tea

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Source: Blog

Luke Treadaway cast in A Street Cat Named Bob but cat role still up for grabs

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time actor will play James Bowen, the formerly homeless busker whose books about his life with the scarf-wearing mog have been translated into more than 30 languages

British actor Luke Treadaway will star as James Bowen, the former drug addict whose books about his life on the streets with a ginger cat named Bob have sold more than 4m copies worldwide, reports Variety.

Related: James Bowen and Bob the cat: ‘He’s named after the killer in Twin Peaks’

Related: Luke Treadaway: the day Angelina Jolie asked me over for tea

Continue reading…
Source: Blog

Homeless people discharged from hospital had nowhere to go – until now

The hospital discharge network is cutting down A&E visits by homeless Londoners and helping them move into permanent homes

Thomas Stanney was cycling back to his temporary accommodation when a man opened his car door and Stanney crashed straight into it. The collision sent him tumbling onto the road and fractured his pelvis.

Stanney, who also has diabetes, was in hospital for six weeks. Faced with having nowhere to go once discharged, a team from St Mungo’s Broadway, a homelessness charity and housing association, came to see him and secured a place in the hospital discharge network (HDN) in Hackney, where patients can convalesce after a stay in hospital.

I get looked after so well that I’ve cut down [my alcohol intake] to three or four cans a day.

Related: How one London borough aims to improve homeless people’s health

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Source: Blog

‘We can’t go back’: families seeking asylum fear destitution | Frankie Mullin

Government proposals to remove support from asylum seekers with children are unlikely to persuade families to leave, but will cause homelessness and destitution

Mercy Moyo paid to be smuggled to Britain from Zimbabwe in 2002 after her anti-government activist father was beaten by Zanu-PF supporters and subsequently died. Yet her asylum application was turned down. Too frightened to return to Zimbabwe and with all support terminated, Moyo became destitute. For more than a year, she was homeless, briefly sleeping rough. “In this country, it is so cold in the winter that you can die when you are living in the streets,” she says.

“It was tough. You have no privacy. I was crying all the time. Once, I was crazy enough to ask a lady for money and she gave me £5. I bought a day travel ticket and I just took the bus all day. The whole day I kept getting on different buses. I had nowhere to go.”

Related: Concerns raised over plan to strip failed asylum seeker families of benefits

It will drive people to suicide. People left their homes because of what they’d gone through. We can’t go back.”

In the proposals put forward by the government over the last few weeks compassion is really lacking

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Source: Blog

The psychologists walking 100 miles to fight austerity’s impact on mental health | Dawn Foster

Psychologists embark on a mental health march to raise awareness of the devastating effect that cuts are having on their patients

For most psychologists, the working week is varied, but mostly predictable, with patient appointments, letters and clinical sessions. But for Stephen Weatherhead, a 37-year-old clinical psychologist working in Lancaster, and for a lot of other psychologists, this week is going to involve walking 100 miles from Leicester to London, sleeping rough, and meeting dozens of people along the way.

Walk the Talk, an awareness-raising trek from the British Psychological Society (BPS) offices in Leicester to its headquarters in the capital, will take in visits to food banks, supported housing, homelessness services and mental health centres, recording testimonies from people whose psychological wellbeing has been jeopardised by the benefits system and Work Programme.

Related: Only less austerity will improve our mental health | Clare Allan

It feels a bit crass to work with someone on their anxiety when they’re at risk of losing their home

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Source: Blog

Letter: Mike Hall’s charisma and energy was a great help to homeless people

Mike Hall was a charismatic figure who had ambitious ideas on how to relieve the plight of homeless people. He played a major part – indeed for many years the major part – in the development of the Oxford Cyrenians, but not from the very beginning.

The Oxford Simon Group (later Cyrenians) began in 1967 and opened the night shelter by the railway station that was mentioned in Mike’s obituary. In 1970 the organisation then bought a property in north Oxford, which was called Cyrox House.

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Source: Blog