The Wetherspoon ‘ban’ on homeless people reveals our rotten social order | Owen Jones

A Cornish branch of the pub chain refused to serve a sit-down breakfast to two rough sleepers. This is the Dickensian face of austerity Britain

It is a story that belongs in a Charles Dickens novel. Jenny Rimmer, a compassionate 45-year-old in Cornwall, spotted two men in their early 20s sleeping rough and offered them a hot meal. When they walked into a local Wetherspoon pub, staff told them there was a ban on homeless people and anyone “who is smelly”. One of the men, 23-year-old Christopher Finch, said he left the pub feeling “suicidal”. In response, Wetherspoon said the decision was taken after an incident outside the pub the previous day, and that staff provided the men with a takeaway breakfast.

Homelessness is rising in austerity Britain: it has increased by 169% since 2010. Homeless people are significantly more likely to suffer from mental distress, and up to a quarter of the young homeless population are LGBTQ, many rejected by their family. The experience of rough sleepers can be unspeakably grim. More than a third have had objects thrown at them; nearly one in 10 have been urinated on; nearly half have been intimidated or threatened with violence.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

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