I don’t have a problem with them doing that. I do it myself. I have a problem with them turning the pavement into a rubbish dump when they already have a flat to drink and take drugs in. The question, posed here several times but conveniently ignored, is whether they have a right to monopolise the pavement when they have other options – as all homeless people do. Legally they have no such right. I’d argue that they have no moral right to do so either. To the contrary. To say so is not nasty or judgmental, indeed it’s the considered opinion of several homeless charities, counselling services and the founder of the Big Issue. But you’d rather ignore that so that you can clamber on a lame high-horse and accuse others of being unsympathetic, which is ignorant as well as offensive.
I know for a fact that these people have had plenty of resources wasted on them in order to better their lives. I appreciate that newcomers to the area must look at them and feel sorry for them but when you've seen them begging there for the past ten years and had them shitting in your garden, after learning of all the help they've been given, your sympathy starts to wane. I'm not so concerned with the eyesore issue, as I am with the shit and drugs paraphernalia these people leave around, the obstruction on the pavement and the fact that they seem to be attracting more of the same to SGR in the afternoons. If they feel that they have no other option than to take illegal drugs and drink themselves stupid why can't they do it in a quiet corner of the park, or at home? Answer - because they know that people will feel sorry for them and give them more money to feed their habit and illegal activities.
Anyway, this thread is becoming increasingly boring, if the do-gooders want to feel sorry for them and feed their habit, that's up to them.
I have written to the council and Lynne F has made enquiries into what can be done. I will update when I get more info.
So does a little self respect and responsibility for yourself and your actions. I have no problem with them taking drugs and ruining their lives in the confines of their own home. I do have a problem with them doing it in a public area where they pose a threat to the health of others. I have a problem with them shitting in mine and my neighbours front gardens. I also have a problem with public funds being squandered on these people who have made a career of scrounging at that same spot for the past ten years or so. I'll save my empathy/sympathy for those who need it.
It’s not compassionate to encourage someone live on the street by subsidising their heroin addiction. It’s compassionate to compel them into an NHS rehabilitation programme so that they can live an existence that isn’t one of living day-to-day, hand-to-mouth, fix-to-fix.
Your compassion is laudable, your misdirection of it actively makes things worse. The evidence for this is overwhelming, but it’s easier for you to feel smug and charitable (and tell us about your charitable acts here, which rather undermines your altruism).
And now for a hat-trick...
If in 15 years they've not managed to make themselves useful, then they'll get no sympathy from me. My sympathy/empathy is also reserved for those far more deserving.
Can we all agree to disagree on this one. This has well and truly done a 360 a couple of times at least.
PS: Rather than buying them stuff to consume, buy them a scratchcard or a euromillions.
I beg your pardon?
An old university pal of mine became a heroin addict, and ended up on the brink of destitution. What saved him was the compassion of others who compelled him to enter a methadone programme. Had he not been confronted over it he might well be dead – he admits that he could never have made the decision himself because of the nature of addiction. At the very least he would be living on the streets, feeding his habit from the ‘charity’ of those who think it is compassionate to maintain people in a limbo of misery.
The poor lady in question is still where she is after so many years because of such misdirected ‘compassion’. Compassion is rooted in empathy. That being so – how would you want to be treated if you were her? Would you like to be allowed to live on the street (despite already being shown a great deal of compassion by being given free accommodation by the state), and given dribs and drabs of money to keep you that way until you die of something horrible? Or would you prefer to have no source of income so that you were compelled to enter a programme, improving your life and the lives of others?
Shelter and Crises tend to hedge their bets in public, as they fear losing funding if they start suggesting that people shouldn’t ‘help the homeless’ through direct donation – as shown on this thread many people have terribly simplistic views of the problem. But vast amounts of research has been done on this topic, and where councils have made evidence-led campaigns to introduce ‘money boxes’ etc instead of directly giving to the homeless (Aberdeen, Nottingham) it has had a big impact. Again, the founder of the Big Issue has waxed lyrical about this.
I’m not talking out of my hat – I’ve followed this issue for a long time. Want to be compassionate? Volunteer at a homeless kitchen, or at a shelter, or as a mentor, etc. But don’t ignorantly tell me that by supporting an evidence-led, proven approach to helping people that I’m lacking compassion, or I’ll tell you to f*ck off.
Thames Reach’s Killing with Kindness campaign is a god place to start if you want to know more: http://www.thamesreach.org.uk/news-and-views/campaigns/giving-to-beggars/
Actually, maybe I am wrong. Let's all buy them as much heroin as we can afford. Let's let them stay where they are until one of our kids falls on one of their dirty needles. Let's publicise the fact that the gardens of Stroud Green are just one big public toilet. Let's dig up the pavement and line the streets of Stroud Green with piss-sodden mattresses and cardboard. Down with Civic Pride!!!et's all be compassionate instead!!!
I like Joanne! What I don't like is posh middle class self righteous pompous silver spoon born in the mouth conts.
I shall continue to give her ££££££ until such time
Your wasting your time on here mate, hung drawn and quartered!
@ barnesbq: I think Sevlow is being tongue-in-cheek.
@ Wells: Well, you could always follow the advice in the link I posted. I’ll paraphrase it for you – give money to homeless charities, not to the homeless. A proven means of showing your compassion without making the situation worse. Why not set up a direct debit to Thamesreach? That way it is spent on food, shelter and rehabilitation, not on a lifetime of drug addiction.
Mills - apologies for the name mix-up.
I’ve been looking for a report that Shelter (I think it was them, my pal used it in his dissertation) put out a few years ago on the subject of whether there were sufficient ‘beds for the night’ in London, and I can’t find it. Perhaps others will have more luck. It concluded that it was a difficult question to answer; there are always beds available, but a large percentage of those actually sleeping on the street ‘choose’ to do so, either due to shame or (more often) mental illness.
Rehabilitation, including methadone programmes, are available on the NHS. The jury is not out – if all those giving money to the homeless gave them to homeless charities then we wouldn’t need to have this discussion.
Your final question is very pertinent – it’s at the crux of the whole discussion, and there are no easy answers. Putting aside the obvious, proven but politically difficult solution of heroin proscription (which would eradicate heroin addiction in a generation), we seem to be left with this choice: do we buy-off drug addicts to stop them stealing? (I will leave prostitution side as we’ve discussed it to death here recently). I think that’s where it becomes a moral question, to which the answer is no. If someone is faced with that decision and chooses crime, then they should and can be incarcerated and compelled to overcome their addiction (I’m not naïve to the difficulties of this in our short-sighted prison service). By providing funds directly to the homeless you are a) bribing them not to rob others and c) prolonging their suffering. Again: this is not compassionate, it is the very opposite.
I can’t imagine anyone having a problem with providing the articles that you list.
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