Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How to solve homelessness - capitalist style

A number of councils in England are regularly buying one-way train tickets for homeless people out of their area.

Twenty councils with the highest number of rough sleepers in England were asked - some by Freedom of Information request - how many homeless people had been offered the "reconnection" policy of a one-way train ticket between 2012 and 2017. Of the 11 that responded, 10 said they had bought such tickets.

In Bournemouth, one rough sleeper, Gareth Glendall-Pickton - who grew up in the seaside town - was recently offered a ticket to Manchester, where he did not know anyone and had never been to previously. "It made me feel sick," he explained. "I've lived here all my life... it's soul-destroying."

Claire Matthews, who runs the local soup kitchen Hope for Food, described the practice as "social cleansing, and an abdication of any responsibility on the council's part".

The charity Homeless Link described the findings as "worrying". Its chief executive Rick Henderson said "Simply displacing rough sleepers without offering support is not solving the issue, and at worst can exacerbate their situation, leaving them more isolated and at risk of deteriorating physical and mental health."

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